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