First of all, welcome to my blog! I’m a first time mom to our 1 year old baby girl. For more info on me, check out my About page. Otherwise, do carry on! I thought I’d just jump in really and start with a topic that used to take up so much of our time. Eczema! I plan on posting more on this topic so go ahead and –> click follow above my profile photo if you would like to stay updated on the next one!
Recently, we have been hearing the same thing over and over again when we meet up with friends, especially from those we haven’t seen in months. Often upon seeing our little one’s skin, they ask “What did you do? Her eczema is completely gone!’
If you’re a mum struggling with your baby’s eczema, I know what you’re thinking. ‘Please let that be our story soon! and… how?! How?! How did she do it?!’ My fingers and time can’t keep up with typing and repeating the same stuff and I know I appreciated every source out there on eczema tips, so here’s a blog post sharing our personal journey dedicated to it!
O U R J O U R N E Y | A G L I M P S E
That was my story a few months back. My little one experienced mild to severe eczema from when she was about 8 weeks old. I’ll talk about her eczema journey in a separate post so stay tuned for that as I set up home here in this space! We have a few flare ups here and there, but it’s mostly just little bumps and slight itching. It’s nothing compared to what we were experiencing before. But to give you a glimpse, I was washing her face and hands multiple times a day, not allowing her to crawl in public spaces nor touch many things in public, moisturising her skin up to 10 times a day, keeping touch from others on her face and hands to a minimum, asking everyone to wash their hands even when she was almost 1, trying every different product out there while frustrated that nothing was working. Honestly speaking, a lot of the times, I was ok until someone in the family would note about how her skin was looking. In my mind, I thought Eczema is so common and this is just a phase we need to ride out and hopefully it will go away. But on some occasions, I would be ridden with guilt. I would have a panic attack as my thoughts began to circle around the thoughts of ‘What if this never goes away? Why is it getting worse? She’s suffering so much, I’m a terrible mom, I can’t even help her! My poor baby is suffering because of my inability to do something that is out there. Maybe I’m not doing enough. Where are the answers?! How come this product that usually works is not working for her?!’ Not in boasting manner, but these moments were few. I like to believe I had a good community to help me not feel overwhelmed by what we were going through. But they happened enough times to be major moments that effected me as a person, as a mom, as a wife, as a friend, etc. And when she turned one, these moments grew in frequency.
When my grandma visited us in the UK for little one’s first birthday celebrations, she showed me so much empathy and said this one thing that really spoke to my inner heart and broke me into tears. She said ‘You have it tough Erika. Motherhood involves so much hard work and sacrifice and you have it ten times harder. (No offense meant to other moms!). It really isn’t an easy task. You have 10x more things you need to do and consider before doing something other moms may not have to think twice about because her eczema. This eczema is so difficult physically and emotionally as you see your baby suffer. Its hard on both you and the baby.’ I can’t remember if I cried outwardly as I remember there were literally a million things to do around that time, but I definitely know my heart cried a waterfall. Her ability to empathise with me was so appreciated and for some reason, to have someone put it into such words brought comfort. If this is you, my heart goes out to you and I hope that one of these tips or all, will help you and your little one because baby eczema effects the whole family.
But I am also keenly aware that unfortunately, not everything works in the same way for all babies for some reason and sometimes it’s a trial and error. I’ve been there in that frustrating moment. It is tough and I’m sorry you are in that season. I truly am.
I’m sure I’ll be forgetting something, so will try to add or post more on this. In the meantime, here are some tips that I hope will help your little one! If you don’t have the time, skim through to diet for ONE tip that made a huge difference almost immediately for some!
T I P S
M O I S T U R I S E
- downwards motion – not to disturb the broken skin cells and hair follicles
There were months when I would moisturise 7-10 times a day on certain areas of her skin, particularly her forehead and cheeks.
C L E A N
- Once we started solids, after every meal, particularly after eating fruits. I would clean her hands and face with just lukewarm water and hand (No soap unless she ate something very messy/meat/fish as it is very drying). Sometimes I would use a large one-use cotton pad.
