Weekend Update

Our weekend was busy and full of little parenting worries. Not my favourite kind of weekend. 

Worry 1: pressure to leave my baby

Friday night was tainted by an emotional discussion between my wife and I. We’ve been getting a lot of offers from people wanting to babysit Avery so my wife and I can have a date night. I want to be emotionally available to my wife, and she really needs some alone time with me after 7 months of always coming second. But, I’m just not ready to leave Avery with someone other than my wife. She’s been going through a long phase of “making strange,” and my instincts are to slowly help her ease into social situations. Those offering to babysit assure me that it’s ok if she cries the whole time – they can handle it. No offense, but I’m not worried about the adults in that situation. So my wife and I continue to debate how and when we’re going to leave the baby with someone else for a date night. 

Worry 2: Eczema

We decided to miss Avery’s last swimming lesson of the season because her eczema spots on her cheeks were open and weeping and we didn’t want to get pool water in them. It was sad to miss because Avery LOVES the pool and we love seeing her having fun. 

Mid-Saturday-morning we went to a parenting book club meeting at the public library. That was nice. I love talking with other like minded parents. Hearing that others bed share and struggle with feminist parenting dilemmas, and just being around people who don’t pass judgment on my parenting is refreshing. It makes me feel like I suddenly have a cheer squad backing me. 

Saturday afternoon we ran errands, did a lot of cooking, and I did some work. The house did not get cleaned, I did not shower or even look in a mirror. Self care fail. 

Sunday morning we left for the city where we picked up some used building supplies for our chicken coop (my wife’s building us a chicken coop this spring!) and then we were off to Avery’s cousin’s first birthday party. My sister-in-law did such an amazing job throwing a Wiggles themed party – everything was rainbow and it looked like a Pinterest party gone right. 

Worry 3: my baby being labeled as anti-social 

At these kinds of social functions, though, Avery tends to get passed around a lot. She doesn’t like it, and she gets labeled as not liking people or as being a mommy’s girl. We’re already working on teaching Avery (and friends and family) about consent, and don’t want physical interaction to be forced upon her. If she cries and gets upset when someone new takes her, I want to let her come right back to her safe zone (with her Mo or I). I like to slowly introduce her to people and ask if she wants to go to them (even though we kind of have to infer her answer based in body language right now…)  But others out there believe in letting her work out her fears through tears. Unfortunately I pried her out of several people’s arms at the party when my wife had passed her around, and by the end I started to get frustrated. People assumed there was something wrong with her because she was being so “anti-social”. They even got the baby thermometer out, assuming she must be sick. Nope, I know my baby. She’s not sick, she’s sick of the grabbing hands. So that had me feeling quite judged as a parent, whether intentional or not. Oh and note to self – don’t admit to bed sharing around old school parents…. 

Worry 4: constipation 

Becuase of all the stimulation on Sunday, Avery didn’t breastfeed well. I only got her to have one small feed through the entire day. By evening, I noticed her straining more than usual. She woke a few times during the night crying (which she doesn’t normally do while next to me). This morning she struggled to pass some hard rabbit-like poops. I’m focusing on offering her the boob all the time throughout the day today, and her solids are going to be prunes and pears. 

I have to call the doctor today to ask what to about eczema that isn’t clearing. It keeps blistering and scabbing and weeping and I don’t want it to get infected. The corticosteroid is doing nothing and I’m concerned that overuse is going to thin the skin. 

I just want to look at my baby and feel like she is perfectly happy, healthy, and carefree. Do we ever get to that point as parents, or will there always be something to worry about? 

This post was written in reponse to a daily prompt:


Baby Eczema

Avery was born with sensitive skin. She was one of the 40% of babies to get baby acne, and at one point it looked so sore all over her face, neck, chest and arms that we took her to the doctor who said she would simply outgrow it. She did, by about 8 weeks.

She also has chronic diaper rash, since birth. I wondered if her poop was extra acidic because it looked almost like an acid burn and was very concentrated to one high-poop-volume spot. On days she doesn’t poop, it seems to clear up. It took us 3 months to come up with a solution that worked (we tried different diapers, creams, and anti-fungals). We do plenty of diaper free time letting her dry out completely between diaper changes, and we use cloth diapers, a fleece liner, and zincofax cream, and she now has a good number of redness-free days on her little bum. Still prone to rashes though if we’re not careful.

Our newest skin problem is eczema. Again, it became so enflamed and itchy, covering about 50% of her body, that I called telehealth for advice. They gave me valuable tips and also recommend I take her to the doctor immediately. Here is what we’re doing for her eczema, but it doesn’t seem to be helping.

  1. Daily oatmeal baths (with real oatmeal in a cheese cloth satchel) and moisturizing while she’s still wet to lock in the moisture. We pat her dry, no rubbing her skin with the towel.
  2. Slathering of hypoallergenic moisturizer (Cetaphil) at every diaper change all over her head and body
  3. Hydrocortisone cream (a 1% steroid solution) for the really bad flare ups that seem to be keeping her awake or aggravated. This has a 7-day in a row limit for use though, so I just use it as sparingly as possible.
  4. I cut out dairy (again). It has only been a week and a half and the dairy allergens won’t leave my body completely until 2 weeks, so time will tell. So far I would say her eczema has gotten WORSE since cutting out dairy, but maybe it’s a ‘gets worse before it gets better’ kind of deal. The doctor reluctantly said this is a possible cause of the eczema, but not likely. Definitely worth giving it a real try though.
  5. Keep a cool mist humidifier running constantly in the rooms she spends the most time in. Unfortunately I’m sure the space heater and furnace evaporate the mist as soon as it hits the air, but it’s damn cold here and we don’t have much choice.

These are all doctor and nurse recommended remedies, but there’s still no reprieve.

Has anyone else found treatments/remedies/skin-soothing things that worked for baby eczema?