Remedies for Healing your Baby's Yeast Infection
Yeast infections are most common in adult women, but many are unaware that this type of infection can be seen in young children as well. The diaper area is often the ideal place for bacteria to thrive, being a skin fold and often a warm, damp environment! Other areas your little one may be growing yeast are the armpit, neck, mouth, ears, and nose. An overgrowth of this fungus can be caused by a variety of issues, including decreased digestive secretions, dietary factors, decreased immunity, prolonged antibiotic use, impaired liver function, and imbalanced bowel flora. Candida albicans - a type of fungus found in the genital and intestinal tract - often causes various issues in our body if disproportioned, including yeast infections.
The vagina is often self-regulating but when imbalance goes on for too long, deeper issues arise that need more attention and care to heal. A recurring external imbalance is often the sign of ongoing internal imbalance so it’s imperative to treat the condition in a holistic way.
*it’s best to implement all nutrition and lifestyle suggestions right away - when it comes to herbal remedies and supplementation, try just a few options at a time to see what works best. Use your intuition - you know your baby best and what may work best for them & their body.
STICK TO SAVORY FOODS -nothing yeast forming/high in sugar or too many grains until it clears. Find a fresh local yogurt with no additives and rub directly on the baby’s vagina. If your baby/toddler is consuming solids and has had dairy products (generally 9 months or later) have the baby consume yogurt daily. You can also use breast milk for this too (weird, I know, but loaded with good bacteria). Other options would be applying pure coconut oil
REMOVE MOLD AND YEAST CONTAINING FOODS- Individuals with chronic yeast should avoid foods with a high content of yeast or mold, including cheese, dried fruits, nuts, and peanuts. Even though many with chronic candida or yeast may be able to tolerate these foods, it is still advised to avoid them at least until the situation is under control.
REDUCE/ELIMINATE SUGAR INTAKE- Excess sugar and simple carbs will feed yeast and provide it with an environment to thrive in, so controlling and limiting sugar intake will be very beneficial in terms of recurring yeast infections. This means you need to restrict the obvious sugar and those foods that may not be obvious to you, such as grains and pasta because they are quickly turned into sugar during digestion. High sugar fruits are not a good idea either, such as pineapples, bananas, apples, mangos, and dates. Stick to berries such as blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries, as these generally are the fruits lowest in sugar, until the issue subsides. If you are breastfeeding, you need to eliminate your sugar and yeast intake to avoid passing excesses on to your baby through your milk.
IMMUNE BOOSTING FOODS- If your child is having recurring yeast infections, it may be due to a weakened or compromised immune system. By reducing antibiotic use and consuming a diet full of immune boosting foods, we help the body replenish and give it the necessary strength to combat infection. Vitamin C is going to help your child’s immune system miraculously.
Vitamin C rich foods: strawberries, citrus fruits, papaya, black currant, kiwi, bell pepper, kale, and broccoli. Foods high in vitamin C are extremely alkalizing and provide the body with a positive internal environment that infection cannot thrive in.
Garlic is also an amazing food to incorporate in order to boost immunity. Garlic contains allicin, a substance that is antiviral, antifungal and antibacterial. It also acts as an antioxidant, being rich in sulfur-containing amino acids. incorporate it in as many meals as possible, such as stir-fry, soups, sauces, and salads. Aim for 1-2 cloves/day. It is best consumed raw, chopped small and consumed immediately to benefit from the allicin. If your baby is eating solids, try pureeing a small piece of garlic into their food. Or, chop finely and mix with some raw, unpasteurized honey.
IMPROVE DIGESTIVE SECRETION- An important step in treating chronic yeast in many cases is improving digestive secretions. Hydrochloric acid (HCl), pancreatic enzymes, and bile all inhibit the overgrowth of yeast and prevent its penetration into the absorptive surfaces of the small intestine.
To increase your child’s digestive secretion: avoid carbonated or ice cold beverages, reduce consumption of heavy meals, make sure they are mindful when eating (deep breathing before and after meals, the importance of chewing!), stay hydrated throughout the day, and reduce overall meat consumption, processed and fast foods.
