Tips for treating & preventing baby eczema {and sensitive skin}

Thursday, May 26, 2016

When I first became a mom I had no idea that I would soon be an expert on eczema and sensitive skin. My skin has always been pretty normal and I've never suffered from overly dry, sensitive skin, rashes, or eczema, so it wasn't even a thought in my mind when I started having kids. But then my first child was born in September of 2004, and by the time he was two months old I quickly realized he had insanely sensitive skin. It was always dry and peeling, and he was covered in bright red, scaly patches- mostly on his cheeks and in the crooks of his elbows and knees. The poor little guy always had bloody scratches all over his face and arms from itching himself constantly. I felt so bad and didn't know what to do! I tried all of the lotions and creams I could get my hands on and I read everything I could on sensitive skin and eczema. After months of trial and error, we were finally able to get his skin under control. I had to be so careful about everything that came into contact with my little man's skin!

Fast-forward 12 years, and now I've got two more kids with extremely sensitive skin and one more on the way (who will most likely follow suit, I'm sure). I've learned a lot about how to take care of sensitive skin and how to keep eczema flare ups at bay, and today I'm sharing that advice!

Bath time 101. One of the biggest lessons I learned was that babies and toddlers with sensitive skin and/or eczema should not be bathed every single day. It's just far too drying for their skin! I usually aim for every 3 days or so (or as needed), but definitely not every night. Babies really don't get that dirty- they're not playing outside or getting messy during playtime, so skip the bath unless it's really necessary. When it is time for a bath, make sure the water isn't too hot. Hot water is extremely drying. Also, make sure you're using shampoo and body wash specifically designed for sensitive skin. Skinfix's Gentle Hair and Body Wash is perfect for dry, eczema-prone skin. It's fragrance-free, sulfate-free, and paraben-free, making it the perfect 2-in-1 bath time wash that won't strip away the skin's natural moisture or irritate your baby's delicate skin. After bathing, make sure to moisturize immediately with a fragrance-free moisturizer, like Skinfix's Gentle Lotion or Gentle Eczema Balm. The Gentle Lotion is a great, lightweight, everyday moisturizer, while the Gentle Eczema Balm is perfect for extra-dry skin and eczema flare ups. Both are also fragrance-free! When my baby has an active eczema flare up, I like to slather the balm on her skin at bedtime to help moisturize all night long.

Dress appropriately. Babies with sensitive skin and eczema need to be dressed appropriately, meaning you should try to opt for natural fibers and cotton blends to avoid irritation and excessive sweating. Also, skip the fancy, overly-perfumed laundry detergents and fabric softeners, and opt for something gentler and free of dyes and perfumes that won't irritate your baby's skin. 

Diet is important. Certain foods can trigger eczema and sensitive skin, so watch what your baby/toddler eats and take note of any reactions he/she might have. Foods like cow's milk, eggs, and nuts are pretty commonly problematic for eczema sufferers (though that's not always the case) so be careful when introducing new foods to your little one. If you're breastfeeding, you may have to avoid certain foods as well. When in doubt, consult your doctor. 

Adjust your diaper routine. Certain diapers may cause your baby's sensitive skin to breakout or become prone to rashes, so sometimes finding the right diaper can be a challenge. You might have to try a few different brands before you find one that works for your baby. Make sure to change him or her frequently, and slather their little bums in a good diaper rash cream to create a barrier between their skin and any wetness it comes in contact with. Skinfix's Diaper Rash Balm is clinically proven to treat and prevent diaper rashes, redness, and irritation while using natural ingredients. This balm is super rich and helps replenish essential moisture to your baby's skin with emollient protective oils. I like to spread on a thick layer of it especially before bedtime to protect my little one's skin all night!

Skinfix products are available only at select CVS and Target stores- both online and in-store. Find out if your local store carries these great products here!

Have your little ones ever suffered from eczema or overly sensitive skin? I'd love to hear your best tips and favorite products!

Mid-week confessions

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Hey dolls! I hope everyone is having a great's halfway over already, can you believe it? Since my last blog post was a bit on the heavy side (read all about that here), I thought I'd pop in a do a fun little midweek post to lighten the mood and share a few little random thoughts that have been on my mind lately. Time for some middle of the week confessions! Ready? Here we go!

