Hi Is This Normal,
My kid has dandruff/eczema and makes me gag. What happened to their baby soft skin?! I want to be able to nuzzle my baby, but honestly the thought of rubbing my nose on their flaky head and face is enough to make me shudder. Help!
Dear Squeamish Mama,
It would be super great if, while well-meaning friends and loved ones prepared us for having a baby, they also took some time to talk about alllllllll the ways that babies and toddlers and kids would gross us out. Because—look there’s no good way to put this—kids can be suuuuper gross.
I remember the first time I caught a whiff of the neck cheese (!) fermenting in the folds of my sweet baby’s neck. It took all my self control not to hurl right then and there! I didn’t know we were supposed to be wiping those folds several times a day. I was so naive! I hate to say it, but neck cheese is just the beginning. It’s a whole lifetime of gross stuff. I mean, have you heard of teenagers? You can smell them a mile away.
We imagine babies to be these perfect, pristine little beings. But in reality, they’re people, just like us. And unfortunately, eczema is very common! I promise, your baby is not the only baby shedding their skin like a snake. If you notice your baby is a bit more flaky than usual, it’s always a good idea to have your pediatrician take a look. But when you hear the word “ECZEMA” don’t panic. It’s gross, but there are some things you can do to help manage it.
The tricky thing is, while there are plenty of treatments for eczema in kids, it can take some trial and error to find the one that works best for YOUR kid. This is especially important when it comes to baby eczema, since treatments that work on adults might not be safe for your baby depending on their age. But there are natural remedies for babies that are definitely worth a shot! Here are a few of our favorites:
- Honey! Honey is a humectant, which basically means that it attracts and traps moisture to the skin. Lots of parents swear by manuka honey for its antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties!
- Coconut oil, which can moisturize and prevent inflammation in your little one’s irritated skin. Moisture helps speed up healing! Make sure to get unrefined coconut oil which contains lauric acid, a type of fat found in mother’s breast milk.
- Chamomile is another natural remedy for eczema in children that can promote healing. Chamomile has polyphenols and flavonoids, two great antioxidants which preserve and heal damaged cells!
Apply these after a brief bath (long baths inflame itching), but make sure to first pat your baby dry without scrubbing. After applying the above topicals on the affected areas, make sure to choose loose and comfy clothing for your baby so there’s no further irritation to the skin. Remember: stay away from scented soaps, scented lotions, and too-hot water like they’re the plague.
Treating your child’s eczema is important, but preventative care is really where it’s at. You can do a few things, like identifying and eliminating the environmental factors that seem to trigger the condition (if you have a family history of allergies, start with familial triggers), but for the most part avoid over-bathing your child.
Babies and kids are very cute but also very gross. I hate to say it mama, but this is just the beginning. You’ll get through this! Even if you gag in the process.