An infant can develop a vaginal yeast infection from an overgrowth of the fungi that thrive naturally in and on the body. Oral thrush, a yeast infection of the mouth, can lead to vaginal yeast infection when the fungi is passed through the feces and makes contact with the vagina. Caregivers should confer with a health care provider before attempting treatment of an infant yeast infection.
Caregivers can reduce yeast in the vaginal area by keeping the area clean and dry. This may not be enough to cure the infection but it is important in fighting it and preventing future infections. Always wipe the baby from front to back to keep infectious agents found in feces away from the vagina. This not only includes yeast but also harmful bacteria. Keep the baby as dry as possible by changing soiled diapers often. Bathe the baby in a warm bath with two to three tablespoons of baking soda or colloidal oatmeal to reduce irritation caused by the yeast infection.
Topical antifungal creams are the most likely form of medication a doctor will recommend. While these are available over-the-counter, it is important to discuss the right type to purchase and the frequency and amount of application. Creams like clotrimazole are often suitable for use in an infant. This antifungal cream is applied to the affected area at least once per day, such as before bed, for about seven to 10 days. Vaginal antifungal suppositories should never be used in an infant unless suggested by a health care provider, which is unlikely.
Oral Antifungal Medication
A severe or persistent vaginal yeast infection may be treated with a prescription oral antifungal pill or solution. This is the same medication used to treat an oral yeast infection. Oral antifungals are generally taken for 10 days, but length of treatment depends on the brand and the prescribing doctor's determination.
Probiotics are "good" bacteria that help regulate "bad" bacteria and fungus, such as yeast, inside the body. Yogurt contains lactobacilli, a healthy bacteria. When an infant is old enough to eat soft foods, a caregiver can offer a small serving of yogurt on a daily basis to help restore the infant's vaginal flora. The flora is the normal bacteria and fungal balance in the vagina. Ask a health care provider about using a probiotic drink or powder with an infant. These are available at health food stores and some pharmacies but the dosing amount should be determined by a qualified health care provider.