I hate vaccinating my kids. OK, not really, but it makes me so sad. As a mom, I've gone back and forth on where I stand on vaccinations, and together with my husband, we've made the informed decision that we will fully vaccinate our kids. I just feel like the benefits outweigh the risks. Each parent has to make their own choice for their own kids, and I'd never judge anyone who doesn't vaccinate (I have plenty of mom friends who choose not to or who opt out/delay certain vaccinations for their own reasons). Well, I kind of slacked off on Harper's last few well child exams. Long story short, I was never super crazy about her pediatrician (the one we were just stuck with via insurance after she was born). Her ped recently left the practice we belong to, so my intention was to find her a new one, and then I just kind of forgot about it. So I ended up calling the doctor's office last week to just make an appointment with their nurse practitioner to get her all caught up on shots and to make sure she's growing and thriving like she should be. I knew the shots were going to be hell- she's at the age where we have to literally pin her down to give them to her so she doesn't squirm and get the needle broken off in her skin (can you imagine?!) and she's got a major case of stranger-danger at this age. I made sure to bring daddy along so she'd have both of us there, but it was still tough. Just getting her to sit for the physical exam was hard enough- she screamed and thrashed when the doctor tried looking at her ears, eyes, and throat! Then came the shots...she needed 2, and it was just awful. While the three of us- me, daddy, and the nurse, pinned her down, she gave us this look like "How could you betray me?!" It broke my heart. It was all over and done within a matter of seconds, but it was pure torture for everyone involved. She had some pretty sore thighs for the next 24 hours, but luckily, she seemed to recover pretty quickly. I don't know who it was tougher on- her or us. The pink lollipop at the end definitely helped her feel better too.

I haven't touched my roots since before Hawaii. Guys, seriously, it's bad. My hair grows so fast, and I'm usually touching it up like clockwork just about every 3 or 4 weeks. But lately, I just don't care, and I haven't had any fresh color touch my hair in like three and a half months. That's so long for me. Thankfully, my roots aren't showing too crazy bad because the color we did last time is a lot closer to my natural color, but I can totally see the difference in the mirror. My natural color is lighter and so flat and mousy looking. I may or may not have just a couple of greys in there too. Luckily, a little braid in the front helps hide the roots nicely. Hats are always good too! It's so unlike me, though. I need to get back to the salon ASAP, and my ends need a refresher too. The blonde is looking a little brassy nowadays!

Grocery shopping with a toddler is hell. OK, here's the thing: I haven't taken Harper grocery shopping with me pretty much since I've been pregnant. She's never liked riding in the shopping cart and prefers to be snug on my chest in her Ergo carrier. Well, with a big ol' belly now that's not really possible, so I've been sneaking out of the house to hit the grocery store early in the mornings before my husband has to leave for work. It's been great! However, he's slowly been changing his schedule so that he can be home earlier in the evenings (he used to work until at least 8 or 9pm every single night- not so great when you have kiddos). That means he goes in earlier now, which means I'd have to get up suuuuper early to do the shopping, and let's face it- that's just not going to happen (especially when I still have a touch of morning sickness). So I took her with me today for the first time in forever and she had to sit in the cart. It was a disaster! Seriously, I couldn't get out of there fast enough, and I forgot like 20 things I meant to get. She was undoing the buckle, turning around in the cart, smashing the bread, throwing her binky on the ground, grabbing at things on the shelves, and she kept trying to shred my list into a million pieces. I think next time I'll have to get one of those damn car-cart things (I hate them) to help keep her happy and entertained. I finally resorted to opening a little package of cookies for her to munch on, and that kept her somewhat distracted, except that she kept dropping them all over the place, and then I had to try to bend over with my belly in the way to pick them all up. Oh, Harper! The joys of shopping with a toddler. I definitely don't miss it. 

Alright- your turn. What's on your mind? Anything you need to confess? 

Only two more sleeps until Friday!

The struggle is real

Monday, May 16, 2016

Hormones, you guys. They can be a real bitch sometimes! OK, mostly all of the time, I think. I feel like mine have been out of control with this pregnancy, and I don't know how to reign them in. Honestly, I'm just waiting for time to pass and for things to go back to normal again, if there ever was such a thing.

Here's the thing with motherhood: it's hard. Like, for real. I know, I know. Motherhood is such a blessing...that's what we all hear and that's what us moms are supposed to feel 100% of the time. Savor every moment! They grow up so fast! You'll miss those late nights and piles of laundry later! Yeah yeah. I know. I get it. As a mom of a couple of older kids now- almost 12 and 8 years old, and now having another go around with this whole having babies thing. I've got a 21-month-old and another baby on the way...I totally get it. I do see how quickly the time passes. How you blink and your first baby is suddenly a preteen with mood swings and girl problems, and I'm sitting here wondering how the hell I got so old. 

Seriously, though, motherhood isn't always sunshine and rainbows, or kisses and cuddles, bedtime stories and all that lovey-dovey stuff. Sometimes it just sucks. It's hard. It's exhausting. It's emotionally draining. And it's a truly thankless job. Lately, I've been feeling defeated when it comes to my parenting, and I know a lot of it has to do with the raging hormones that are surging through my body while I create a new tiny human life. Sometimes motherhood is just making it through the day without a murder being involved. It sounds dramatic, but if you're a mom of 3 or 4 (or more) kids you probably know what I'm talking about. Most days now, I'm not savoring every moment- I'm trying to just get through them without totally losing my shit, and then I go to bed feeling like an exhausted piece of crap of a mom who should have tried harder today. I should have more patience, be more understanding, show more love, etc, etc, etc. I should NOT just be going through the motions, doing everything for everyone else, trying to run the house like a drill sergeant and keeping everyone alive, fed, and somewhat clean.