- No baby wipes to clean – I rarely used a baby wipe on her face or hands until she was around 11 months old. We only use Waterwipes because we didn’t want to use wipes with chemicals in it. She has only experienced two nappy rashes and she is now 14 months old and I believe that is mainly the reason why. But even with such a gentle wipe, I rarely used it to clean her.
- Wash face and hands very gently, using downward sweeping motions and as little friction as possible to not disturb the broken skin
- Tried bathing her daily, alternating evenings and also skipping a few days. They all seemed to help in different seasons.
- Use a damp cloth to wipe surfaces at home to keep dust at bay
L A U N D R Y
- We always run another rinse cycle for both her clothes and ours
- We wash our clothes separately from hers
- Use Non-Bio detergent
D I E T
- Having fibroids myself, I am a believer that what we eat effects our body
- I believe that our foods are effected by hormones through pesticides and other added unnatural ingredients
- Except for some occasions when we were out, in an emergency, traveling..and a few other situations, I made her food myself and kept store-bought pouch foods to a minimum. When feeding store-bought pouch foods, I only bought organic and watched which ingredients were in them. I have always been very conscious of how much sugar and salt she has. She has not had sugar until this very week when she had some cake for the first time at nearly 15 months. She did not have any salt until recently as well. We never add salt to her food, but when we are out or on holiday, we are aware some things may contain some traces.
- I tried to use organic products if that option was available due to no pesticides/unhealthy fertilizers. We are fortunate that in the UK, organic produce is not priced at multiple times the non-organic option. I was shocked to see the stark price difference when I was visiting NY and was quite upset by it. Healthy eating options should not be made difficult by such obstacles that I know many families would find difficult to keep overcoming at every visit to the supermarket.
- Remove High-histamine foods!!!! After an urgent, unexpected visit to the hospital with the little one, I had enough. I started researching all sorts of things trying to think outside the box. I came across research about histamines. I’ll keep it short and to the point. I have removed bananas and tomatoes from our little one’s diet and saw some improvement in less flare ups almost within a week or so. I shared this information immediately with another friend whose daughter was experiencing flare ups again. She tested it by removing the daily intake of bananas and saw an improvement immediately. This is one of my biggest tips I often share with mums! Hence the bold text! Don’t worry, I got you mama, I know you don’t have time and you’re probably skimming through this post til the next time you can actually have time to read!
T O Y S
- Our eczema specialist nurse told us to keep fluffy toys to a minimum when I mentioned the dust allergy possibility and instead to use plastic or wooden toys. Thankfully our little one wasn’t that interested in them anyway so it worked out well.
- Clean them often to reduce skin infections. Because they are scratching often, if playing with or anywhere that’s dirty, it will eventually be scratched onto the open skin wounds leading to an infection.
F A I T H
Prayer. I prayed very specifically for her healing and our processing in that season. I was encouraged by others to believe in her healing and led to spend more time in His word. Now, this is where everything started rolling towards a different and better direction. My husband and I prayed for our daughter ever since we found out we were pregnant. One of the things we prayed about was her health. We would eventually pray about her eczema, but they were very general prayers. I will share more in detail in my post about the eczema journey, but this season eventually brought me to my knees in desperation. It wasn’t throughout, but rather towards the ‘end’ of the season that I felt this way. This season also challenged me in how I pray, when I pray and what I pray. It involves a friend at church receiving a vision and prayer with friends. This is not to ignore medical interventions as I am really thankful for it and I recommend always seeking professional medical opinion as we did and are still doing. Rather, this is about highlighting God’s ability to heal, our responses and His timing. It is all while holding the tension that God doesn’t always deliver in ways we expect sometimes and I know that can be very difficult. If you would like to read more, stay tuned for that post.
I hope these tips all help and would love to hear any other tips you may have! Did you try any of these? I’d love to hear which ones you tried in the comments below! I plan on sharing about the products we used (used so many!) and which we found the most helpful! Included in that post will be other non-eczema, home products that I find helpful! To stay posted with future posts, don’t forget to click follow above my profile photo! See you soon!