33 answers

Baby with Thrush

My son is three and a half months old and we have been dealing with small amounts of thrush in his mouth since his 2 month check up. He was put on nystatin for ten days and then I refilled that to no avail.. Then I asked to be treated also even though I have no symptoms. So, I also used the nystatin but it was a cream for my breasts and nipples.. It was hard though because my son nurses so often and I had to wipe it off so frequently that I don't know how much it was effective. Anyway, he was given another dose of ten days of nystatin and I also refilled that and am just at the end of it.... I am at my wits end because the thrush is still in his mouth!!!!! I don't think that it bothers him much but I want to get rid of it and refuse to put him on nystatin again.... Has anyone had any experience with gentian violet for thrush treatment? I know that it stains the baby's mouth and my nipples but I would rather have that then continue on this medicine that does not work..... I've heard that it works but it's just messy... I've also read about diflucan but I think that I'd rather try the natural remedy first before I bring him back to the doctor to pay another co-pay and have them tell me what I already know! Anyway, my doctor is very all-natural so I'm surprised that she hasn't mentioned the gentian violet but at the same time am not because she gets paid to sell the drugs..... If anyone has used the gention violet and has any suggestions that would help, I'd really appreciate it. I'm so sick of this thrush and giving my baby medication four times a day! Thanks...


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I had a baby who got thrush right after she was born. I did two rounds of Nystatin which did not work at all and then spoke more with my doctor about it and he said as long as it doesn't seem to bother her, and she was not having trouble eating, that it would go away on it's own, which is exactly what happened. Good luck, sometimes I think it bothers us more than it bothers the little ones so maybe just try to wait awhile with no meds and see if it goes away on it's own.

had the very same issue and the gentian violet cleared it in one treatment.Just watch out it really stains!

My first son had thrush for MONTHS...and we gave him the medicine religiously...I never got it, but it only went away on its own, and, ironically, when I stopped giving him the meds! He seems (and seemed) to have no problems with it, so unless there's some concern (long term effects? eating poorly? you're passing it back and forth?) I don't know that it's anything to worry about.

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When my son got thrush I used the gentian violet, it worked very well for us. I put some on my finger or a q-tip and used that to put it in his mouth, just a little bit a couple of times a day, you don't want him to swallow it. It usually comes with directions, so I followed them pretty closely. We used it for about a week and it cleared up very nicely. My doctor actually recommended using that first so did it and it worked. Another thing he suggested was if you use nursing pads to change them often. I have also found a webstie that gives lots of homeopathic remedies so i am putting the link here for you, good luck!! http://www.candida-cure-recipes.com/home-remedy-for-thrus...

We did nystan for one week, still had thush did the blue mouth, the color faded in two days and so did the thrush.
Since then we have also been sterlizing nipples and pacifers daily to make sure they are clean.
As for your breast, I really do not have clue- if he take the bottle at all, I would pump and bottle feed for a day allowing your nipples to clear up too.
just my journey! Q

I second the acidolphilus idea. I take a medication for my asthma that gives me thrush in my mouth. After months of dealing with the side effects of the thrush pills that I had to suck on 5 times a day, I started looking for alternatives. The acidolphilus was great! I used the powder and made a paste that I spread all over in my mouth and let it sit for a few minutes and then swallowed. The thrush was under control in a couple of days and now I just have to eat a yogurt(no sugar) twice a day to keep it at bay. Hope he's feeling better soon. Amy

with our first son we used gentian violet and it worked with one dose, they actually did it in the office. then with our second they used diflucan and that worked well too, they also put me on something because i was sore.

good luck, i feel your pain!

Our dd had thrush once as a baby and it was the one time my husband took her to the pediatrician instead of me. Our group has this great "older guy" who sometimes loves to prescribe home remedies instead of prescription medication. He told my husband to use gentian violet and it would clear up. My dh ran out and bought it, brought our baby home and administered the solution and then called me at work to fill me in. I was furious that he didn't give us a prescription and even more so once I saw her, but we took some pictures (you will have to) and sure enough, it cleared up and never came back. It is a mess, but it worked for us. I guess the old guy knows something after all. :)

Good Luck!

