Archive

Tag Archives: baby eczema

Most people these days (at least those who read blogs) would’ve done some form of air travel with their babies. There is also so much information and advice out on the good ol’ internets about this, I’m not going to repeat them here. This Youtube presentation really laid out the tips clearly and I recommend anyone traveling with their infants/babies for the first time to watch it.

What I wanted to write about is the few things we never leave home without when staying overnight elsewhere with Benji: A baby carrier (sometimes two), a travel crib, moisturizer and medication, gentle all purpose soap (Dr Bronner’s), and most times, a compact baby bath.

Baby Carrier:

Someone loaned us the Belle Organic Baby Carrier and we love it. In fact, I prefer it over the popular Baby Bjorn carrier which we also have, for multiple reasons. The biggest: it is really lightweight. The Belle Organic carrier is also great because as the name suggests, the material is made of organic fabric which, in this case, is cotton. Although I haven’t written much about Benji’s skin condition, it still exists and we still work hard almost daily to find ways to manage it. At 5 months, Benji has become quite a little explorer, constantly turning his head from side to side to check out the sights and sounds around him. Therefore, it is important for us to have a carrier with material soft and gentle to his skin when he rubs his face against it. The carrier is also very lightweight and easy to compress in your hand carry luggage.

Foldable Baby Bath:

Because of Benji’s sensitive skin, we try to bath him in a clean tub and not wanting to take chances with hotel tubs, I try as much as possible to put him in a tub that I *know* is clean (yes, I don’t trust the hotel cleaning standards). We also bathe him once a day and then moisturize him immediately afterward to ‘trap’ in the moisture from the water. The bath in the photo is the one we have. It’s called the Summer Infant Folding Bath. It’s been really good to us. Easy to use and highly portable. But, we need to get another one soon as Benji is outgrowing this one FAST.

Travel Crib:

Most hotels and vacation rental places supply cribs on request. Once again, because of Benji’s sensitive skin, I am paranoid to use anything that I did not clean myself, especially his bedding. I use special organic laundry wash for all his clothes (and ours, too) in case he is sensitive to the chemicals used in regular detergents. I have also decided that I don’t want to be wrapped up in clothes washed in synthesized chemicals; it’s like wearing these chemicals on my skin. In a way, his travel crib can also serve as a familiar and consistent item to help him sleep better in a foreign place. The travel crib we own is the Baby Bjorn one. It folds up really easily and into a bag, so it’s convenient to carry around. We have actually been using it as his crib while temporarily here in Vancouver.

Moisturizers/Medications & Dr Bronners magic soap:

We constantly moisturize Benji as his skin tends to dry out more easily than other babies without eczema. His skin also flares up ocassionally with red spots on his face and body and one way to prevent them from getting worse and eventually weeping, is to keep his skin well hydrated. We also carry his hydrocortisone medications with us to apply them whenever those spots appear (currently everyday 😦 ). Dr Bronners magic soap is also another staple item in our travel luggage. Benji has those explosive poops almost everyday and consequently soils his clothing. Instead of having to bring along a million outfits, or hunt around for a laundrymat and be subject to using their laundry detergent, I brought along this soap which I used to handwash some of his soiled outfits and then air dried in the bathroom. Another benefit of having soap on hand is that the stains get removed quickly (as opposed to sitting in a plastic bag for days and only washing them out then).

What is in your baby travel luggage? 

Advertisements


20120329-132544.jpg

As you can see…we’ve amassed a number of different kinds of milk. In fact, probably almost every type of milk there is under the sun (only short of soy milk…there’s also breast milk in there but for posterity’s sake didn’t include it in the photo).

From L-R : Coconut milk, cow’s milk, goat’s milk, rice milk and almond milk. (Right now all I’m having are coconut and rice milk.)

