Thrush is a yeast infection caused by Candida albicans. This fungus is naturally existing in our mouths, but low immunity or bacteria imbalance might cause them to overgrow. This overgrowth shows in the form of white lesions or sores that we call thrush.
Thrush is not sexually transmitted, but it unfortunately also affects babies. Thrush in babies mostly occurs inside the mouth, such as on the tongue or the roof of the mouth. If your baby has thrush, don’t worry too much because it generally won’t cause any harm. However, it does cause discomfort and difficulty in eating which is why we’ve compiled the top 10 thrush home remedies for babies to help your little one sleep better and eventually get rid of the yeast.
Known to be an effective solution to countless health problems, sodium bicarbonate or baking soda is both an antibacterial and antifungal agent. Brazilian Oral Research found that baking soda is a good alternative to thrush medications.
To use it, dilute half a teaspoon of baking soda in 1 cup of warm water. Then, apply the solution directly to the baby’s thrush using a cotton swab. Another way to give it to the baby is by applying the solution to your nipple, wiping it, and then letting the baby breastfeed.
Kitchen salt or sodium chloride (NaCl) is known to be antifungal, killing infection. For adults with thrush, saltwater is usually used as a mouthwash to treat thrush. But you can’t exactly tell babies to gargle. Instead, simply dilute half a teaspoon of salt in one cup of water. Then, apply it to the baby’s thrush with a cotton swab.
Turmeric is most distinguishable by its potent yellow color and this is also the reason it’s so effective in treating thrush. The plant gets its yellow coloring from its high curcumin content, and curcumin has been proven to have anti-inflammatory properties.
A study done in 2019 showed that Curcuma longa, commonly known as turmeric, is effective against Candida albicans. The study also stated that it can be used topically, which is why it’s one of the best thrush home remedies for babies. Just ground a piece of turmeric, mix in some water, and apply the solution to the lesions.
As we all know, yogurt is packed with good bacteria. This plethora of bacteria will help restore the balance of bacteria and yeast, thus preventing the spreading of the thrush.
Adults who have thrush can simply consume yogurt to treat it, but a baby’s digestive system isn’t strong enough for yogurt. Simply put the yogurt topically on the thrush-infected area. If the baby’s thrush is in the mouth, put on thin layers to avoid digestion.
When preparing it to treat thrush in babies, it’s especially important to use plain yogurt that’s both unflavored and unsweetened.
Second to salt, out of all the natural thrush remedies in this article, coconut oil is probably the one you most likely already own. Coconut oil is filled with caprylic acid, a super compound with powerful antibacterial, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory properties.
To be safe, first test if your baby is allergic to coconut oil by applying the oil to a small area of the skin, then wait for reactions for several hours. If there’s no reaction, simply take a cotton swab, dip it into the oil, and swab it onto the lesions.
Another oil that’s effective in beating Candida albicans is oregano oil, according to this research. Oregano oil contains carvacrol and thymol that dehydrates and kills Candida yeast cells. You can use it to treat your baby’s thrush the same way as coconut oil.
Apple cider vinegar
The next thrush home remedy for babies that we hope is readily available in your house is apple cider vinegar. This vinegar has long been famous for its antibacterial and antifungal properties.
ACV can be very strong, so be careful to dilute it properly with water in a 1:2 ratio before using a cotton swab to apply it to the baby’s infected area.
Calendula officinalis, sometimes also called marigold, is a beautiful orange-colored flower with strong antifungal properties. It has been proven to be highly effective against Candida infection. In fact, plenty of antifungal creams have calendula as the main ingredient.
You can find many calendula extracts specially made for babies that can be directly applied to the lesions. Another option is to use it in the form of essential oil. Dilute the essential oil in olive oil in a 1:2 ratio then apply to the lesions.
Improve your hygiene
Before trying out all sorts of thrush home remedies for babies, the first thing you have to do is be mindful of hygiene when handling your baby.
Babies can obtain thrush from unsanitary pacifiers. Therefore, you should always wash your hands thoroughly with soap for at least 20 seconds before holding your baby or their belongings. Always boil pacifiers and baby bottles for 10 minutes after they’re used to kill germs. Babies also often put toys in their mouths, so make sure to always keep those clean, too.
Nursing mothers should also check if they have thrush on their nipples. At times, mothers might transmit thrush to their baby when breastfeeding. If the mother is infected, it’s important to treat both the mother and the baby’s thrush to prevent the continuous exchange of infection.
Reduce sugar intake (for both the baby and mom)
If your baby still drinks breast milk, they essentially eat what their mother eats. This is why the mother has to change their diet in order to treat the baby’s thrush.
Sugar is an inflammatory compound and a high intake of sugar can worsen symptoms of thrush. High levels of blood sugar also increase the risk of Candida infection and promote the growth of yeast.
Instead, try consuming more protein such as fish and lean chicken. The mothers can also incorporate the food we’ve listed above into their diet to alleviate the baby’s thrush. Probiotics especially are helpful to restore bacteria balance and control fungal overgrowth.
The Bottom Line
That was the top 10 thrush home remedies for babies. Remember to always be careful in administering any treatment for your baby. Always check for allergies and make sure everything is sanitized. We wish your baby a speedy recovery!
Can’t afford a trip to the doctor? Learn all about natural remedies using things you can find at home.
Grab your own copy of The Home Doctor: Practical Medicine for Every Household written by Dr. Maybell Nieves, Dr. Rodrigo Alterio & Claude Davis.