My daughter had thrush almost from day one and honestly I didn't even know it was thrush until my sister who works in a clinic told me when she was a month old. I know sometimes formula leaves a residue, but this was more than just a residue.

We brough her in and it was thrush. She was prescribed a swish and swallow medicine to use for 10 days, but it didn't do anything for her. 2 weeks later we were given another medicine that she was to use for 14 days. We were at day 10 and it seemed to get better. However I think that maybe it cleared up on its own. My doctor said that it usually clears up around 2-3 months, but the medicine probably helped!!

Sorry I don't remember the names of the medications - so I probably no help (I think one was the Nystatin - but I am not sure).

My doctor said we could have tried the Gentian Violet, but I didn't want to because it stains everything and makes a mess.

Good luck and I hope everything goes ok..

Have you tried just plain yogurt? Or acidophillis (sp?)? You can go to your local health store and get natural whole milk plain yogurt, which has acidophilis in it. You just smear the inside of the mouth, and you might want to check the butt area, as the yeast is most likely in the digestive tract. You can put the yogurt on the butt, too. Also, you can put it on your nipples, and as it is not a drug, and is safe for baby, you won't have to wipe it off every time. You can also take the acidoph capsules to ward off any of the yeast that might be in your body. It's totally harmless, and can be taken as part of any daily vitamins you might use. Good luck!

P.S. If your baby uses a pacifier, you might want to get a brand new one and smear yogurt on that, too.

If you really want to get rid of the thrush quickly and permanently, don't even mess around with nystatin or things that "might help." Just get some diflucan -- it will knock out the infection right away and you and baby will both be much happier. Sometimes drugs are the best and most effective remedy.

Hi Melissa,

There is a product that Melaleuca makes. It is called Melaleuca oil. It is in their entire dental line. From mouthrinse to dental floss to toothpaste to the oil itself.

Avoid sugar, alcohol, yeast breads products, cheese, and vinegar products.

Our oil may also be used by infants and pregnant woman in a VERY diluted form.

The oil itself kills e-coli, staff, strept, salmonella, pseudomonas on contact. I have seen it do amazing things.

Let me know if you want to learn more.


Yeah the Nystatin contains sugar, and since yeast thrives on sugar and its becoming resistant to the nystatin, it just won't work.

www.kellymom.com has great info on using gentian violet and on thrush in general. Here is what I did both times we got thrush, and it was cleared up in a matter of days.

Get the gentian violet, and dip a q-tip in, then paint your babies mouth with it, top, bottom, gums, tongue, everything until his whole mouth is purple. Then do the same to both of your nipples, but never re-dip the q-tip, use an ew one for each nipple and for his mouth soas not to contaminate the bottle or a part thats doesn't already ahve thrush.

THEN go get the acidophilus caplets you can break open, and put a bit of the powder on yoru finger and put it in his mouth, and you start taking two caplets three times a day. Acidophilus is a probiotic, which will fight the thrush, a bad bacteria, out of your body. Then when the thrush is gone, just slowly 'wean' your self off it, drop to one caplet twice a day, then one caplet a day, and the nstop if you want. You can give your baby just a bit on your finger once or twice a day, but he will get hte probiotics through your milk as well, but at first I'd give him a bit on your finger or on his tongue to fight it off quicker.

It should only take one application of hte gentian violet to get rid of the thrush, and the acidophlus I'd continue taking for a couple weeks. but check otu kellymom.com for more great info.

I went through Thrush with my two children. I took them to THEIR Pediatrician and he gave me the Violet for the kids and told me to use it as well! The doctor should have treated you at the same time. I would skip YOUR doctor and head to a pediatrician. I would push the doctors for the Violet. Doctors get insentives from drug makers, so watch out for that. This could be why he got put on the nystatin 4 times a day and you got the cream instead,plus it cost more than the Violet. Plus, they knew you'd have to buy more nystatin. There are no reasons to give your new baby meds 4 times a day when in 2-3 days the Thrush would be gone with the Violet. Go stand up for your baby and you! Your baby will be glad you did and so will you! Good Luck!

had the very same issue and the gentian violet cleared it in one treatment.Just watch out it really stains!

