How to Clean a Baby’s Tongue


How to Clean Milk from Baby’s Tongue: Guide for New moms

If you are a first time mom, you will be surprised to see the baby’s tongue turning white and whiter with time at around age 4-5 months old. It’s important to know that it’s absolutely normal if the baby is not having a fever or other infection. Babies are pretty prone to infections due to their undeveloped immune system.

READ: What is White Thrush on Baby’s Tongue
Newborns often develop thrush on their tongues. The major reason for this problem is fungi called Candida Albicans which usually affect the babies during breastfeeding. Since breastfeeding is the only option when babies are very young, the new moms can only follow the baby hygiene tips to avoid such baby health and hygiene issues. Here are some tips to keep your baby’s tongue clean.

Light White Color is Not a Red Signal

When babies are completely dependent on breastfeeding for nutrition, the light white color of their tongue is pretty natural. You don’t need to turn on your fret mode in such situations.

No Need of Water Intake

Newborns or small babies should only be fed breast milk or formula milk. Feeding water can affect their still developing kidneys and make their body release excess amount of sodium. Avoid feeding water for your baby until 6 months and follow the doctor’s advice.

Tongue Cleaner: NO NO!

Be it a plastic tongue cleaner or a metal one: the soft tongue of your baby can’t tolerate it and hence there are chances of wound or infection. Therefore, avoid tongue cleaner till your baby is 12 month-old.

Should You Clean Baby’s Tongue? When to Start

New moms often ask should we clean baby tongue with any tool or fluid. Well, if the baby is less than 6 months then it’s a strict NO. Unless there is too much of white thrush. You may observe such white layer during 4-5 months. Always consult your doctor before trying to clean baby’s tongue but cleaning with a clean cotton cloth once in 3-4 days is not harmful.

How to Clean Baby Tongue Thrush (Below 6 Months)

Clean Cloth

Clean your hand properly with soap or sanitizer and gently wash baby’s tongue with a wet cotton cloth or sterile gauze. Take care of the hygiene otherwise, you will end up risking your baby’s health. Try this method to clean your baby’s tongue and gums while he is busy. Avoid wet wipes and cleaning his tongue and gums just after he completed his meal.
1. Don’t force baby to open the mouth and don’t push your finger till soft palate of the mouth otherwise baby will throw up.
2. Don’t use tooth brush not even baby’s tooth brush.

Mouth Paint

Thrush in babies is caused due to fungus. Usually, babies get mouth thrush at around 4-5 months age; especially the exclusively breastfed babies. The babies drink breast milk as their only food and no water so the thrush is a common thing. You will need to talk to doctor about this.
My elder son was prescribed a gentle medicine Candid Mouth Paint which I used to apply on his tongue with a clean finger; once every night for 5-6 days. I got it prescribed and any such medications must be taken after doctor’s consultations. Such medications are anti-fungal and for oral use that mainly contain clotrimazole.

Cleaning Baby Tongue: 6 months to 12 months

Usually babies wont have white tongue issue after they start solids and start drinking water. But just in case if they are fussy about water intake which is also a pretty common thing, then they will still have a little white thrush on tongue.

Citric Fruits

When the fungus called Candida Albicans grows, the inflammation also increases. You can try citrus fruits that are rich in Vitamin C and Vitamin E to overcome the inflammation. Just 35 mg of Vitamin C can do the work. So, excess amount of citric diet can cause acidity in the babies. When the baby starts eating solid foods, you can try the citrus fruits to clean his thrush in tongue and gums. Oranges, peaches, berries, blackberries, kiwi, guava etc. are effective in cleaning baby tongue thrush.


warm water
A 6-month-old baby can drink water and it is the most easily available thing to clean his thrush. Lukewarm water can effectively flush out the thrush and you don’t need any prescription for that.

Cleaning Thrush:1-Year-Old or Older Babies

When your baby is 1-year-old, your worries related to his diet or home remedies also get a bit slashed. You can make him develop healthy practices for a good oral health. Teach your baby to clean the thrush with the brush himself or you can do it lightly as well. Don’t use the usual bristle brush. Rather choose the rubber bristle baby brush which you can wear on the finger.

Thrush in babies is not a major issue but not so minor as well to overlook. So, you can try a selection of things at home only to clean his thrush but you must be very careful and consider his age before going for an option. Also, it’s better to consult your baby’s doctor before trying anything at home for his oral health improvement.


About Author


An IT professional, a mom of two, Sapana had belly-only pregnancies in her life & has lost 15Kg weight twice. Along with fitness, Sapana is an expert in Indian names & has helped scores of Indian parents to shortlist suitable baby names by virtue of her years of expertise in Sanskrit origin names & logical approach towards cultures & trends during the name research. Drop a comment to get help from her.

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