Apple cider vinegar also helps to boost stomach acid, it’s also anti-yeast - a simple trick is to add a tablespoon to smoothies - it actually helps to enhance the flavor as well! Consumption of apple cider vinegar in small amounts is appropriate for older toddlers, but may not be for babies. It can also be applied topically, diluted in water (1:10 ratio of ACV: water).
APPLE CIDER VINEGAR SITZ BATH - helps to regulate and balance ph. Add half a cup to a small sitz bath & soak for 20 mins -2-3 x should do the trick!
COCONUT OIL - can be taken internally & applied topically. It’s antifungal and antimicrobial properties will help to clear out offenders and rebalance the vaginal microbiome.
AVOID PROLONGED ANTIBIOTIC USE- Prolonged antibiotic use is believed to be the most crucial factor in the development of yeast overgrowth in most cases. Antibiotics strongly suppress the immune system and normal intestinal bacteria, which therefore promotes the overgrowth of yeast. If your child is being prescribed antibiotics on a frequent basis, this might destroy the good bacteria or some of the necessary bacteria that keep yeast and bacteria balanced in the body. Though in certain cases antibiotic use is needed, it is essential to understand that the overuse and reliance on antibiotics is what will ultimately contribute to recurrent health issues, including yeast overgrowth.
We must also consider the heavy use of antibiotics in animals raised for food, as 80% of antibiotics are used in factory farmed animal products. If consumed, this contributes to our antibiotic exposure. Make sure to purchase certified organic animal products, such as poultry, turkey, and pasture raised eggs.
KEEP IT CLEAN - Frequent diaper changes are necessary in order to keep your toddler’s diaper area dry. This will help prevent yeast infections, especially at night. Allow “air time” just after diaper changes to let their skin fully dry before putting a diaper back on. Use safe and soothing products on your baby, and look into the use of cloth diapers and clean wipes, free of chemicals. If you are unable to use cloth diapers, there are also natural chlorine free diapers on the market.
Frequently check and cleanse pacifiers, bottle nipples, and teething toys, as this is extremely important in order to reduce the likelihood of the baby developing yeast in the mouth. Older pacifiers can harbor yeast growth, so check your child’s favorite and replace it if necessary. Replacing bottle nipples is often necessary as well. Like pacifiers, bottle nipples are a risk factor for the development of an oral yeast infection. Both pacifiers and bottle nipples should be washed in very hot water or the dishwasher, as this will help kill the yeast. If you use pacifiers- make sure they do not contain BPA or other harmful substances. Look for options free from synthetics and other toxic substances.
There are a ton of natural baby care product recipes you can use to apply to the yeast infection in order to promote healing and relieve any discomfort your baby may be experiencing. Calendula Ointment tends to be a safe & easy option.
Below is a recipe you can easily create at home:
· 1 3/4 cups boiling water (or distilled) (cooled but still warm)
· 1 tbsp of pure aloe vera
· 1 tbsp of pure witch hazel extract
· 1 tbsp of liquid castile soap
· 1 tsp calendula flowers
· 10-15 drops of grapefruit seed extract
· 1 tbsp of olive or almond oil
Mix all of the above ingredients and store in a mason jar (keep in the fridge). Apply the mixture directly to the affected area.
PROMOTE SLEEP - It may be difficult to put your baby to sleep if they are feeling discomfort in the infected region. This is where you can make use of aromatherapy. Lavender, bergamot, and cedarwood are all relaxing for the body and help to promote a restful sleep. For babies older than three months, you can add lavender essential oil to coconut oil during a massage. Read your baby a book, dim the lights, turn on relaxing music or white noise and gently caress or rock them in order to provide the best and most ideal environment for sleep as possible.
Grapefruit seed extract is an antifungal and antibacterial herbal remedy commonly used for candida and yeast overgrowth. It can be used topically or orally, depending on where the yeast is growing. Rich in nutrients and phytochemicals, grapefruit seed extract trumps many other natural antifungals because it helps to heal your body, too. One of its most important compounds is the bioflavonoid hesperidin, a powerful immune system booster.