First of all, doctors do not get paid for prescribing drugs. They get paid for seeing patients and helping them get better, so don't talk about your doctor like she has some ulterior motive. I'm sure she wants your child to get better. If I were you I would take your son back to the doctor and ask her about the natural remedy. How do you know that it is safe to give this remedy to a child under 1 year. It's better to be safe. Plus, she might have some other ideas that would work if you let her know your concern and frustration. I hope your son gets better soon.

I used genetian violet with success for thrush. You have to paint it on both your baby's mouth and your nipples (use cotton swabs)for it to be effective, and do it about 3 times a day for 7-10 days. Yes, it is very purple and does stain. Put those little bibs on your baby to catch the purple drool. And be advised that people you see on the street WILL ask you what the heck is wrong with your purple-mouthed child! For the staining, I washed the clothes in cold water and hung in the sun, and that took care of all the stains. I hope the genetian violet works, because there are no nasty side effects with it -- except for the stains!

I just finished dealing with all of this. I tried the nystatin and it didn't work for me. I used the gentian violet for one week and have not had a problem since. I put it on 2 times a day morning and night and that was it. My daughter nursed and it got messy (I would suggest having your son wear something that you don't mind having turn purple. It will stain!) and I slept with out anything on top so that my chest would have a chance to dry out at night, once again, sleep on a dark towel (I now have a purple stain on my mattress, didn't care about the sheet but the purple spot on the new mattress is a bummer.), use breast pads, this will keep your bra and clothes from getting stained. I am so glad that someone told me about this stuff. It is wonderful! Oh, one more tip, if you have any milk that you pumped while your son has had thrush, dump it. He could get it back by drinking the milk. I sadly had a lot that I had to dump. Good luck! Let me know if you need any more advice, support or what ever.

I have used gentian violet and it works!!! My son had thrush and the Nystatin didn't work at all, but with in 72 hours of taking the gentian violet, the thrush was completely gone. The only problem, is that it stains. I wouild reccomend administering it when your baby is undressed.

Thrush is a mild yeast infection indicating that the balance of bacteria in his colon is off. Nystatin will simply make this problem worse.

The answer is Acidophilus. Acidophilus is good bacteria that you can put back into his system. It is available everywhere (all natural food and vitamin stores).

Buy the powdered acidophilus, dip your clean finger in the powder and put your finger in his mouth to suck the powder off. Do this a few times each day. The yeast (thrush) will clear up in a day or so, but you should keep giving it to him for about a month to ensure that enough bacteria has been replaced to reduce the risk of other yeast and fungal infections in the future (rashes, eczema, ear infections and sore throats).

If your son is bottle fed, you will want to continue acidophilus until he is off of the formula. Formula has all kinds of yeast-producing products in it, including corn sweeteners. Once he gets to the age of chewing, you can buy it in chewable children's form.

Look up acidophilus on the internet to find out more about it.

My first son had thrush for MONTHS...and we gave him the medicine religiously...I never got it, but it only went away on its own, and, ironically, when I stopped giving him the meds! He seems (and seemed) to have no problems with it, so unless there's some concern (long term effects? eating poorly? you're passing it back and forth?) I don't know that it's anything to worry about.

My son had thrush and we used gention violet, it worked great. cleared it up within a few days. You just have to be careful when administering it and when they nurse - because it stains everything! If he drools it will stain his clothes/bibs etc. . .Good luck it is a much easier cure than using the medication!

You need to try Monostat! I know it sounds icky, but our pediatrician said Nystatin is a joke because the yeast is resistant to it, and that Monostat treats the same kind of yeast. Since our pediatrician recommended this, I would try it in a heartbeat, and it worked for us right away. Take one stick of Monostat, and just cut off a small amount (smaller than pea size), rub it between your fingers to heat it up enough so you can spread it on the yeast area. I'm really surprised Nystatin is still being prescribed, since we made this discovery about 7 years ago. Good luck!

