When my youngest daughter had her first yeast infection, it was a few days before we put two and two together and recognized what was going on. Infant yeast infection symptoms may be different than adult symptoms, and treatment options will vary. If you suspect your infant may have a yeast infection, here are some common symptoms and treatments that you may want to know about.
Infant Yeast Infection Symptoms
Dr Sears points out that the most tell-tale symptom of a yeast infection in an infant is red patches on the bottom. Some parents, myself included, have been confused between a yeast infection and more basic diaper rash, so the patchy presentation is important to note.
In addition to a rash on the infant’s bottom, a yeast infection may present as thrush (yeast in the mouth) in an infant. This is slightly more common in breastfed babies, but may occur in formula fed infants as well. BabyCenter notes that thrush will present with white, rather than red, patches inside the mouth.
Both types of yeast infection may cause discomfort in baby, which you’ll notice by an increase in crying or fussiness on the breast or while having a diaper changed.
Infant Yeast Infection Treatments
There are a variety of treatments for infant yeast infections, and the appropriate one for your child will depend on the severity and location of the yeast.
If your breastfed infant is suffering from thrush, you’ll want to treat yourself and your child. When I catch a thrush infection before it becomes full-blown, I’ve had success with increasing the amount of probiotics in my diet and adding probiotics to baby’s diet (once he or she is old enough). La Leche League recommends Nystatin, Miconazole or gentian violet as treatments for mom that will also treat the yeast in baby, but your doctor may need to prescribe something stronger as well. The key is that to treat thrush in an infant, mom needs treatment, too.
If the yeast infection appears to be isolated to the diaper region, BabyCenter recommends an anti-fungal cream, which is slightly different than a regular diaper rash cream. You may also want to discuss with the pharmacist any additional over-the-counter treatments that might help. My pharmacist noted that some parents experience success with probiotics spread directly on baby’s bottom. If over-the-counter treatments do not seem successful, your doctor may want to prescribe medication.
Successfully identifying and treating a yeast infection can result in a happier, healthier baby.
Ask Dr. Sears; Diaper Rash; http://www.askdrsears.com/html/11/T081400.asp
BabyCenter; Thrush in Babies; http://www.babycenter.com/0_thrush-in-babies_92.bc?page=2
La Leche League; Thrush/Yeast and Breastfeeding; http://www.llli.org/FAQ/thrush.html
BabyCenter; Yeast Diaper Rash; http://www.babycenter.com/0_yeast-diaper-rash_10913.bc?page=2