Thrush is caused by a Candida (yeast) infection that grows on the inside of the mouth.  Candida like warm, moist places to grow so baby’s mouth and diaper area are common sites of infection.  White irregular patches will appear on the inside of the cheeks, lips, roof of the mouth, and tongue and may cause discomfort.  This cannot be washed or wiped away without bleeding.  It will not cause fever.  Thrush can occur from prolonged sucking on a pacifier, breast or bottle.  It can also occur after a child has been on an antibiotic.  Thrush is only contagious to others by direct contact.  Mother’s breast may become infected through breastfeeding or another child may become infected if sucking on the same pacifier or chew toy immediately after the child with thrush.

Home Care Advice:

  1. If your child has thrush, a liquid medication will be prescribed.  The child’s mouth should be wiped with a clean, warm washcloth or gauze pad prior to giving the medicine.  The medication should then be given, coating the white patches inside the mouth.  Once swallowed, the medicine is not effective against thrush.  Do not feed baby for 30 minutes after giving medication.  This medication should be continued for at least 7 days or until thrush has been gone for 3 days.  Sometimes thrush is difficult to clear up and refills may be needed.

    Wash the dropper well before placing back into medication.

    If you are a breastfeeding mom, examine your nipples for redness, tenderness, or discharge.  If these symptoms are present, wash the breasts well with warm, soapy water and rinse after each breast-feeding.  Dry well.  Apply a light amount of Lotrimin AF (over the counter) to your nipples and rub in well.

  2. Limit the use of a pacifier until thrush has cleared.
  3. Thoroughly clean bottle nipples and pacifiers by boiling them daily or putting them through the dishwasher.  Wash or boil chew toys daily.  Your child will chew and such on his or her fingers so wash his hands frequently to prevent re-infecting himself.
  4. Some children may need shorter, more frequent feedings.