We used gentian violet for thrush with both our daughters (2 and 4 years old now) and it worked great. We still use it from time to time on butt rashes (no messing around this stuff kills yeast in a few applications). Some tips for use: be sure to use a Q-tip for easy, accurate application, be sure to cover changing area with an old towel or blanket you care not if it gets stained (yes, gentian violet stains and it doesn't ever come out), be sure to tell anyone who might change a diaper for you about it because your child's butt will be bright purple for several days and you don't want your care provider to freak out (learned this one the hard way--funny story). Apply to affected areas until you no longer see the rash. Last piece of advice, we also found that cutting out extra sugar consumption (for lactating mother and child) and corn syrup sweetened items and using a daily probiotic almost eliminated the problem altogether. Good luck and I hope this helps!

I am a SAHM, married with two beautiful daughters almost 2 and almost 4.

I never had to deal with thrush, for which I am grateful. But I have heard that you eating active culture yogurt, or taking acidophilus can help a lot, as can cutting refined sugar out of your diet. Thrush is a fungus, and it needs sugar to thrive. If you're not eating it, your baby isn't either. I have also heard that gentian violet works well, but have never needed to try it.

I love the nurse's response -always treating the problem and not he source - typical from people who are continually getting bomarded with funds from the pharma industry -
**If you can get ahold of some good quality - kefir (mother of all yoghurts) or some heavy doses of probiotics and avoid all refined sugar & wheat products - for a bit as well! the probiotics will go through your breastmilk to your bub!!
Best of luck -Cheers, L.

I used violet with my daughter. Great stuff, yes it is messy, but it's worth it. It's cheaper to buy q-tips in the Dollar store than to deal with the thrush. Remember to change each side of the q-tip when applying. Do not dip the end in the medication after putting in your son's mouth. Keep your nipples clean and dry. Thrush survives in dampness. If you do not have success with this treatment, or continue using it properly, it may go through his system and end up on his bottom which is more painful, and difficult to take care of.

My son also had thrush when he was an infant. We did several rounds with the nystatin to no avail. Then we heard about gentian violet. We actually used it every other day for about 3 applications & the thrush went away and didn't come back! I think it is definitely worth trying. Just remember to always have a burp cloth handy because the purple will come out when he drools too & can stain your clothes, his bedding, his clothes, etc. But it is a small price to pay if you can get rid of the thrush!

Good luck!

Hello. My baby was born with thrush and I was nursing him as well. It took two months to resolve the issue. Most drs. start with Nystatin and it is not all that effective. My drs. office then gave me diflucan but was giving me the dose recommended for vaginal infections which is inefficient and not what is recommended. My baby had to take it as well. I was symptomatic and it was very painful to nurse. So, I then got tested and found I had bacterial and yeast on my breasts and was able to go to a compound pharmacy and get a cream made that treated for all. I had a hard time getting the Pediatrician and OB/GYN to treat at the same time appropriately and it was very frustrating considering they did not seem that knowledgeable and I brought up the testing and compound treatment. My breastfeeding consultant was very helpful. I also went to the health food store and got acidophilus tablets and that seemed to help.

Good luck!

Good luck.

I had a baby who got thrush right after she was born. I did two rounds of Nystatin which did not work at all and then spoke more with my doctor about it and he said as long as it doesn't seem to bother her, and she was not having trouble eating, that it would go away on it's own, which is exactly what happened. Good luck, sometimes I think it bothers us more than it bothers the little ones so maybe just try to wait awhile with no meds and see if it goes away on it's own.

