You might not naturally associate yeast infections with babies and toddlers, but the fact is that they are one of the demographics most likely to get them! In this blog, we’ll discuss what causes a toddler yeast infection and how to use coconut oil as a natural yeast infection treatment.
What is a yeast infection?
Whether you know it or not, there is a fungus called Candida living on your body. It actually exists on in and on everyone’s body, typically in the mouth and intestines and on the skin. When the yeast grows out of control or in excess thanks to factors such as antibiotics, stress, or irritation that throw of the microbial environment of the body, a yeast infection occurs. These are very common and can affect adults and children, though babies and toddlers are especially susceptible to getting them.
What causes a toddler yeast infection
Yeast tends to thrive in warm, most environments, and tend to occur in areas of the body that stay moist.
In toddlers, these areas tend to include the armpits, the neck, the mouth, and the diaper area. Though toddlers are always on the move, it’s important to regularly change diapers, as sitting in a moist or soiled diaper can cause yeast to develop. Additionally, toddlers who are being potty trained may have frequent accidents than can also contribute to yeast infections.
Diaper rash or yeast infection?
At this point, given all the talk about diapers you may find yourself wondering how to tell the difference between a diaper rash and a yeast infection. These are the signs that help indicate it’s a yeast infection, not a diaper rash:
- It doesn’t get better despite using diaper rash cream.
- The irritation is in the front of the diaper area and is symmetrical on both sides where the skin touches (skin folds and thigh creases).
- You notice an overall redness with small, red dots or bumps around the edge of the redness.
Natural yeast infection treatment
The best way to treat yeast infection is to prevent them. Below, we’ll examine some of the best ways to do so. If things get past the point of prevention, however, there are natural yeast infection treatment options. We’ll also discuss those.
Preventing toddler yeast infections
One of the key ways to minimize the occurrence of toddler yeast infections is to regularly discuss the use of antibiotics with your child’s doctor. If prescribed too frequently, antibiotics can actually kill the “good” bacteria in your child’s body that help keep yeast at bay.
Other ways to prevent toddler yeast infections include the following:
- Regularly replace pacifiers. Older ones harbor yeast growth.
- Regularly replace bottle nipples, as older ones can contribute to the development of oral yeast infections.
- Wash currently used pacifiers and bottle nipples in very hot water (or in the dishwasher) to help kill yeast.
- Frequently change diapers, allowing for “air time” after diaper changes to allow skin to full dry before putting a diaper back on.
Treating toddler yeast infections
Generally speaking, skin yeast infections can be treated with antifungal ointments that are applied directly to affected areas of the body. Yeast infections that affect other parts of the body such as the mouth or that spread to other parts of the body can be treated orally with antifungal medications like fluconazole.
But, what if you want to try a more natural treatment? The good news is that coconut oil is an established antifungal. In fact, a 2007 lab study found that coconut oil helped kill a species of yeast (the Candida albicans strain). The study found that less coconut oil was needed to get rid of the yeast than the aforementioned fluconazole.
To use coconut oil for yeast infections, you can apply it topically or give it to your baby orally, either mixed with baby food or on its own in small amounts. We recommend using Pure Baby for either of these uses.
The good news is that most yeast infections typically resolve within two weeks of starting treatment. The bad news is simply that recurrence is fairly common.
If you notice that your toddler is one who continuously gets yeast infections, make an appointment with his or her doctor. It’s possible that reoccuring yeast infections indicate an underlying issue that needs to be treated at the source.