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How to Spot Baby Eczema

A dermatologist clears things up when it comes to baby's skin.

How to Spot Baby Eczema

*We’ve partnered with Aveeno to help you read baby’s skin more clearly.

When it comes to understanding your new baby, you’re often reliant on body signs. Since baby can’t actually tell you what’s wrong, everything from how he drinks to how he poops could be a method of communication. His skin can communicate, too — since it’s the largest organ in the body, when something isn’t right, the skin reacts pretty quickly. Those dry patches, scales or redness could be telling you that he’s got allergies or irritation…or eczema.

To help us understand what exactly our babies’ skin is saying — and how to treat it — we called in dermatologist Dr. Jeanine Downie. Here’s her advice on spotting eczema and treating it.

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How prevalent is eczema in babies?

Ezcema is actually genetic. If a family member experiences allergies, asthma or eczema, it could potentially show up at anytime in your baby. At present, there are roughly 50 million cases in the general population, and of which, 50% are diagnosed as babies. The severity of it could change as you age and go through different phases of life.

What does eczema look like and where is it typically found?

Usually you’ll see an area of red or hyper-pigmented skin that is usually thickened in density. You may or may not see scratch marks, and it may or may not be scaly. Eczema could appear on one area of the body or all over your body – that depends on the person.

What would make your baby more likely to get it?

If your little one is already prone to it due to the familial genetics, there are various triggers. The environment does play a role. For example, most people flare with cooler weather months, where the skin is dry from the lack of humidity and moisture. However, many also flare in the summer months when there is an increase in sweating, which also causes irritation.

Are there common skin irritants that might heighten the chances my baby could get eczema?

Wool fabrics tend to cause itchiness, so stick to 100% cotton instead. Laundry detergent can be an irritant too, and avoid cologne, perfume or strong-scented products, since fragrance can often cause skin reactions.

What simple changes can I make in my daily life to relieve skin inflammation?

Cut your nails! Our nails carry germs and debris and when we use them to scratch – it makes it worse. Make sure to cut you and your little one’s nails often enough. Once you’ve cut the nails, use a nail file to keep them smooth so that there is no white showing.

If you do determine your baby has eczema, how can you treat it?

There’s several ways we can treat eczema, ranging from over-the-counter to prescription. Here's what I'd suggest in order:

1)Topical over the counter creams/ balms. Creams with oatmeal as an ingredient can be very helpful.

2)Prescription Rx – immunomodulators i.e. (Elidel)*

3)Over the counter antihistamines. Find out what your doctor suggests based on the age of your baby.

4)Prescription Rx – steroids (topical).

5)Prescription Rx – steroids (oral)**

For any prescription, your doctor will determine what is safe and appropriate. There aren't many prescriptive options for babies under age 2.

What can I do at home to help my baby?

If you notice irritated, red, hyper-pigmented skin (and it is familial), consult your doctor so that you’re aware if you’re child has eczema. Once you know, create a plan to help your child handle the environmental changes well. If you’re child is below the age of 2, it would be harder to provide certain medications and creams but hopefully some of the over-the-counter remedies will help.

*Not prescribed for under the age of 2

**Could be prescribed for under the age of 2

Photography by Jonica Moore Studio for Well Rounded NY.

14 outdoor toys your kids will want to play with beyond summer

They transition seamlessly for indoor play.

With Labor day weekend in the rearview and back-to-school in full swing, most parents are fresh out of boxes to check on their "Fun Concierge" hit list. It's also the point of diminishing returns on investing in summer-only toys. So with that in mind, we've rounded up some of our favorite toys that are not only built to last but will easily make the transition from outdoor to indoor play. Even better, they're Montessori-friendly and largely open-ended so your kids can get a ton of use out of them.

From sunny backyard afternoons to rainy mornings stuck inside, these toys are sure to keep little ones engaged and entertained.

Meadow ring toss game

Plan Toys meadow ring toss game

Besides offering a fantastic opportunity to hone focus, coordination, determination and taking turns, lawn games are just plain fun. Set them up close together for the littles and spread them out when Mom and Dad get in on the action. With their low profile and rope rings, they're great for indoors as well.

$30

Balance board

Plan Toys balance board

Balance boards are a fabulous way to get the wiggles out. This one comes with a rope attachment, making it suitable for even the youngest wigglers. From practicing their balance and building core strength to working on skills that translate to skateboarding and snowboarding, it's a year-round physical activity that's easy to bring inside and use between Zoom classes, too!

$75

Detective set

Plan Toys detective setDetective Set

This set has everything your little detective needs to solve whatever mystery they might encounter: an eye glasses, walkie-talkie, camera, a red lens, a periscope and a bag. Neighborhood watch? Watch out.

$40

Wooden doll stroller

Janod wooden doll strollerWooden Doll Stroller

Take their charges on a stroll around the block with this classic doll stroller. With the same versatility they're used to in their own ride, this heirloom quality carriage allows their doll or stuffy to face them or face the world.

$120

Sand play set

Plan Toys sand set

Whether you're hitting the beach or the backyard sandbox, this adorable wooden sand set is ready for action. Each scoop has an embossed pattern that's perfect for sand stamping. They're also totally suitable for water play in the wild or the bathtub.

$30

Water play set

Plan Toys water play set

Filled with sand or water, this tabletop sized activity set keeps little ones busy, quiet and happy. (A mama's ideal trifecta 😉). It's big enough to satisfy their play needs but not so big it's going to flood your floors if you bring the fun inside on a rainy day.

$100

Mini golf set

Plan Toys mini golf set

Fore! This mini golf set is lawn and living room ready. Set up a backyard competition or incorporate into homeschooling brain breaks that shift focus and build concentration.

$40

Vintage scooter balance bike

Janod retro scooter balance bike

Pedals are so 2010. Balance bikes are the way to go for learning to ride a bike while skipping the training wheels stage altogether. This impossibly cool retro scooter-style is built to cruise the neighborhood or open indoor space as they're learning.

$121

Wooden rocking pegasus

plan toys wooden rocking pegasus

Your little will be ready to take flight on this fun pegasus. It gently rocks back and forth, but doesn't skimp on safety—its winged saddle, footrests and backrest ensure kids won't fall off whether they're rocking inside or outside.

$100

Croquet set

Plan Toys croquet set

The cutest croquet set we've ever seen! With adorable animal face wooden balls and a canvas bag for easy clean up, it's also crafted to stick around awhile. Round after round, it's great for teaching kiddos math and problem-solving skills as well.

$45

Wooden digital camera

fathers factory wooden digital camera

Kids get the chance to assemble the camera on their own then can adventure anywhere to capture the best moments. With two detachable magnetic lenses, four built-in filters and video recorder, your little photographer can tap into their creativity from summertime to the holidays.

$179

Wooden bulldozer toy

plan toys wooden bulldozer toy

Whether they're digging up sand in the backyad or picking up toys inside, kids can get as creative as they want picking up and moving things around. Even better? Its wooden structure means it's not an eye sore to look at wherever your digger drops it.

$100

Pull-along hippo

janod toys pull along hippo toy

There's just something so fun about a classic pull-along toy and we love that they seamlessly transition between indoor and outdoor play. Crafted from solid cherry and beechwood, it's tough enough to endure outdoor spaces your toddler takes it on.

$33

Baby forest fox ride-on

janod toys baby fox ride on

Toddlers will love zooming around on this fox ride-on, and it's a great transition toy into traditional balance bikes. If you take it for a driveway adventure, simply use a damp cloth to wipe down the wheels before bringing back inside.

$88

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