I had the same issues with my first born child. She developed thrush around 2 mo old and we battled it until she was 9mo. old I believe. The worst part was that I also got it via breast feeding which made the feeds painful. We did 2 rounds of Nystatin, with no results (I found out that Nystatin has sugar in it which yeast loves...). I did try gentian violet and it was messy. I would put it on myself before feeding her and that was the least messy way to get it in her mouth. If you research it more you will see that it is a carcinogen, which is probably why your Dr. won't recommend it. However, if you don't use it for a prolonged period of time, it should be okay. Use your best judgement. I had to go on Diflucan to rid my milk ducts of the yeast and it did work, but it is a very high dose (2 pills the first day and then one daily for a week I think) compared to the one pill for a vaginal yeast infection. I hope you can avoid getting it from him, that made feedings extermely painful!

Look at your diet as well... cut out as much sugar and refined white flour products as possible. It is what the yeast lives for! :)
Hope this helps! A.

Hi Melissa - Reading your story brought back memories of my daughter (now 11yrs old) as a 6 month old. She had thrush for months - we tried multiple courses of Nystatin, tried everybody's home remedies and even tried the Gentian Violet treatment and every kind of cream for the breast as well. I was so very tired of all the treatments too. Guess what finally worked? The Diflucan. We were sent to an infectious disease specialist at Children's Hospital and he knew right away that she needed to try it. She took a very small dose of it for a limited time and it completely cleared up !!! I was so thankful. It is a very expensive drug so I hope that you have insurance. It never returned and she is a very healthy little girl. Blessings. J.

I feel for you--I've been there and it is very difficult to get rid of! I've heard good things about the gentian violet, but it did not work for my son and I. I ended up taking the diflucan, but I also had to wean him and I don't rememmber if the diflucan was a factor in that. We had other medical issues too. It certainly wouldn't hurt to try the gentian violet. It must be pretty safe; our nurse practitioner recommended it to us. Good luck!

My daughter had the same problem with thrush when she was your son's age! It can be really frustrating! She was on the nystin FOREVER. Finally my doctor prescribed gentian violet. Yes it always looked like she had been sucking on a grape popsicle. But the thrush went away. Try it, because for some reason we are immune to the popular antibiotics. She's 15 years old now, and her mouth is pink like everyone else and she doesn't have thrush anymore and never got it again!

I just had to put in my 2 cents since people provide so much wrong information. I'm a nurse and we use Nystatin on adults and I've never seen it not work (or make things worse). Also my daughter had thrush when she was 2-3 mo old and I got it (OUCH is all I can say). I used Nystatin by wiping her mouth with it on a washcloth and also had to apply the same stuff (not cream) on my nipples, so I didn't have to wash it off when she was feeding. It cleared up in about a week or so. Obviously, it doesn't work for everyone but it is a medicine that in most cases IS effective for thrush, that's why it's prescribed (NOT so that doctors make money). People are too paranoid these days. Good luck with your little one. From me having thrush, I can tell you it's one of the worst pains I felt (esp when my daughter was feeding on the affected breast).

Keep any extra sugar out of his diet (primarily sucrose and corn syrups) if he's getting juices, formula, pediolite, etc., stick with natural sugars predominantly from fresh fruit juices. If you are feeding him anything solid, steer clear of wheat products. When sweetening foods, use moderate amounts of honey (not recommended for children under 2 years), 100% pure fruit juices, 100% pure maple syrup, etc. www.buyactivatedcharcoal.com sells medical grade (a.k.a. activated charcoal) it is a natural anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, and anti-viral product. I would recommend having him drink a liquid suspension (mix 1 teaspoons in 8oz of water 3-4 times daily (or use the gray-water poured off the top of the charcoal mixture after letting it settle for 20-30 minutes). It will not hurt him, but it can be constipating, make sure he drinks plenty of fluid throughout the day. If you are giving him dairy formula try switching to soy... or simply ensure that he drinks a small amount of water at the end of each feeding to rinse his mouth out.

You need to wash your nipples before and after each feeding with a mild soap, peroxide, or rubbing alcohol (unless this is painful).

Also, the above diet recommendations, may be good for you. If you are getting too much sugar, wheat, or dairy in your diet, this may be affecting the bacteria/fungi on your skin and or in your breast milk. Try cutting back on these foods and see if it helps with his thrush.

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