Tuesday, June 23, 2009

On Hold

Our sleep training efforts are pretty much on hold at this point :( We were in Phase 2 but Ethan's eczema is causing big issues. Nap time yesterday almost pushed me over the edge. He was tired, I was tired, he was itchy, I was hungry. After about an hour of me rocking him to sleep only to have him wake himself up SEVERAL times by itching his face as soon as I'd put him in his crib, I knew the nap wasn't going to happen. I have to say that naps are still an improvement from a couple of weeks ago when he was napping only in his swing. We have been very consistent with our nap routine and it has been working.

Last night we watched him on the video monitor. He stirs and can put himself back to sleep but then starts itching! Ugh. It's incredibly frustrating. If we get to him quickly enough and hold his hands down then he falls back to sleep. Are you picturing this? It's probably a funny site to see us sprinting upstairs to hold his hands down. If we let him itch then he's up, cries, and wants to nurse.

Thanks to commenter, Shannon, who shared this blog post. We're going to give the nightly luke warm soak a try. I think it will help his skin absorb the prescription lotion. The pedi suggested that lotion only once a day. The California Calendula cream seemed to help so we'll try that again during the day. I'm going to ask the pedi about this combo today while we're there for his shots. I'm dreading that appt this afternoon.

[Edited to ad] I linked the prescription ... wondering if anyone has heard reviews of it. From my searching I haven't found any negatives but just wondering.

So, we're standing still at Phase 1 and 2 of the No Cry Sleep Solution until we can get his eczema under control. Oh and I've also eliminated chocolate to see if that helps. It makes me sad not to have those Enjoy Life Foods chocolate bars and cookies after dinner but I'll survive. Someday I'll get to have a HUGE piece of GOOD chocolate cake again.


  1. That's what I do too - mine had an itching tantrum where my husband could no longer hold him. He was rubbing his wrists/feet against my husband to itch himself in a frenzy. At that point, it was bath time - a lukewarm bath and then slathered on the Vanicream. I put him in a sleeper to cover his legs so he won't itch them, and I also put socks on his hands to make it difficult for him to itch, but he has learned how to removed those. I'm also thinking of going to see if UV-B therapy works. I try to get mine out in the sun every day for a few mintues, but the weather has not been cooperating.

  2. Aww, these poor little itchy babies. I can only imagine how frustrating it is for them. I've been thinking about trying socks on his hands too but he also sucks his hands to soothe himself so I'm not sure. I've been trying a few minutes of sun everyday too.

    Which Vanicream do you use? You've had success with it? I googled and found these options on drugstore.com

  3. I use the Vanicream lotion. Since frequent lukewarm baths and moisturizing are now being recommended for eczema, I figure something light is adequate. plus, i'm paranoid about putting anything on my baby after having read that 60% of what is put on their skin is absorbed into their system given delicate skin & immature liver, etc i hope we figure out what is causing this!

  4. These allergies are definitely related to food. The last couple of days I've basically eaten nothing - plain oatmeal, rice and applesauce. I won't continue doing that (not healthy), but I noticed a slight improvement. Could be coincidence, but i've also kept the air conditioner on which prob helps his skin. Could be coincidence as it's too soon to tell if his hot spots are healing or just "resting".

  5. E's skin is improving over the past 2 days too. I stopped all chocolate after you told me about it contributing to eczema. I'm wondering if it was the chocolate or if it's improving b/c we've been doing the warm soaks then Mimyx, plus Cali Baby Calendula cream during the day. This is a guessing game and can be so frustrating! I really hope you continue to see improvement w/o having to cut more out of your diet. Oh and we had to turn our air on in May b/c E was itching his eyes like crazy and they swelled. Seasonal allergies too?! I don't know but that improved once we turned the air on.

    Do you drink Rice Milk? Rice Dream? If so, do you drink the refrigerated kind or the shelf stable kind? A blog I read said that the refrigerated kind was cross contaminated! This was posted in 2008 though. I'm wondering if it's true or has changed.

  6. Yes, I drink the Rice Milk (Rice Dream). The one you refridge afer opening. I heard also that there was cross contamination, but I don't know much about that. I try not to drink too much of that. Interesting. The last few days I ran out of Rice Dream so have not been drinking it. Maybe, that's what's been helping.

    Unfortunately I had some carob chips the other day. I didnt have my glasses w/me so i didnt realize these particular carob chips had soy & corn in them. darn! so my son's improvement vanished overnight. At least that's my guess.

    there are carob chips that dont have soy/corn in them. they are a yummy alt to chocolate.

  7. Have you ever thought your cats might also contribute to the eczema? I had mild atopic dermatitis as a child (very mild), and I was allergic to cats & dogs. When I first got my dog, I had to wear gloves because wherever he would lick, i would break out in a rash.

    Luckily, i outgrew my dog-allergy, but I'm still very allergic to cats and rabbits. My eyes get sooo itchy and watery with any prolonged contact with cats/rabbits, and then I start to feel like my asthma (had asthma as a child and then outgrew it) might come back. Chest gets stuffy/heavy, etc. That's when I know I have to get away from the house with cats/rabbits and get fresh air.

    The cats might be causing yours to itch his eyes. Just a thought. I've confined my dog to one room only until I figure out what is causing this eczema.

  8. I tried the shelf stable Rice Dream milk this week & have had stomachaches after wards. DS also had very fitful nights of sleep with stomach grumbles. Who knows if it's related but I think I'm going back to the refrigerated kind.

    I've never heard of carob chips. Thanks, I'll have to look for them.

    We were concerned that it was the cats too. I'm not sure. From what I've read if babies are exposed from birth/young age then the chances of developing an allergy to them are minimal but certainly not impossible. I'll have to take note to see if he itches at daycare or my MIL's, where there are no cats.

    You mentioned probiotics before, right? Do you take them or give them to your son? Biogaia probiotics were suggested to me last night. I haven't had a chance to look into them to make sure they're allergen free.

  9. Ewww on the Rice Milk. Have you tried calling them to see what they have to say about their product? I remember reading somewhere that it wasn't completely "dairy free" (i.e. that cross contamination issue ) or something like that.... The Pacific Foods brand is supposed to be a better option for rice milk...

    I've read that too - about children/babies' allergies and pet exposure. Our allergist seems to think that if it doesn't cause an anaphylactic reaction, expose, expose, expose. I have mixed feelings about that. My thoughts/gut is more in line with what the author of the Baby Matters book wrote - i.e. that prolonged inflamation predisposes a person/baby to future illness. So, I would prefer to dampen the flames, and get my baby into a more balanced state and then expose gently where his body isn't in constant histamine fire mode.

    Yes, I'm doing probiotics - both myself and baby. I take two kinds for myself, and for my son, I give him a tiny, tiny amt (I just dip the tip of a wet nipple into the powder and put that into his mouth). I use Ethical Nutrient's probiotic and Jarrow brand. I'm still not sure about Ethical Nutrient's Maxi Bifidus - they told me it's pretty much dairy-free, but it's labeled, "non-dairy". I haven't noticed a problem w/that though. Today, I bought some Quercetin. I'm going to take that and see if it helps my son.

    I'm hoping this is temporary for you and me. Hopefully, their guts will mature at 7 to 8 months and everything will clear up!