I am sorry to hear that your baby has a thrush! I am pretty sure my kids have some form of candida overgrowth and that they got it during pregnancy. Also, my flora was already messed up, my ex husband’s too, and as kids get their flora from parents in first year or so of their life, we had nothing to give at that point. I started realizing all this in the middle of my treatment and I just started freaking out. It’s so scary for myself as an adult to have this, but the thought that I transferred my health problem to my girls just got me big time. As I already went through it, I wanted to give you my take on it, and you see if you can use any of it or not.
First, stop freaking out! You are stressing your self further and you need to be OK so you can take care of your baby. Instead of freaking out, start analyzing situation and gather information and find things you do can change the bad in her life.
It’s impossible to keep small children on the same diet we do. Well, it wouldn’t be if they started on it right away but in most cases they did not. So now you must do baby steps. This is what I did with my girls. Small steps. You may be surprised what your baby may like, especially since you are mom, a very important person it its little life, and seeing you eat stuff it makes it seem like something special. I usually do not offer stuff directly to them very often. I pile up my plate, give them their meal and then they get curious and ask, and I tell them what it is, then they ask to try a little of it etc. Sometimes they like it right away, sometimes they don’t after several tries. I read tons about it and most agree that kids may take 4-5 attempts until they accept certain food. At the beginning I didn’t even think about them having plain kefir. I was trying to come up with ways to make it better tasting. But as I was drinking it they asked me what’s in my cup. I said kefir. One of my girls said she wants to try so I gave her a spoon of it. She made a face and said it was sour. I continued to enjoy it. Few more tries and they were eating my kefir instead of me, so soon I started making extra kefir and just gave them a cup of their own. We slowly migrated from “normal” kids food (and “normal” is written like that because it is considered normal today but it is not IMO) to colorful raw salads (which my girl who hates to eat and drives me insane with meals just LOVES and I think that sometimes colorful is what gets their attention), lots of green veggies, they even eat raw sauerkraut which they first started picking off my plate (oh and how I hate when someone is picking food off my plate but made it through just for their health), I bake stuff with half wheat and half buckwheat and oat bran flour and try to use more honey and less sugar, sometimes I manage to use none in a month. They get treats from time to time, mainly from grandparents and other people, but honestly by the time they are done with their meal at home, they don’t even remember to ask. I give them bone broth soups daily, basically everything I do, I try to do as much as I can of the same for them.
I give them probiotic, one is currently on around 20 billion only two strains (we are taking baby steps here as well), the one that had to take antibiotic is on 30-40 (depends on the feeding intervals because it must be taken on empty stomach) and 15 strains. The one that took antibiotic is on my probiotic, Mega Flora with DDS1 strain. They have some die-off, I can see it, although it’s not that bad and I try to give them as much lemons and vitamin C foods, I make home made juices and try to combine as many detox ingredients as I can in those. One girl had pimples almost like she is in puberty, had constipation, hard stools etc. The other had itches and patches of dry skin, constipation etc. Oh and do their feet smell when they eat sweets!
I try to reduce unnecessary sweets as much as I can. So I analyze food as a benefit or extra. You include as many benefit food items as you can and as little extras and start from there. You cannot get rid of it all right away. We avoid potatoes and starchy foods, eat more greens and vegetables etc. But, they are not sold on some veggies such as steamed swiss chard so sometimes I mix it with cream cheese, other times with potatoes and carrots and mayo. In time, I reduce the taste fillers as their taste adjust to veggie taste. For example, they would not eat salad, but started picking some items from my plate. Very soon, the girl that likes to eat would eat half of my plate, the other was not sold on it and it took a while for her to get used to the taste. So I had to be careful with onions, ACV, salt, pepery or bitter vegetables (arugula, radicchio etc.) or garlic in the dressing but in time I would increase these and test how far I can go. Given, I had meals from nightmares (I am pretty strict with meals and I make them eat it even if they don’t quite like it and next time I just try to find better ways to feed it to them). Now I make one salad and just add more onions for me, they can handle small amount, but the rest they eat what I eat. Like today we had roasted brussel sprouts (interestingly enough, the kid that eats everything and loves to eat hates brussel sprouts, but I made her eat 8 of those bribing her with new food I tried for myself that she liked), mixed raw salad (crystal lettuce, lambs lettuce, leaks, ball pepper, tomato, radishes, carrot, cucumber, cabbage, boiled eggs, tuna in olive oil, extra virgin olive oil, apple cider vinegar, sea salt, dill, parsley), and I had a new dish that I tried today which was roasted radishes with radish greens (it was delishes and if anyone wants to try here is the recipe, just replace butter with ghee if you are not using butter: http://www.bonappetit.com/recipes/2011/04/roasted_radishes_with_brown_butter_lemon_and_radish_tops). They both tried it from my plate and loved it, they ate about a third of what i wanted for myself. They chased their food with nettle tea with lemon and honey, I had ginger/lemon tea. A year ago, I could not imagine my girl who likes to eat enjoy a meal like this, let alone the one that looks like a convict in court when she sits at the table, or she did back then.
