Thrush on Baby’s Tongue – Reason & Cleaning Tips


Why is My Baby’s Tongue White?

Babies require a lot of attention on their hygiene and health. Have you notices the thrush on your baby’s tongue? Are you worried about white patches in your baby’s mouth?
About 1 to 8 months baby are more prone to this. It can occur in some elder babies too. Actually, it is a fungal infection which is caused by the fungi named Candida Albicans. Normally, it is present in our skin but in a small amount so – harmless.
Candida is a common infection in the mouth of babies and more prone to develop from the breast of lactating mothers. Sometimes, it can be painful during breastfeeding. This yeast infection develops in the damp, cold and humid environment where sunlight is needed for controlling heat & dryness. (And tongue has it all)
These are not usually serious but causes redness, sore throat tongue, and white patches may develop. You can easily treat it with medicine (provided – your kid loves medicines). So, better is – you just have to be cautious by maintaining hygiene during that time. Do you know the causes of its formation, symptoms, and easy recovery tips for baby’s tongue? Read it till the end to understand it well. Also, check when to reach the doctor if you see thrush on baby’s tongue.

What is Thrush/White Coating on Baby’s Tongue?

oral candidiasis
The white coating develops over your baby is a yeast Candida (not as candid as its name) it slowly grows in a larger amount and causes white patches on the tongue it is not confined to a single place it may grow to other portion also

What Causes Thrush in Your Baby?

Let’s begin with the reasons as listed here –
• Oral thrush is usually caused by intake of antibiotics medication. The antibiotics kill the healthy bacteria near your baby’s mouth which later on causes an increase in growth of Candida at that site.
• Due to baby’s immune system which is immature to fight against Candida and eventually causes increase levels of Candida.
• Poor hygiene may also cause this infection.
• It can also bypass from mothers breast to baby.

What Are the Symptoms of Thrush?

Do you know the ways to detect the problem if it arrives? Check in this part –
• Signs can develop suddenly as whitish lesions in the mouth which can’t be rubbed off easily.
• White patches on the roof of mouth or tongue and redness around the patches.
• It may look like ulcers or may bleed also if get severe.
• Loss of taste and difficulty in swallowing may occur.
• Poor weight gain, rashes over the nappy side.
• Sometimes, the baby is not able to throw the milk, back of the mouth due to Candida which may make her feel uncomfortable, irritated, or fretful.
• Creamy patches which are visible to eyes that may cause slight tongue tear like conditions.

How to Avoid Thrush on Baby’s Tongue?

• Change your breast pads or any clothing which comes in contact with the breast.
• Discard Pacifier, tethers, and nipple shields or use newer ones by replacing them every week.
• Daily steam sterilizer. Otherwise, you can put these things into boiling water so that all the fungus gets killed.
• Don’t use frozen milk, as thrush will survive more in cold temperature (told above in details) always use boil milk for your baby.
• Wash your hands with good soap after each nappy change.
• Use antifungal lotion on your hands before applying on baby
• Use separate towels and soaps for your baby.


Treatment of the problem is the must if your baby develops this problem. It is important for you to treat. Even when you feel that it get cured because it will re-infect mother at each feed. Here are some possible treatments, you can use for your baby –

How to Clean It?

• Squeeze off your finger and gently wipe your baby’s tongue, using a cotton swab inside your baby’s mouth. Use a soft and clean cotton cloth.
white piece of cotton clothe
• Use prescribed medication inside the mouth, making sure that every portion would get cover-up with medication. Continue using medication because the complete destruction of infection is needed due to chances of growing further.
• Wash your baby’s diaper area clothes in warm water with mild antibacterial/antifungal essential oil. As essential oils are mild and safe and leave a mild fragrance on the clothes.
• Sterilize anything which comes in contact.

Antifungal Cream

Please consult your doctor before applying any of these medicines. Miconazole cream and Candid Mouth Paint are two safe and effective options for this. A small amount can be applied to the nipple and Areola after each feed, which is easily absorbed by the skin. Ask your doctor how to use it.

Antibacterial Bath

You can use 2 or 3 drops of mild antibacterial essential oil in your bath which will help in your baby’s thrush.

When to See a Doctor?

Thrush is a matter of concern. As soon as you see even little white patches in baby’s mouth seek for medical advice from baby’s pediatrician. Your little baby can’t say anything so you have to notice this by yourselves. You will have to use medication prescribed by your doctor if you see no changes even after cleaning it as described above and more soreness at those patches develop. If neglected for long time it may start bleeding so do not neglect this.

Thrush on baby’s tongue or white part is easily recoverable (other than in above conditions, as written it when to see a doctor section). Happy parenting!


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.


  1. Pingback: How to Clean a Baby's Tongue | GoMama 24/7

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