Monday, July 18, 2011

Mamma Discoveries

During the 5+ months I have been a mamma I have discovered that most of the time I am just winging by the seat of my pants and hoping Sadie comes out without needing therapy on the other side. With all that in mind I have stumbled upon a few things that have made some of our tougher challenges bearable. Now, when you read what my challenges are you might want to kill me, because, and I will be the first to admit I got very lucky with Sadie and her temperament, they are pretty minimal.

So here are a few of my discoveries that have worked for us:

Eczema/Dry Skin
Remember how Sadie was born a little late? Well one of the side effects of an overdue baby is that they get to hang out in amniotic fluid without their protective vernix caseosa, the cheese like skin coating babies have that helps moisturize baby's skin. You can see in a photo from this post that Sadie has very little of the vernix caseosa on her:
Miss Sadie May, right after birth
Almost immediately you could tell her poor skin was dried out. Especially on her belly and little legs, the skin felt like fine grit sandpaper. I would lather her with Johnson's Natural Baby Lotion, but it just wasn't helping and things were quickly progressing to full on baby eczema:
Crappy iPhone picture, but notice the red rash on her eyelids, cheeks and around her mouth. The crustiness on her forehead and eyebrows is cradle cap... I'll address that below.
For the first two months of Sadie's life I tried more unscented natural lotions, eczema specific creams, I ditched the baby soap and switched to Dove Sensitive Skin bar soap (THIS ONE REALLY HELPED) but most things just seemed to make her poor skin worse and even more red and patchy the next day. So, you wanna know what finally worked?
After baths I apply a 1:1 mixture of 1% hydrocortisone cream (I use the Target Up and Up brand) and Eucerin Calming Creme. I try my best to avoid the backs of her knees, the insides of her elbows, her palms, soles of her feet and her diaper area, the steroids in the hydrocortisone cream can be more easily absorbed in those areas because the skin in those areas is thinner vs the rest of her skin. On non-bath days I usually just use the Eucerin Creme. If your baby has sensitive/dry skin and you feel like you have tried everything, try this!

Cradle Cap
Oh cradle cap, how you drive me crazy. Around the time Sadie's skin was really freaking out the cradle cap kicked into full force too. It started really bad on her forehead/eyebrow area:
Keep in mind I had NO IDEA this was cradle cap, she did not have it on her scalp, so I thought it was just part of the eczema. Once the rest of her skin started clearing up but this didn't I started doing more research and found out cradle cap can appear on the forehead. My cure for this?
Johnson's Baby Oil with Shea & Cocoa Butter
At bath time I applied a little to my fingers and gently rubbed them over her forehead/eyebrows and then washed it away with a bit of soap and a wash cloth. It took about a week but it finally all fell off. Not long after I got rid of that I noticed cradle cap patches appearing on her scalp. I did the same method of applying a bit to her head, massaging it in and then washing it out with shampoo. After bath time I would then comb her hair which would comb out a lot of the scales. The bad thing about this method was Sadie would start screaming from having her hair combed, her hair would end up super greasy and I felt like there were still a lot of patches. Since Sadie is pretty happy in the bath I decided to try combing her hair in the bath right after massaging in the baby oil, I then shampooed her hair twice to make sure I get all the oil and combed out scales washed off. That made a HUGE difference! She still has bouts of cradle cap so whenever I see it popping up I do this process and it knocks it out.

Getting rid of middle of the night diaper changes
You know how you reach that point where you need to have as little interaction with you baby during the middle of the night, so they don't wake completely up? What's the one way to quickly ruin that? Yup, changing a diaper! However, by the morning Sadie's diaper was soaked and most mornings her sleeper would be damp, no bueno. While browsing at Target one day I decided to pick up a box of these:
Huggies OverNites
Who cares that Sadie wears a size 1 diaper and the smallest these come is a size 3?! I figured I'd be buying these eventually so if they fail I'd just pack them up for a few months later. That night I slapped one on her bottom and the next morning woke up to a very dry baby! The trick to using these before baby is at the recommenced weight is to just criss-cross the tabs as tight as you can (be sure baby is still comfortable!). If you leave them too loose you will have MAJOR leakage, believe me, I speak from experience! Buy these, you wont look back, promise.

Hot water on the go
We formula feed Sadie (read more about that here and here) which means we need to have water for her bottles when we are out. We are not ones to pre-make her bottles and stick them in her diaper bag, formula is only good sitting out at room temperature for one hour, and Sadie want's noting to do with bottles made with cold water. After doing TONS of research on car bottle warmers and finding them all to be pretty lacking I was starting to really freak out about what we were going to do. Then my amazing husband had a brilliant idea, enter this:
Thermos 40oz  Vacuum Insulated Beverage Bottle
This thermos boasts that it can keep hot liquid hot for 24 hours. I, personally, would say 24 hours is pushing it a little, but we don't put our water in there super hot, 12 hours is about the longest I think we have ever used water from it. Sure it's a little bulky and heavy, but it fits in the diaper bag and I'm pretty sure it works way better than an car charger warmer works. Also, we can take this anywhere with us, it doesn't have to stay plugged into our truck.

There you have it, what I consider to be some of the best solutions I have discovered so far as a mamma. I know all of these wont work for everyone, but if you have any of these problems give one of these a try and maybe it will work for you!

1 comment:

  1. You have discovered every single solution that we use. :) The calming cream and hydrocortisone is what we have used on my son too. And although my kids have never had cradle cap, I learned the oil trick in beauty school. I always told my clients to use olive oil, I prefer all natural, and it seemed less greasy to me. And the thermos idea is great too.