Do I have a lot of guilt right now? Hell yes. I feel really guilty. I feel like a shitty mom most of the time. I feel like I'm not alone there, though, right? Mom guilt sucks. I'm feeling it pretty bad right now. Especially in the blogging world, where it's all happy, shiny, Pinterest-perfect pictures where mom is always perfectly made up and happy-looking all the time. That is definitely not my life. Most days I'm a hot mess and I don't really know what I'm doing. You'd never see my house on Pinterest!

So how do you break out of these feelings? I'm trying to stay positive and remember that this is just a little rough patch I have to get through, and that some of it is just out of my control right now. A lot of it, though, I know I can control. I'm trying to take time every day, just a few minutes even, to sit and clear my mind and think happy thoughts. Kind of cheesy, but it works. I have a few books I like to read that focus on staying positive and not letting negative thoughts control your life. I'm also trying to force myself to get outside and enjoy the sunshine, fresh air, and get some exercise. Just taking Harper out for a quick walk in the stroller helps a lot. Sitting around the house moping like a sad pregnant lady certainly isn't helping. Also, reminding myself that my kids are just that- kids. They need things from me, and I can't be so caught up in my own selfish ways and resent them for it. I'm trying to slow down, focus less on the little things, like housework and messes, and enjoy my time with them. 

And listen, before anyone starts thinking "Wow, this woman complains a lot about being a mom" or thinks that I don't love my "job," know this: I do love being a mom. I know I'm blessed. I know I'm lucky and so fortunate to have 3, now almost 4, happy, healthy children and a wonderful husband who loves and supports me and allows me to be a full-time stay at home mom. I know there are women out there who probably read this and think I'm some ungrateful, spoiled brat. I get that I sound kind of crazy or super whiney about my feelings. But the truth is, being a mom is hard. It's not always glamorous. Life's not always perfect. Feelings suck. Depression and anxiety suck. I've dealt with it off and on for most of my teenage and adult life, and sometimes it kind of takes over your brain and you have to talk about it. So don't think I'm not thanking my lucky stars each and every day when I lay my exhausted head down on my pillow. I love my kids more than anything. I know I'm so lucky to be their mama. I do treasure each day, even when I bitch and moan about doing all of the laundry and making dinner every night and all that other boring mom junk. Sometimes it's hard to see the big picture when you just feel like shit for months at a time though, and you have to vent and get it out and let other people know they aren't the only ones struggling too.

If you've read all of this- God bless you. It's coming out as a big, jumbled mess of words that probably doesn't make a whole lot of sense to anyone else but me right now, but it feels good just to type them out on the computer screen. Blogging has been a huge struggle for me lately because I just don't have the focus or determination I normally have. I'm hoping to slowly ease back into it without it stressing me out too much or taking my attention away from more important things in life, like my kids and family. But, you know, in a couple more months I'll have a newborn, and life with four kids probably won't leave a whole lot of time for least not for a while!

Made for adventures

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Who's ready for an adventure? I know my kids sure are! Now that spring has officially sprung here in the northwest, we're taking full advantage of the warm weather and sunshine after being cooped up inside all winter long. The birds are chirping, flowers are blooming, the grass is green, and the kids just want to be outside as much as possible. I don't blame them- I love being outside too!

Whether we're hanging out in our own backyard, riding our bikes to the local playground, taking a fun nature hike, or splashing in the water at the lake, my kids can't get enough of being outside. On any adventure, moms know you have to bring plenty of snacks and drinks to keep those kids fueled up and hydrated for hours of fun. I always make sure to bring a bag packed with some essentials- fruit, string cheese, yogurt tubes, crackers or cookies, and some nice cold drinks. Lately, our favorite drink to bring along on our adventures is Fruit Shoot®!

These convenient little bottles of Fruit Shoot® are so easy to grab and toss in a bag or cooler, or for the kids to carry along with them wherever we go. I love that these fruit juice drinks are made with real fruit from concentrate and are free of artificial flavors and high fructose corn syrup. My kids love them and I can feel good about buying them. Plus, the re-sealable caps make them super convenient for traveling. Fruit Shoot® is made for adventures!

Fruit Shoot® comes in a variety of regular and no sugar added flavors – with 20 calories or less and three grams of sugar including:

• Apple (no added sugar)
• Berry Burst (regular and no added sugar)
• Orange (regular and no added sugar)
• Strawberry & Raspberry (regular and no added sugar)
• Wild Berry Grape (no added sugar)

Find out where to buy Fruit Shoot® and follow them on Facebook!
What are your adventures you have planned this spring and summer?

Powered by Blogger.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Theme Designed By Hello Manhattan

Your copyright

Melissa Swenson and Lulu & Sweet Pea