Thrush is a fungal infection of the mouth which many small babies get. It looks like a whitish coating. Thrush doesn't hurt, but can disturb your baby when he or she is feeding. But if you get it, it can hurt a lot.
If your baby has some white spots, or coating, on the tongue, the roof of their mouth and the insides of their cheeks it is probably thrush. This is a fungal infection which often appears in babies. Thrush doesn’t hurt but a bad case of thrush can bother babies when they’re feeding.
How to cure thrush
You can help to cure thrush by winding a gauze bandage around your finger, dipping it in chamomile tea, carbonated mineral water or salt water and rubbing it on the mucous membranes in your baby's mouth.
Painful nursing with thrush
If you get thrush on your nipples it can make breastfeeding very painful and cause a burning, stinging, itchy pain. You may also get vaginal thrush. Speak to your doctor, midwife, Plunket nurse or a lactation consultant about treatment if you have any of these symptoms. It is important that both you and your baby are treated.
If you have symptoms but the thrush isn’t painful, give your nipples the same treatment as your baby’s mouth.
Thrush in a baby's mouth is often followed by a raw-looking fungal infection on their bottom, as the infection passes through their digestive system. This can itch a bit.
Minimise the risk of thrush
If you’re finding it difficult to get rid of thrush, talk to your GP.
If you’re bottle feeding, you can minimise the risk of infection by keeping your baby’s teats and dummies clean by sterilising them in boiling water daily. And make it a rule that nobody ever puts a teat or a dummy in their mouth before giving it to baby.