So make some kind of plan and start your baby steps on improving your baby’s life and nutrition. Do not stress yourself but keep offering healthy food and keep trying to kick out bad food. I must say that I noticed my kids being so much better when they eat healthy food with home made sweets such as banana pumpkin bread, I found recipe online that they just love. I even make jams for them, it really doesn’t take that long for a single jar of jam, I even make home made nutella with coconut oil and no dairy and this takes like 20 minutes to make. I tested my theory and allowed them commercial chocolate (even though it was good quality chocolate) and other commercial sweets for about a week. Then I had them on home made sweets only. I repeated this several times. It’s like they are completely different kids. When they eat home made stuff, they are more mellow, they are not nervous, they don’t fight, they don’t try to send me to looney. When they are on the commercial stuff they are just mean kids who fight each other, they don’t listen and it’s a fight to get them dressed, let alone anything else of the daily chores. Oh and they know, when they get sweets from someone (which is all the time as it seems that love can be shown only by giving kids chocolate!!!), they just hand it over to me. I have a cabinet in my kitchen that I hardly reach so it’s out of their reach also, and I pile all this there. Then first chance I get I offer this to my friends and family who do use sweets and usually they are happy to take it. So eventually I get rid of it, but mostly they don’t even ask for it so I really don’t feel bad about it.
One huge winning point I have on my side is that I have a full control over my girls. I am divorced for about two and half years now. My ex moved back to California and I stayed here. I still get comments from my friends or family that I am torturing my kids with nutrition (ha!) but that doesn’t bother me as I know what I do for them is right. My ex was here for a month (matter of fact i just took him to the airport earlier today) and even though he is a big supporter of healthy food and really ate healthy meals I put on the table while we were married, he does eat junk and he did bring sweets to girls and bought them cakes and stuff while he was visiting. OK that is a month per year I need to survive so I did not make a big deal about it, but he did bring some home made cookies last night that his mom made even though I told him that because of the course of antibiotics that my girl got I do not let them eat any sweets at the moment until we get the gut flora back in shape. Well, somehow we negotiated and they had a small cookie each. I kind of understand it. I am in charge of their meals and their life, as you are, and guys, they don’t know what else to do but give them sweets to get them to like them. And they do not understand that giving sweets does not mean you are giving love. It’s quite the opposite if you ask me.
I don’t want to make you fight your husband, but as a mother you should stand your ground and tell him that if he loves his child, he will comply with no sweets or limited sweets rule. We are mothers, we fight for our children so unfortunately you will have to fight your husband until you win that battle. There isn’t anything we would not do for our children so try presenting it to him that way. I am sure he adores his baby, so he just needs to understand that he is doing more harm than anything by giving her junk.
About the baby’s thrush, don’t worry about it, many kids have it and grow up fine. Just try to do whatever you can. Look at it this way, it is great that you are finding this information out now, then not knowing it at all. You have the time to make it right and teach your baby to eat right. I even thought to myself that it is not all that bad that I found out I have candida overgrowth, I had some form of it most of my life but didn’t do much about it back then, I just tried to lead a healthy life in genera. This now motivates me to teach my kids to eat well and hope that they will be leading healthy lives even when they grow up and leave me one day.
One word of caution about kefir and your baby. Start small, teaspoon by teaspoon and wait three to four days to increase the dose. Kids react weird sometimes to it in terms of diarrhea or constipation. Mine had constipation and it was tough, one girl didn’t want to go to the bathroom etc. I didn’t know what I know today and gave them cup of it right away.
I encourage you to keep trying to give your baby plain kefir, but if it doesn’t work with kefir at all, try to blend it with banana, orange juice and few strawberries, add some vanilla and perhaps a little honey if it is too sour and banana cannot overwhelm it or strawberries can be sour sometimes. I do this when my kefir is too intense and I know they will not drink it or I will loose my mind until they do finish it. And if you start freaking out about the sugar in fruits, don’t. It’s still way better and has so much benefits that junk commercial sweets don’t 🙂
Oh, and kefir will ferment in lower temp but only slower. You may need to have two batches going and strain each after 48 hours instead of 24 or something like that. I have lower temp at my house, it is to reduce cost of heating but also we are all healthier in more normal temps and we do not heat the house at night at all, but I keep my kefir next to the stove since we cook every day at least twice a day so this warms it up. On days that I have my bone broth “magic potion” (people tease me that I am like some kind of witch cooking special potion in a large pot) going on the stove for 24 hours, kefir is awesome ha-ha.
Good luck to you and I hope any part of my story above helped a bit. At least you know you are not the only one dealing with this and there is someone who will listen so you can vent when you need to.