20120328-112240.jpg

20120328-112013.jpg

So we had to cross the border to Seattle to get an early enough appointment with a Pediatric Dermatologist (the waitlist here in Canada is crazy long – about 18 months for BC residents with health care cards and even for private pay patients we have to wait 1.5 months !!!!!) and decided to make use of that trip to also do some sightseeing around the town since I had never been there before.

Overall, the trip was plenty successful. We got to see the doctor, he prescribed some stronger topical steroid creams for Benji which seems to be working really well. It also cost us a fortune so yeah it had better work. His wounds have now completely stopped weeping and looking less inflammed. The doctor however was adamant Benji’s eczema is Atopic and is NOT caused by allergies and would not hear of any allergy testing or the fact that for some people, eczema is really exacerbated by some kinds of allergic reaction. Shrugs. We took it with a pinch of salt. I’m still confident Benji has some kind of food allergy – while it may not be a cause, it certainly is a trigger and I’m determined to hunt it down.

We also got to do some outlet shopping, grocery shopping at good ol’ Trader Joe’s and sight see. The weather when we were there was also pretty amazing. What a blessing!

Because we were traveling, I had a lot of difficulty sticking to my total elimination diet. My poor husband didn’t get to eat at nice restaurants because of me but he took it really well. We would go to restaurants and all I’d order is chicken – without seasoning – and rice. Our second meal, I caved and ordered sushi, salmon sushi. So yes, I introduced salmon into my diet and Benji seemed to take it okay. No new flare ups. For the rest of our trip, we just did take out meals from the Whole Foods cafe.  Rotisserie chicken with just natural herbs and plain quinoa? Just my kinda meal.

I’ll post some photos from our trip later…but from the two photos above, you can see a happier Benji and therefore a happier mommy! 🙂 Thank GOD Benji’s skin is looking so much better. He’s also been itching less and I am SO relieved and grateful that we had the means to get him seen sooner than later. After we returned from our trip, the local Pediatric Dermatologist’s office rang and said we got an appointment early May. We will go for a second opinion with this local specialist who is also an Allergist/Immunologist. I’m interested to hear his views on eczema and allergies.

We’re also keeping my TED and will work more with the naturopath on it.

Crossing all fingers and toes.

20120323-172746.jpg

Today’s weather in Vancouver was AMAZING. It really felt like spring (or just another ordinary day in SoCal…oh yeah, I miss that place quite a bit!).

With Benji’s eczema being so unpredictable and the sides of his face starting to act up again (much to my distress) I had to cancel plans to go on an Arts Stroller walk around town with a mother’s group. Instead, I took a short walk with him around the neighborhood with him in the stroller…but that really exacerbated his eczema on the face. The sides that took so long to heal are now weeping again. Today Benji’s skin on his body flared up as well. Is the sleeping bag another cause of his flare-ups? Was it because I had zucchini – a supposedly safe vegetable but one that I rarely eat – for lunch and dinner yesterday? Is he allergic to the fish oil or probiotics? I don’t know. I don’t understand. And I know I’m not alone on this but I hate not knowing. Sigh.  Regression, just after a small celebratory post just a couple days ago. Argh.

This is life with a child who needs extra attention. I have to learn to accept that…before all this, I had plans to take him to baby swim classes after he passes his 4 month mark, attend post-natal pilates classes that I can take Benji to as well, and go for coffees and walks with moms I had met here. But all of that is now put on hold. Indefinitely. Adjustments.

Anyway, after daddy got home from work, we took a walk with Benji in the Bjorn. The Bjorn has worked for us really well in terms of transporting Benji around in such a way that he does not have any opportunity to scratch his face or head since his arms are strapped to the sides.

20120323-172803.jpg

Just a few more days till our Ped Dermatologist’s appointment. Fingers crossed his skin won’t get even worse anymore.

Till then, I need to really REALLY learn to take a deep breath, trust God, and relax.

