7 Tips to Help Relieve a Baby that Scratches!

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:

  1. 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.
  1. 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!
  1. 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…
  1. 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.
  1. 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.
  1. 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.
  1. 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.

Allergic to Wheat, Soy, Dairy and Egg Whites? What?

Before my son was born, I did not really think much about what I could or could not eat, since I did not have any food allergies, but a few months into his newborn life here on earth, we got him tested for food allergies, and found that he was allergic to wheat, soy, dairy and egg whites. Since I was still breastfeeding  him, I slowly had to cut out these foods from my diet. I must say, it was not easy. I had to start reading labels when I when grocery shopping. I had to really look closely at the menu when we went out to restaurants and food places. I had to make special requests when dining out or visiting friends places for dinner. It was a very meticulous and detailed process. Although, I really tried to cut out these foods from my diet, it was not 100% out of my diet. And I would see him suffering, after I fed him. He would scratch and scratch, and cry and cry. It was very hard to watch.

About a month ago, I stopped breastfeeding him completely. Not surprisingly, his skin has been about 90% better. For some reason, he still scratches, and we are scratching our heads, trying to figure out why…. because he has pretty much not been fed any of the foods that he is supposedly allergic to.

In the past month, my focus has been on educating myself on food allergies, learning about genetically modified foods in our food system and eventually learning how to cook foods that we normally eat, but now it has to be gluten-free, dairy free and soy free.

I read the book… The Unhealthy Truth, by Robin O’Brien

It was an eye opener, because it was written by a mom who,  because her daughter had an allergic reaction to eggs, has taken it upon herself to help expose the evils of Monsanto and the connection with the FDA and EPA and those in Washington.

I also watched the documentary The Future of Food by Deborah Koons Garcia, the widow of Jerry Garcia. It was so informative and also made me really conscious of the idea of how much of our foods is genetically modified. It really motivated me to make daily changes to better what I consume.

Since I’ve become more aware of food allergies, as a result of my son’s allergies to wheat, soy, dairy and egg whites, I have also been meeting more and more people who, either themselves have food allergies or knows of someone with a food allergy…. strange….

there’s something going on…..

How my baby’s excema disappeared while we were in Hawaii

I usually put a thick layer of lotion on my baby at least 3 times a day, but to my surprise, when we were in Hawaii, I did not have to put lotion on my baby’s skin at all.

Maybe we might need to move to a place like Hawaii, where the weather is better for my baby’s skin.

In my experience, taking a bath for my baby usually includes lots of quick moves to hold and prevent him from scratching once I take off his clothes to take a bath. At times, it takes 2 people to hold down his arms and the other person to dress him. He will sometimes scratch so much that there are fingernail marks all over his chest and arms.

I guess while we were in Hawaii, the humidity and the tropical weather did wonders on his skin. He slept well and so did we.

Bleach and Eczema

Bleach and Eczema

These two words are hardly seen together. But, as a desperate mommy like myself, trying to find relief for my baby boy who scratches almost all the time from eczema, I had to do some research to find out for myself.

When I first heard about it, it was at our friend Luis’ place, on our way out the door. He said, “I know this sounds harsh, but my sister has been using bleach in her bath water, and it has helped her eczema.” I remember walking out the door thinking, that may be good for her, since she is an adult, but I would never put bleach on my baby, that’s just too extreme, especially for a baby.

I ran into her a few months later at a BBQ, and she told me that it has really helped her. And it was noticeably apparent when I looked at her skin. She told me that all her life she has been dealing with eczema. And have consulted with various experts and alternative healers, dermatologists and doctors. Somehow, the bleach baths that she takes once a week, has done wonders for her skin. She says that the bleach somehow kills the top layer that causes eczema. “Think of it as being in a swimming pool”, she said.

I’ve tried putting a small amount in my baby’s bath water, and honestly have seen a huge difference in his skin. Although he still scratches at night and during the day, the skin does look a lot better. His skin seems to get better for a few days, then gets bad again. It comes and goes.

If you’ve had any experiences finding comfort for babies or toddlers with eczema, we would love to hear from you.

Does your baby have Eczema?

Both my kids have it, and as a mommy who doesn’t have eczema, I have had to do a lot of research about it, so that I can help bring some relief for my kids.

When my daughter (who is almost 3 years old now) was a baby, she would scratch all the time and keep us all up during the night. We would constantly need to put lotion on her skin to keep it lubricated. We also had to cut her nails quite often, and she would always need gloves on her.

My son who was born recently, also has eczema. His skin for some reason, is even worse, than my daughter’s. For several months, he would scratch so much that he would have an open wound on his cheeks. We would have to put him in a swaddle blanket at night, put gloves on him all the time, lubricate his skin constantly, and hold his hands to prevent him from scratching almost all the time.

When he was about 4-5 months, after breastfeeding him at night, I would have to hold him until he fell asleep on me, to keep him from scratching.

When he was about 6 months, the swaddle blanket no longer worked, because we would find that he was strong enough to break free the Velcro from the blanket. My partner would also have to tie a blanket around his wrist, so that he would not be able to put his hands towards his face at night.

At about 6 months, we went to our normal pediatric appointment for his shots, and his skin was so bad, that our pediatrician recommended that we have him tested for food allergies. After the tests came back, we discovered that he was allergic to dairy, wheat and soy.

So, as a breastfeeding mommy, who did not have any food allergies, I had to cut these items out of my diet. Its only been a few weeks since, and it has been an eye opening experience to eat anything these days. I have to be more conscious with reading labels and asking for specific items when dining out  and grocery shopping.

This whole experience has resulted in many sleepness nights and a lot of heartache seeing my babies suffer. I have reached out to other mommies for advice and help. Some have suggested different creams, one mommy suggested putting breastmilk on my baby’s problem areas, one mommy suggested giving him 2 baths a day, another mommy suggested giving him a bath every other day, the suggestions keep coming.

I have tried so many different “remedies” so far. Nothing seems to be working long term. My son’s skin would get better, and then get worse again the next day. He still scratches at night. It is mainly his ankle area, and his cheeks. When I give him a bath, and take off all his clothes, he can’t seem to stop scratching his chest area. Again, I have to hold his hands to prevent him from scratching. There were a few times that he would scratch his chest so hard that it bled. Ouch!

Last week, I talked to a friend who has been suffering from eczema all her life, and her skin looked so good. She told me that she had finally found the remedy, and it was bleach, yes, Clorox Bleach. My initial reaction was, that may be good for you, but I’m not going to put bleach on my baby’s skin. She then went on to tell me that, its almost like being in a swimming pool. Bleach does something to the top layer of the skin of a person who has eczema.

Hmm…what if bleach cured eczema? Does anyone know anything about this?