Apply a mixture of 10 drops with 1 ounce of water to any affected area using a cloth or spray bottle.
Calendula- Also known as pot marigold, calendula cream (which contains calendula oil) is a tried and true homeopathic remedy for yeast infections, especially on the diaper area. It not only has powerful antifungal properties but it's also soothing to the skin. Homeopathic Calendula cream can usually be found in natural health stores, or to make your own simply combine fresh calendula or calendula oil with shea butter or coconut oil and apply when needed or 1-2x per day until yeast disappears.
Lemongrass essential oil has strong antifungal effects against candida and yeast overgrowth, and additionally is a very safe and effective option for people of all ages. As an antifungal and antiviral herb, lemongrass is an amazing option for treating the infection. To use on an external yeast infection, combine a few drops of pure essential lemongrass oil with one ounce of carrier oil and apply to the affected area 1-2/day.
Peppermint is antimicrobial and antibacterial plus it helps to support digestive function. Peppermint can be consumed as a daily infusion. To make an infusion, use 4/5 tbsp of fresh peppermint in a quart mason jar, cover with hot water and a lid. Let sit for 4-8 hours (or overnight) Strain and drink a cup or 2 during the day. A batch will stay fresh for 24-48 hours.
Probiotics- Unlike antibiotics, probiotics provide beneficial bacteria that promote health and overall well-being. It is best to supplement them during an infection and after a course of antibiotics, .70% of our immune system is in our gut, so taking care of our GI tract is vital. Probiotic use will not only help promote a healthy immune system but will balance the bacteria in the gut and build a healthy digestive tract, which is necessary in order to prevent future infection.
Dosage: 5-10 billion CFU’s/day depending on age look for probiotics with higher amounts of Lactobacillus acidophilus. Plus, add plenty of probiotic-rich foods like yogurt, sauerkraut, kefir, kimchi into your daily routine.
Probiotics can also be applied externally to help rebuild the vaginal microbiome. Simply break open a capsule and make a paste with a small amount of filtered water - apply directly to the vagina. This should take 2-3 days. You can also do this by slightly dissolving a probiotic capsule in a bit of water and insert it into the vagina (2-3 capsules over 2-3 days).
Vitamin C is an incredible antiviral agent and is wonderful for helping the body boost its immunity. Virus and infection cannot survive in a vitamin-C rich environment. Often times, when facing recurring yeast infections or infections in general, we may be dealing with a weakened immune system. Supporting the immune system with vitamin C through the diet and if necessary through supplementation, we are helping the body fight off infection.
Dosage: Though vitamin C is not toxic, it may cause loose bowels. Bowel intolerance will dictate dosage. Start with 250g and gradually increase. Add to water, a smoothie or diluted juice for your child and have them drink this throughout the day. If you notice your child is having loose bowels, decrease dosage to distinguish proper dosing.
Colostrum for treating yeast infections in children is one of the single greatest immune system products ever. It contains high amounts of immunoglobulins like IgA, which defends the mucous linings of the body. It has the capability to kill yeast, bacteria, and aid the body in the defense of a viral and bacterial attack. Consuming colostrum in addition to a probiotic will do wonders for your child. DOSAGE: depending on age. You can add it to water, smoothies, or yogurt.
Caprylic acid has antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal and anti-inflammatory properties, primarily used for eliminating the Candida albicans organism responsible for thrush. Taken internally, it helps naturally reduce yeast growth within the gastrointestinal tract while helping beneficial bacteria thrive. A higher population of “good bacteria” in the gut raises immune function and has numerous implications: lower inflammation levels, less risk for allergies, better brain function, improved hormonal health and much more. Because caprylic acid acts as a natural yeast-fighting agent, it’s believed that it can penetrate the cell membranes of candida yeast cells and cause them to die off, detoxifying the digestive tract and speeding up the healing process.
Dosage: age dependent. Follow label directions.