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My baby had eczema—here’s what *really* helped

I had no idea about this skin condition until my baby had his first flare up.

My baby had eczema—here’s what *really* helped

When my son was born, it's hard to say who was more angry. Obviously, my ginormous 9 pound 13 ounce baby seemed pretty upset. The OB/GYN probably would have preferred to yank out a standard-sized baby instead of a full linebacker. But if you are going by looks alone, my brand new baby's skin was probably the most rageful thing in that delivery room.

I knew a baby's skin could be insanely sensitive, but his skin wasn't just touchy—it was down right irritated. Doctors assured me that the irritation was common to newborns and would get better in time. Just not quite better in time for his hospital based newborn photoshoot. I never thought I would be the type of person who would have their newborn's photos airbrushed, but we learn things about ourselves every day.

As time went on, the newborn skin irritation did calm down. I thought that was the end of the saga of the skin care, little did this new mama know.

At about six months old, I started to notice small rough patches on my son's back. Dry skin, I presumed. Then the patches appeared on his legs. Lots of dry skin, I figured? Then the patches were all over his back. I knew this had to be more than the impacts of hard water.

Our pediatrician gave my little man the once over and explained that he was having an eczema flare up. I had heard of eczema, but really had no idea what it meant. If you are unsure like I was, eczema is a skin condition that is oftentimes associated with allergic conditions. In most cases, it appears as red itchy patches on the cheeks, flanks or scalp, so basically any visible area on a child's body. Beyond being red and itchy, eczema patches can also be oozy or crusty.

Just what every new mom wants to hear, right?

The good news is most kids will grow out of it by the age of 10, but in the meantime I learned that we can help relieve the symptoms for our itchy, oozy, crusty babies.

A couple of tips I picked up from the pediatrician:


No long luxurious baths: Taking a nice warm soak for five to 10 minutes is helpful, but when it comes to moisture and eczema, you have to be careful not to overdo it.

Pat, don't rub: When you take the baby out of the tub, the goal is to calm the eczema not anger it. Pat the beast, do not rub it.

No polyester leisure suits: If your little babe is having a flare up, dress them in soft, breathable fabrics. Itchy and scratchy fabrics may look dapper, but they can put a damper on your baby's mood and comfort.

Read the tiny print: One of the bigger facepalm moments for me was when my doctor recommended using a sensitive soap during my son's bath. I thought I was already doing that, but when you read the fine print, some soaps are not as sensitive as you would think.

These little changes really made a big difference for my little buddy, and thankfully he has seemed to have outgrown it. At the very least, if eczema decides to rear its patchy ugly head again, this new mama now knows what she's looking at and knows what to do sooner. As the NBC afterschool specials always said, "The more you know!"

Here are my favorite products to help my son's eczema-prone skin:

NOODLE & BOO Family fun pack cleansing gift set

NOODLE & BOO  Family Fun Pack Cleansing Gift Set

This is the gift you can get yourself and the whole family! A great bathing fun pack that was designed with eczema-prone skin in mind, and can also bring a nice benefit to a gamut of skin types. The gift set includes a gentle shampoo, bubble bath, soothing body wash and super soft lotion. Beyond the soothing properties, the Crème Douce scent is heavenly, and is a real treat when compared to the more clinical smelling alternatives.

$48

NOODLE & BOO Calming bubble bath powder

NOODLE & BOO  Calming Bubble Bath Powder

All the bubbles without all the irritants! Just a couple of scoops of powder mixed in a nice warm tub and you have found the recipe for a calm baby with soothed skin. Hypoallergenic and dermatologist-tested for skin sensitivities, this bath powder can be used daily for babes starting at 6 months old, and will be used nightly by this mama once her baby is tucked into bed.

BEBE AU LAIT narwhal baby hooded towel

BEBE AU LAIT  Narwhal Baby Hooded Towel

I have never described a towel as friendly, but there is a first time for everything! What's not friendly about a towel that also tells a story about a Narwhal on an adventure with his buddies? Absorbent enough for a pool day, and snuggly soft enough to pat baby's gentle skin with after a bath. While this towel feels decadent and dainty, it's finely made and features a double layered hood.

$36

TREETOPS COLLECTIVE good neighbor organic cotton bodysuit

TREETOPS COLLECTIVE  Good Neighbor Organic Cotton Bodysuit

When your baby has eczema, it's recommended to dress them in natural fabrics. This bodysuit is so natural they put an element of nature right in their name! It's handmade with 100% organic cotton, that not only lets your child's skin breath, it allows a person to thrive. The mission of the Treetops Collective organization is to connect new American women with the opportunities and resources to flourish in their new communities. Opportunities such as sewing and screenprinting this adorable "Good neighbor in training" design to your baby's coziest onesie.

$18

We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.

Why right now is the best time for a drivable getaway

Flexible schedules mean more vacation options. 🙌

Looking back now, last winter feels like a lifetime ago. At the time, my husband and I were eagerly planning our summer vacation just as we've done in years past. You know how the next part goes: COVID-19 came into the picture and changed our plans not only for vacationing, but for so much else in life.

In the time since then, we've gained a truly valuable new perspective on what matters—and realized we don't have to look so far to make beautiful memories with our kids. By exploring getaways within driving distance of our home, we've developed a new appreciation for the ability to "pack up the car and go."

Of course, that isn't to say that travel is the carefree adventure it once was. With COVID-19 still a very big part of the equation, we've become much more diligent about planning trips that allow for social distancing and exceed cleanliness standards. That's why we've exclusively turned to Vrbo, which helps us find nearby accommodations that meet our new criteria. Better yet?

Thanks to the money we've saved by skipping air travel and our remote-friendly work schedules, we're able to continue with the trips throughout the fall.

Here are a few more reasons we believe it's a great time for drivable getaways.

Flexible schedules allow us to mix work + play.

After months of lockdown, my family was definitely itching for a change of scenery as the summer began. By looking at drivable destinations with a fresh set of eyes—and some helpful accommodation-finding filters on Vrbo—we were able to find private houses that meet our needs. (Like comfortably fitting our family of five without anyone having to sleep on a pull-out couch!)

With space to spread out and feel like a home away from home, we quickly realized that we didn't need to limit our getaways to the weekends—instead we could take a "Flexcation," a trip that allows us to mix work and play. Thanks to the ability to work remotely and our kids' distance-learning schedule for the fall, we're planning a mid-week trip next month that will allow us to explore a new destination after clocking out for the day.

We’re embracing off-season deals.

With Labor Day no longer marking the end of our vacationing season, we're able to take advantage of nearby getaways that mark down their rates during the off season. For us in the Mountain West, that means visiting ski-town destinations when the leaves are falling rather than the snow. By saving money on that front, we're able to splurge a bit with our accommodations—so you can bet I search for houses that include a private hot tub for soaking in while enjoying the mountain views!

Vacationing is a way to give back.

If we've learned one thing this year, it's that life can change pretty quickly. That's given us a new appreciation for generous cancellation policies and transparent cleaning guidelines when booking trips. By seeing both of these things front and center in Vrbo listings along with reviews from fellow travelers, I feel confident when I hit the "book now" button.

Beyond that, I know that booking a trip through Vrbo isn't only a gift to my family. On the other side of the transaction, there are vacation home owners and property managers who appreciate the income during these uncertain times. What's more, taking getaways allows us to support our local economy—even if it's just by ordering new takeout food to enjoy from our home away from home.

While "looking ahead" doesn't feel as easy as it once did, I am confident that there will be a lot of drivable getaways in our future.

This article was sponsored by Vrbo. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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