Thursday, September 22, 2016

Eczema: 7 Mom-tested remedies

Eczema is a skin condition caused by inflammation affecting an estimated 1 in 10 children. There are many different types of eczema, the most common being atopic dermatitis. Doctors don't know exactly what causes eczema but continued research is beginning to link it to diet, genetics, environment and activities. More importantly, it is treatable, preventable and not contagious.
Telltale signs your little one might have eczema:
  • Dry spots
  • Rough or scaly patches 
  • Itching 
  • Redness
  • Blisters
  • Cracking of the skin
Most commonly found on hands, neck, face and legs, but it can occur anywhere on the body. Check those creases under knees or elbows, it likes to hide there! My baby has reoccurring patches on the tops of her shoulders and upper back. It seems to flareup in the same spots.
What you can do:
I've put together a list of remedies I've collected from my pediatrician, personal experience and fellow mommas. *Of course before trying any remedy–over the counter or natural–it's important to consult with your doctor to determine if eczema is the culprit, which type your little one is suffering from and the best course of action.*
1. Handsocks: Most of the damage done to the skin is the result of scratching. Handsocks are a non-medical way to prevent little fingers from scratching while allowing the skin to heal by covering patches commonly found on hands and elbows.
2. Cetaphil *Cream* (for dry, sensitive skin): I highlight *cream* because it's different than lotion. Lotions are mostly water which is not well absorbed into the skin and quickly evaporates, but the richer-oil content in cream creates a layer on the skin that locks in moisture. Apply often, especially after baths. You can get into the routine of a nightly baby massage before bed.
3. Babyganics Eczema Care Skin Protectant Cream: 100% natural plant-based ingredients. (They also make fantastic sunscreen and bug repellent)

4. Odylique: This UK based company makes wonderful natural and organic remedies with soothing herbs and oils. They also recently published an interesting article: 7 New Ways To Treat Adult And Baby Eczema From The Inside I found to be very informative and I'm always looking for natural and homeopathic alternatives!

5. Aquaphor Healing Ointment: This is a great all-in-one ointment to have around. I regularly apply it to eczema patches, as a diaper rash cream, and can be used to protect minor cuts, scrapes and burns. A must have for me!
6. Laundry detergent free of perfumes or dyes: You want to remove anything that could cause extra irritation or an allergic reaction. This goes for soaps/lotions as well. Tip: If you're giving your little one baths every evening, skip the soap some nights. Soap can often dry out the skin. 
7Cortizone-10 Hydrocortisone Cream: Steroid cream (this should be used sparingly and if your child is under 2 years of age, it is suggested to speak with your doctor first). My pediatrician recommended using for those especially dry, irritated, itchy spots. I have found this to heal flareups quickly.
I hope you find this list helpful and would love to hear any recommendations you have in the comments!
Love, Allison

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Baby Proofing: The good, the bad and the ugly

When to baby proof? For me it was when my 11 month old turned into a monkey–contortionist–escape artist–high speed crawler (over night). Want to know what you need to baby proof? Just follow your little one around the house and take notes. So to Amazon I went. Here’s what I bought, what worked and kind-of worked:

Outlet and Cord Safety– 
Twin Door Outlet Cover
. Prepare yourself for the BEST baby-proofing thing on the market! It just can’t get any easier. Unscrew the faceplate of your current outlet cover, replace it with this, then close the doors and vuala! It's roomie enough to fit larger plugs and extra cord. I have absolutely no complaints about this product; it works and looks great!

If you want to take it up a notch, add these: Wiremold C110 1-channel CordMate Kit. Measure, cut, pull off a strip of plastic and stick to the wall! It suggests using a little saw to cut, I used a serrated bread knife. You know that popular saying: “measure twice, cut once”? In this case, measure twice, stick once. If you stick wrong, use a putty knife to remove. DO NOT pull it off or this will happen…

After I finished eating my feelings about it, I put my big-girl carpenter hat on and got out the spackling paste and putty knife I should have used in the first place. After re-routing the covers around the plaster I tore off and a little paint job, it's redeemable! 

(despite my OCD and perfectionism telling me to re-do the whole thing so the cord is in a straight line–and to my husband's relief–I've left it alone.)

Dreambaby Blind Cord Wraps. These work great for my blind cords. Two screws to secure and they accomplish exactly what they're supposed to.

Furniture Tipping Safety–
Tip Resistant Furniture Safety Brackets. They’re as easy to use as a zip tie because they are (heavy duty) zip ties! These are great and don’t require you to screw anything into your furniture. So easy and secure!

TV Anti-Tip Straps. Who knew there were already holes in the back of your TV to screw these straps in?! Screw the other end into the wall and pull the straps to tighten. They keep our TV from wobbling when the little monkey escapes my peripheral vision and climbs up our TV stand (now secured to the wall with zip ties).

Cabinet and Drawer Safety–
Sliding Cabinet Locks. They aren’t particularly inconspicuous but they do the trick! Easy to open, close and adjust to whatever size you need them. I can’t imagine a knob or handle they wouldn’t work on. They fall to the side a bit, but again these are more about function than looks.

(Here are two different cabinet knobs/handles styles I was able to use them on and a full-shot of my armoire to reference their size.)

Originally I got these SmartMe Safety Adhesive Locks for my cabinets. After trying to figure out how they open for a solid 10 minutes–growing more confident by the second in their security–I finally figured it out (it helps to look at the picture demonstration on the package). They worked but I couldn’t help feeling paranoid they’d deface the finish of my cabinets when I eventually took them off, so I carefully and slowly removed them and replaced them with the sliding locks above.

...determined to use them somehow, I tried to recycle them for toilet safety (unsuccessfully)

However, they came in super handy for attaching an ipad to the wall! (judgement free zone here) I mean how else was I supposed to get any baby proofing done? She can't know my secrets!

Sharp Corners–
Corner & Edge Guards peel, stick, good to go. I swear the day after I put these on, my wild child pulled herself up on this bench and stumbled, grazing her head on what would have been a very sharp corner FOUR times. Clutch timing for these bad boys! 

There you have it! I've remained very satisfied with all these products and they've continued to keep my little monkey safe. What more could I ask for?!

Happy baby-proofing!

Love, Allison