What if you find a discharge in your baby girl’s diaper? Depending on your baby’s age and the characteristics of the discharge, this can be normal or a sign of, for example, an infection.
I was cleaning and changing my nine-month-old daughter’s diaper and noticed a thick yellow mucus discharge from her vagina. Is this normal? I only have boys; this is my first girl.
Reasons For Discharge From Baby Girls’ Vaginas
I wouldn’t say yellow mucus from a 9-month girl’s vagina is entirely normal. If it continues, you should take her to a doctor to have her examined.
Female infants can have a discharge for different reasons:
- For very young baby girls (younger than three months old), vaginal discharge is often related to hormonal changes during and after childbirth. For a baby as “old” as 9 months, hormonal changes are not a relevant explanation, though.
- At 9 months, the discharge may be due to some infection, e.g., bacterial (vaginitis) or yeast infection (yeast vulvitis).
- Another possibility could be a foreign body, such as some little piece of paper or something else is stuck in her vagina and causes irritation. If she has been crawling around without diapers, then theoretically, she can have sat down on something that got stuck. (Far-fetched, maybe, but strange things do happen.)
- Other possible irritants are chemicals such as perfumes and dyes in detergents, fabric softeners, creams, ointments, and sprays
- Vulvovaginitis – infection of the vulva and/or vagina that may be caused by, e.g., bacteria, an allergic reaction, or contact dermatitis.
Signs of Infection
There are several possible signs of infection to look for:
- You write that the mucus is thick and yellow. That does point to an infection, even more so if the mucus is grainy. You probably wouldn’t have had to worry if it had been egg white. If you notice discharge several days and it seems to increase or change, that is a reason to talk to a pediatrician.
- Itching, redness, and swelling of the skin of the vagina and the surrounding area (vulva).
- If there are blisters or ulcers on the vagina or vulva.
- If your baby girl seems to be in pain or discomfort when urinating or having a bowel movement
- Other reasons to talk to the doctor are if the discharge smells bad or if you also find blood in the discharge.
- Also, if your daughter appears to be ill in any way, has a fever, or is uncomfortable or in pain when urinating or pooping, of course, consult her doctor.
How to Treat Vaginal Discharges in Baby Girls
It is possible that your baby will be fine and that the discharge will go away on its own. If this was a one-time event and there are no other signs of infections, it may have been due to some minor foreign body, for example. However, you may want to take her just to get checked out by your pediatrician to be on the safe side. If the discharge continues, or you notice other signs of infection, certainly bring her to her healthcare provider as soon as possible to sort out the reasons and possible medication.
In addition, there are some steps you can take at home to mitigate the infection:
- Be extra careful with hygiene. Change diapers often and clean the outside of your baby’s genitals with warm water and a soft washcloth or cotton ball. Make sure you wipe your baby girl from front to back when changing diapers.
- Avoid using perfumed soaps or baby wipes, as they can upset the natural chemical balance of your baby’s vagina and increase the risk of infection
- Avoid soap in your baby’s bath
- Dress your baby in loose-fitting clothing made of breathable fabrics
- Let your baby kick without diapers (unless she scratches the diaper area).
- Barrier emollients can be applied to the vulva to mitigate any itching (if she has that). Good barrier emollients are e.g. Desitin, Vaseline or Aquaphor ointment.
I hope she is better soon,
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Wróblewska-Seniuk K, Jarząbek-Bielecka G, Kędzia W. Gynecological Problems in Newborns and Infants. J Clin Med. 2021 Mar 4;10(5):1071. doi: 10.3390/jcm10051071. PMID: 33806632; PMCID: PMC7961508.
Paula Dennholt founded Easy Baby Life in 2006 and has been a passionate parenting and pregnancy writer since then. Her parenting approach and writing are based on studies in cognitive-behavioral models and therapy for children and her experience as a mother and stepmother. Life as a parent has convinced her of how crucial it is to put relationships before rules. She strongly believes in positive parenting and a science-based approach.
Paula cooperates with a team of pediatricians who assist in reviewing and writing articles.