Yeast Infection in Babies & Toddlers

Candida yeast is the most common causative agent of Candidiasis, which can affect people of practically any age group. Thus, even the newborns and toddlers are not free from this pesky fungal infection. In fact, Candida yeast infection in babies can take place while they are still inside their mother’s uterus or while their passage down the birth canal during labor. Therefore, Candida yeast infection is something that can cause serious health concerns in little babies in the absence of accurate diagnosis and prompt treatment.

Candida Yeast Infection in babies and toddlers
Image showing the most common areas for Candida Yeast Infection in babies and toddlers

Oral Yeast Infection in Babies & Toddlers:

The common type of Candida yeast infection in babies and yeast infection in toddlers is the one affecting the oral cavity. The oral yeast infection, more commonly known as oral thrush is a recurrent problem in a number of babies and small children. Mothers can play a role in passing on this infection to their child or in causing recurrent bout of oral thrush. Any infant can acquire this infection to their oral cavity while passing down the birth canal if their mother happens to be suffering from an ongoing vaginal yeast infection. Another way in which a mother can contribute to recurrent bouts of oral thrush is when they breastfeed their child who might be suffering from oral yeast infection, and some of the yeast fungus passes onto the skin in the breast region of the mother. Thus, even if the child recovers after receiving full treatment, they can always receive the fungus back from their mother during breastfeeding. Moreover, the infection can spread to the throat region and cause difficulty in swallowing. However, if the yeast infection in toddlers proves to be recurrent even after taking all possible preventive measures, then there might be something wrong with the immune system of the children concerned.


Diaper Rash Yeast Infection in Babies & Toddlers:

Another quite common type of Candida yeast infection in babies and toddlers is the rashes caused in the groin region due to the warm and moist conditions provided due to the use of diapers. However, parents must keep in mind that many, but not all, of the diapers rashes are caused by this yeast fungus. In fact, bacteria cause many of the diaper rashes, and thus opting for any antifungal medication ought to follow thorough diagnosis. However, when this yeast fungus causes the diaper rash, the most common symptom is the presence of red rashes that sometimes have raised borders as well. The raw and red rashes prove to be highly uncomfortable and even painful, causing considerable distress to the baby or toddler suffering from it. Apart from the redness, in some of the cases the yeast infection can also manifest itself in the form of puss-filled spots that are yellowish in color, and often tend to break out and turn flaky. The most effective way to prevent yeast infection in toddlers, in addition to babies, from happening is to keep the groin region clean and dry, and to ensure that the baby or toddler has unsoiled diapers on at all times.


Research About Yeast Infection Diaper Rash:

A 2005 study published by PubMed, states that diaper dermatitis, including Candida albicans yeast, were found to be 38-50% less in infants wearing breathable diapers compared to the standard diapers. Further experiments on adults confirmed the phenomenon. Candida albicans cells were also identified on the forearm, and were covered by either of two diaper patches, Candida appeared to be reduced by two thirds in the breathable patch.

Another study in 2003 by ‘Folia Microbiological’ reveals that specimens from affected areas of 60 infants with diaper dermatitis were obtained. Candida albicans (41) was the most common species and other organisms like C. Parapsilosis (8) were found. The occurrence of rash was significantly lesser with the disposable diapers as compared to cloth diapers.

The importance of hygiene is stressed by the two studies that confirm that Candida albicans was significantly reduced in breathable diapers. So, using breathable diapers and frequent changing, as well as breathable clothing is highly recommended to reduce the chances of diaper rash. Parents need to note not to grudge that extra expense with breathable diapers because it makes a great difference to the rashes that regularly occur in baby private parts due to diapers. Also diapers that are disposable would be a better option, as cloth diapers could increase the chances of getting rashes. This may be due to the material that a cloth diaper is made from or the type of detergent being used to wash it.


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Yeast Infection in Baby
Image showing a yeast infection rash on a babies bottom region.
Baby Yeast Infection
Image showing oral yeast infection inside a babies mouth.


Genital Yeast Infection in Toddlers:

Yeast infection in toddlers affecting the genital regions is common among the girls, and the most common symptom for this condition is the presence of a whitish vaginal discharge with the consistency of cottage cheese. Apart from the vaginal discharge, other common symptoms of genital yeast infection in toddlers and preadolescent girls include a persistent itching and irritating sensation, as well as, pain while passing urine. This type of infection might turn out to recurrent in many of these girls until they reach puberty and starts menstruating which leads to change in the general conditions, as well as, the natural microflora inside the vaginal canal.


Other Yeast Infections in Toddlers & Babies:

Yeast infection in babies and toddlers can also affect the nail bed in those who have a habit of sucking their nails, which provides a constantly warm and moist condition to the yeast that is present in large enough numbers on the skin surface. This infection can result in deformities of the nail bed, as well as, itching and discomfort in the web of the hand if it manages to spread. Yeast infection can also spread to the bloodstream and cause a bout of invasive Candidiasis, which can affect various internal organs such as brain, eyes, heart, and the kidneys. Systemic yeast infection is more common in underweight babies, while it also occurs in greater frequency in babies and toddlers having a large catheter attached to them. Yeast infection in toddlers can also occur after undergoing prolonged antibiotic treatment, which can kill off the beneficial bacteria and create an opportunity for the Candida yeast to take their place.



A number of effective antifungal medications such as Nystatin, Fluconazole, and Clotrimazole to mention a few are available to take care of yeast infection in babies and toddlers. Some of the infection types respond well to topical application, while the orally administered route is suitable for others. Please seek your doctors help immediately if your child has any sign of yeast infection, as they will suggest what treatment is most suitable for your child’s specific infection.



Candida Yeast – Book by Angela Kilmartin – 2002
Prevalence of Candida in Breathable Disposable Diapers – 2001 – by Akin F, Spraker M, Aly R, Leyden J, Raynor W, Landin W (Pediatr Dermatol)
Candida – Diaper Dermatitis – 2003 – by E. Dorko , S. Virágová, E. Pilipčinec, L’. Tkáčiková (Folia Microbiological)
Baby Skin: A Leading Dermatologist’s Guide – By Nelson Novick – 2000

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