The presence of thrush in the mouth of a baby can be painful for the baby and very upsetting for the parents. Babies who are bottle-fed are more likely to develop yeast infections than those who are exclusively breastfed. However, steps can be taken to lower the risk of developing yeast infections, and treatment is fairly easy.
Candidiasis, or oral pseudomembranous candidiasis, is a superficial candidiasis found in approximately 5% of healthy newborns. Babies generally acquire yeast from their mothers during the passage through the birth canal. You can tell if your child has oral yeast infection or not by looking for the telltale white spots that can be found on the inside of the cheeks, lips, roof of the mouth, and tongue. Many mothers who bottle feed their baby often mistake milk residue found on the tongue for thrush. If the tongue is uniformly white, this is not thrush. Canker sore patches are often described as curdled. Unlike milk waste, it sticks to the underlying tissue. You can also do a yeast infection test by gently touching a patch with a gauze-covered finger. If it’s a yeast infection, it probably won’t come off very easily, but if it does, you’ll find a red, raw area underneath that can bleed. Canker sore lesions can be painful, and when bottle-feeding the child can become fussy and squirm.
Why are bottle-fed babies more susceptible to yeast infection?
Many babies have yeast infections, but it is a self-limited condition; it goes away on its own, without anyone knowing that the baby had thrush in the first place. However, certain changes in the baby or his environment can aggravate yeast infection. Antibiotics or stress may be to blame. Bottle feeding often causes thrush because the lining of the mouth wears down with prolonged sucking, like babies who sleep with a bottle or pacifier; Babies who are breastfed do not fall asleep at night and continue to suck on their mother’s breast, unfortunately many bottle-fed babies go to sleep sucking on a bottle. Also, dirty nipples and pacifiers can harbor yeast infections.
How to treat yeast infection?
In the first place, prevention is better than cure. Babies should not be put to bed while they continue to suck on the nipple of the bottle. Avoid having your child suck on the pacifier for long periods. Make sure all nipples and pacifiers are well washed and sterilized.
In most cases, yeast infection clears up on its own, and the only treatment needed is to relieve oral discomfort or treat (or prevent) painful diaper rashes caused by fungi. You can use an antifungal medicine such as nystatin suspension. It can be applied directly to the plates with a cotton-tipped applicator or administered orally 1 to 2 ml four times a day. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions. An outdated and still affective treatment for baby yeast infection is baking soda. Use a cotton-tipped swab dipped in a mixture of a quarter teaspoon of baking soda and a drop or two of mild liquid detergent (no ammonia or bleach) mixed in a glass of warm water. Apply the mixture gently on the affected areas.
If symptoms persist or you have any concerns, seek medical help.
Babies who worry during bottle feeding can do so for many reasons. If your baby is fussy when formula is fed, it is worth checking if your child has thrush. If your child has thrush, you do not need to change the milk formula. Just apply a treatment as described above and the yeast infection should clear up in a matter of weeks.