Its the middle of the night, your baby is crying and scratching uncontrollably. You hold her arms. You sing a lullaby to soothe her. You’re up most of the night..and she falls back asleep eventually…..
I woke up one morning and saw that my daughter had scratched the sides of her face so much that I could see raw red skin on both sides of her face. When I looked closer, it wasn’t just her face, it was around the earlobes, her wrists, her ankles and all over the back of her legs. I remember when she was a baby, this was the norm.
Although, she has outgrown most of the eczema, my son, who is 19 months old, has food allergies and also eczema, so we still experience the heartache of seeing him scratching uncontrollably. I write this to help other parents or caregivers who have children that also scratch a lot. These are a few tips to help find some relief for your baby:
- Cut their nails – Nails grow incredibly fast, so it is important to stay on top of cutting your baby’s nails every few days, to ensure that they don’t easily hurt themselves with long nails. Try to keep a nail cutter handy, even when you’re out.
- Use Aquaphor -Lubricate your baby’s skin 3-4 times a day, especially in areas that your baby scratches a lot. This helps soothe the dry areas. I’ve tried almost all the brands that claim to help babies with eczema, and have found Aquaphor to work the best. We have a big container of Aquaphor in almost every room. (p.s. I am not sponsored by Aquaphor, but wish I was) We use it so much!
- Bathe baby in a bleach bath – It was extremely surprising to me when I first heard about this, but putting a little bleach in your baby’s bath water, actually kills off the top layer that causes eczema. I put it in my baby’s bath water about twice a week, or whenever the itchiness is severe. Think swimming pools…
- Keep babies hands and feet covered at night – Baby’s will most likely scratch the most at night, when you can’t be there to hold your baby’s hand, while they are scratching. Keeping them covered will help. We used to put socks on the hands, and stockings on the legs, and use a swaddle blanket. Today, my son wears GCT clothing almost 24/7.
- Be mindful of what your baby is wearing – Sometimes the fabrics (clothes, blankets, etc) play a huge part on whether your baby scratches. Try to have organic fabrics that are soft and hypo-allergenic on your baby. Support brands that offer green, eco-friendly fabrics and clothing.
- Be mindful of what your baby is eating.- There are more and more babies and people with foods allergies today. My son was tested for food allergies when he was about 1 year old, and we found out that he was allergic to wheat, soy and dairy. Find out from your pediatrician if there are any foods that your baby is allergic to. It’s quite common these days.
- Be mindful of the temperature – Is it too hot? Is it too cold? What climate you live in can greatly impact your baby’s comfort level. We live in the Bay Area, but when we took a trip to Hawaii last year, my baby’s eczema completely disappeared. I had never experienced such smooth skin on my baby, ever! That was a surprise. Maybe we need to move to Hawaii.
As a mom who has first hand experience with 2 babies that scratched a lot, I offer these 7 tips to help other parents or caregivers to improve your baby’s comfort level. Although my son still scratches to this day, probably because of his food allergies, and not as much his eczema, we still find that every little bit we do counts!
I started an eco-friendly clothing line, Golden Curly Tail, as a result of my kids having eczema. Check us out here!
Disclaimer: I am not a medical expert. I am a mom. Both my children have eczema. My daughter has outgrown most of her eczema, but my son, still scratches all the time. These are some of the things I do to help find some relief for him.