Day 4 of the Total Elimination Diet (TED). Things look like they’re improving albeit slowly. No more huge flare ups. Benji’s skin on both the face and body are still going from clear to slightly red at times (especially when he scratches). The areas that were previously weeping and infected are now no longer wet and sappy. However, they still look red and somewhat bruised — I’m thinking 2 weeks of infection will not go away so quickly so I’m being patient and hoping we will see baby soft skin again soon.

Yesterday we took him to see a Naturopath. Actually, I had gone with the intention of having him help me out with my TED. The conversation soon turned into something more than what I had anticipated. I also learned quite a bit about food, allergies, and my own immune system from him that I will talk about maybe in another post. In short, the Naturopath suggested I go for food allergy testing to determine what Benji might be most predisposed to be allergic to. That seems fine and great though that means I have to revert to my old diet which I would say HURRAY to BUT I also run the risk of Benji getting his rashes back. The Naturopath put him on probiotics and fish oil to supposedly fight this risk BUT there are no guarantees Benji will not react badly again, or even worse, to my old diet. I’m kinda in a quandary now because I know the benefits of this allergy test but also realize the huge risk I’m potentially taking with this.

Today is the first day Bry and I have been able to relax in the morning and not have to bind Benji’s hands (yes the itching seems to have subsided – probiotics? my new diet kicking in??? the spring cleaning the cleaner did just a couple days ago?? ) and I have to say it’s REALLY NICE to have some down time and get to breathe a little. Benji was also SO mellow this morning. We placed him in his playgym and he was happily whacking the little toys in there and doing his favorite thing these days, trying to put little teething rings in his mouth (along with his fists/fingers…anything within mouth-reach, really!!). 😉

I’m doing more research into this food allergy testing (which is SO expensive and also not 100% accurate anyway) and will probably talk to the Naturopath again to see if there are other ways around this: if I can maintain on this TED and slowly introduce food back into my diet and watch for reactions.

I do have a small victory to share though, from yesterday’s visit to the Naturopath: Benji’s cradle cap which looked pretty crazy — was yellow, crusty, and really thick (the Naturopath’s reaction was “I haven’t seen one this thick in a while”) — is now looking like this!!! There’s still a *little* bit on there but nowhere near what it was before!

We applied a seven herbal cream from Gaia Products upon the Naturopath’s recommendation, along with mineral oil, and then gently scrubbed off the layers in his bath yesterday. And it WORKED. WOW. After weeks of trialling so many different lotions and creams…the solution was this simple. Love the result!

Our next steps are: 1) visit a Ped Dermatologist next Monday to see what he says about Benji’s skin and if he has thoughts on this diet and how we can possibly work to introduce food back into my system, and 2) gather more information on food allergies testing from the Naturopath/internet and see if there is also a plan he can give me on introducing food back into my system methodologically.

Will we be able to resume our mother-son outings to baby playtimes soon????!! Spring is finally here and the weather’s been pretty fabulous the last few days. I’m hopeful!

Benji’s skin around the neck has now flared up. I feel like everytime he makes a little improvement, then a regression, the regressed state gets worse and worse. He woke up earlier screaming and obviously itching and in pain. I’m not sure what to make of it. The diet – if his eczema was really food allergy related 0 is supposed to improve his condition yet it’s getting worse. I might cut out grapes, bananas and even maple syrup as I have had those in the diet. Meanwhile, it’s 2am and I can hear the poor baby thrashing his head from left to right in the crib. How quickly do people see results from the TED if it was really a food allergy??? It sounds like almost immediately. Do we need to get another laundry detergent? Should I be doing something else differently? I’m going out of my mind replaying today’s events over and over, trying to find a reason for his regression.

We have a ped derm appointment next week. I have also now looked up naturopaths in the neighborhood and if things don’t look better in the next 2 weeks or so we might have to try that.

I’m finding it hard to trust that things will get better and that we will find a trigger. Maybe he’ll be one of those babies whose eczema just is and we just have to deal with steroids and medication.

I’m terribly sorry Benji we didn’t mean to sign you up for this. 😦