Eczema – What’s In Your Bath Tub?

If your baby suffers from eczema, I’d guess your bath tub is also a little stained yellow from Pinetarsol which you think miiight work but aren’t quite sure, but you use it anyway just in case it does?

Our 9mo can’t get through the day without his “Bah” (bath). If he doesn’t have one bath in the morning and one in the afternoon, he becomes “itchyman”. Itchyman doesn’t babble away happily, itchyman doesn’t look up at you with those innocent baby eyes, itchyman doesn’t laugh at the funny faces you pull, itchyman doesn’t sit nicely in his car seat or lie down to sleep in his cot… itchyman itches.

He wriggles in discomfort, he cries, he rips his gloves off, he scratches all over, he must be held down to sleep, he has scratch marks on his inflamed/oozy skin, you find him covered in his own blood and he looks up at you with pleading eyes as if begging you to make the torture stop. Gosh, it must be torture. I can’t even stand a mosquito bite let alone what this baby goes through. Is this what eczema babies think life is?

Eczema - 7 months old
Eczema – 7 months old. I didn’t take pics of it at it’s most severe, this is not too bad!

Eczema is awful. Just to put it out there, I find it 100x harder to deal with than a (non ANA) allergy. At least with an allergy you avoid the food (dairy here!) and you’re OK most of the time. With eczema, it’s all day and all night for not just the baby but for the Mumma too. I have had days where I have fallen down feeling defeated and cried because it feels like it doesn’t stop. It feels like your precious time with your baby is being robbed from you both because all he does is scratch and scratch and scratch. Your full time job is to stop the scratching. All day and all night. I thought to myself, I wish I could worry about normal baby things, like pumpkin stains or whatever, like everyone else. There is relief, I promise. You will tackle the triggers/causes however you see fit (medical or natural route, we combine both here) and as for the relief, well it starts in the bath tub!

I really want to share with anyone who might read this the things that we do which have worked wonderfully for us – and the things we have learned to avoid, through trial and error.

You know you're a natural Mum when you have food products in the bathroom
You know you’re a natural Mum when you have food products in the bathroom

In the bath we have found that all things natural work much better. Three good points:
You cannot over dose on food products as treatment, you don’t have to measure out 15 – 30ml of liquid then worry that there is not enough/too much..
Plus, it will not burn a whole through your wallet.
Also, there isn’t the safety worry of the baby/children getting into this stuff and drinking the whole bottle as much as there would be for say, bleach.

Our bathroom shelf consists of, rolled oats, bicarbonate of soda, white vinegar and tea tree oil. I am going to make it simple. Bullet point, simple –

  • For itching relief: Rolled Oats in muslin cloth under the running bath tap to create an oat bath. I also use this to squeeze the oat milk directly onto my baby. This provides relief from scratching. The bath will be a wonderful milky colour from using this.
    Careful when you squeeze it as it will be as hot or cold as the water tap it was just running under!
  • For itching relief: Bicarbonate of Soda which is baking soda. This can be applied directly as a paste to the skin or sprinkle it in the bath. We sprinkle it in the bath. This takes away the itch.
  • For healing: Tea Tree Oil. Tea tree oil has healing benefits. This is great in every bath to stop infection. I love the peace of mind that comes with knowing this even if itchyman has scratched his skin open!
  • For cleaning: White vinegar. This is not for the baby – we mix it with the bicarb soda to clean the bath, to clean the floors, to clean the washing machine, to clean most surfaces… white vinegar on it’s own can also be used as a fabric softener in place of chemical laden ones.
  • For moisture: We use olive oil when we feel additional moisture is required in the bath tub. We call this baby soup.

Moisture the baby with your chosen moisturizer/alternative ASAP following the bath.

*updated to add we now also add to the bath water, salt or apple cider vinegar for healing.

What not to use in the bath

No bubbles as these are a chemical attack on the skin
No shampoos, conditioners, bath wash, body wash etc. as we find these feed flare ups
We clean bath toys in the bath rub daily (or almost daily, if I’m honest!)
We are careful to wash our wash cloths and towels in mineral balls, as opposed to washing powder (I will do a post on these wonderful things at a later date).

I really hope that helps, can only give it a go. I know what it’s like being up at 2am bathing your baby in a bid to stop the scratching. Just take it one day at a time, it does get better.

Keep up the good work. It’s not easy. Soon your baby will sleep without itching, without being held down and without gloves – even if this is only once/twice a day for half an hour! You might be able to get up and pee while the baby sleeps for once haha.

Peacefully Asleep
Peacefully Asleep

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