Do you have an itchy baby? I did. And however beautiful your kid is, eczema ain’t pretty. So this is the ultimate guide to tips and natural products to help sort it out.
Noa has had eczema pretty much the whole time since she was 2 months old. But I’ve always done things as natural as possible. From day one I would only bathe her once a week and moisturise her newborn delicate skin with extra virgin coconut oil. In my mind I was doing what I’d read to be the best and most natural thing for her. But unfortunately, not every baby’s skin is the same. And MY baby’s skin was not definitely having it.
It started off as dry skin with just a few pink patches of eczema, but a few months later it made its way across her whole body. Face, neck, back, stomach, arms and little legs — literally head to toe!
It was only after Christmas when Noa was 5 months old, after lots of tears, feeling guilty, doctors trips and research, that we FINALLY started to nip things in the bud.
Again, I can not emphasis enough how every baby’s skin is NOT the same. We tried pretty much every cream the doctor could prescribe us with no joy. I would slather her up 3 or 4 times a day in all the lotions and potions prescribed. Even the steroid creams would only give temporary relief.
But we got there in the end! Below is the routine we use for her skin today, which helped us finally get our breakthrough.
1. NO hot bathes! (No higher than 37 degrees)
Temperature is the main trigger that will set off a flare up or make eczema worse.
It may be tempting to skip a bath altogether, however, switching to bathing Noa every evening in TEPID water was the first thing that made such a huge difference.
Bacteria thrives in warm temperatures. Using tepid water gets rid of any allergens that have built up in the day, and reduces bacteria that can lead to infections.
Eczema can become aggravated if bathing is too long, so keep it short and sweet. Simply use water alone to wash away any build-up of treatments and loose skin — this leaves a good base for further treatments to sink into skin effectively after the bath — splash splash splash and out 🙂
2. Skip the soap
Although it may be tempting to wash baby with something smelly and bubbly before bed, don’t! With the exception of face, hands and bum, your baby probably isn’t that dirty anyway.
ANYTHING that has a scent or creates bubbles should be avoided.
If we’ve had a particularly dirty day, I will use an unscented gentle bar of soap on Noa’s skin. Our favourite is the “Mama & Baby Soap” by Wild-sage.
The company is all organic and handmade. This particular soap is made with chamomile, calendula and carrot infused oils. It’s allergen free with no essential oils, which is needed for delicate baby skin.
(Find more info here)*
3. Moisturise, moisturise, moisturise!
It’s a given. The reason your baby’s skin is flaring up is because it’s dry.
Before I put Noa in the bath I have her moisturiser laid out on the bed, ready for me to cream her as soon as I whip her out of the water. Leaving it too long will cause skin to become drier (think the tight feeling you get on your face if you wash and leave it).
I swear by two creams and two creams only as it was when we switched to these that the REAL improvement came.
“HOPES RELIEF intensive dry skin rescue” is the first.
At home we call it the ‘honey cream’. THIS is our go-to should things get really bad.
The label reads: “Hope’s Relief potent healing salve was developed as a natural alternative to steroids, effectively treating eczema, psoriasis and other forms of dermatitis”
It does exactly what it says on the tin. Relieves intensively dry skin. Bravo.
HOWEVER, with its list of beautiful, active ingredients comes a hefty price tag. At £15 a pop, it’s not cheap. Especially if (like us) you are having to use it on your child head to toe.
Which leads me on to our second go-to favourite moisturiser.
“AVEENO Moisturising Cream with Active Colloid Oatmeal for dry sensitive skin” – is now what we use as our everyday moisturiser.
I remember doing my reasearch and seeing ‘Aveeno’ always mentioned, but brushed it off because “no way would an on the shelf cream do the trick” 😩.
This is the ONLY cream (prescribed) from the doctors which isn’t horrifically greasy and sticky. And the only cream that’s been able to keep flare-ups at bay.
Once Noa is out of the bath and dry, I gently stroke & pat this into her skin (in the direction of hair growth) until no residue is left. We also use it in the morning before getting dressed.
Some Aveeno facts coz why not 🙂
* Clinically proven to hydrate and soothe dry, sensitive skin leaving it feeling comfortable, soft and smooth from day one
* Formulated with finely milled oatmeal, proven to restore the skin’s natural barrier
* Suitable for babies from 3 months
* Fragrance Free
4. Turn the heat down!
As mentioned above, temperature is the main aggravation to cause flare-ups. We keep the bedroom at roughly 20 degrees and dress her in Just pj’s. If we are ever in the car for a long period of time, I always take off her coat and wind the window down for a little breeze.
As tempting as it is to wrap our little bundles up, it’s advised that they only ever need one more extra layer than what we are wearing!
5. Wash clothes consciously
You should never be using a bio detergent to wash your sensitive baby’s clothes. The chemicals and enzymes that make a bio detergent so great at washing, are far too strong to be resting against baby’s skin all day.
Make sure clothes are always rinsed well to get rid of any residue. (The stiffer, the cleaner! In the past when eczema was very angry, i skipped conditioner too).
When stains are super bad, I SWEAR by leaving them out in the sunshine and giving them a soak in cold water.
Another alternative to using washing detergent is ECOZONE ECOBALLS.
These are designed to replace your normal detergent, be environmentally friendly AND save you money. (3p a wash!)
“100% hypoallergenic, residue-free and anti-bacterial. Cleans clothes without leaving behind the residues that can cause skin irritation.”
Each kit contains 3 filled balls and an eco-friendly stain remover. 🙂
And for now, WE GOOD!
Noa is currently 14 months and may still get the odd flare-up on her arms or behind her knees, but on the whole, her skin has completely transformed from where we were this time last year!
Do you have any tips for curbing or treating your baby’s sensitive skin? Please leave a comment below, we would love to hear from you 🙂