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Do's and Don'ts for Babies with Eczema

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When you have a baby with eczema, it can be frustrating and confusing to know what to do. Here are some general do's and don'ts that can make your life gentler and happier while struggling to find relief for your little one.

Do try to maintain a good attitude toward the illness. Remember that as many as 95% of children outgrow eczema by the time they are eleven years old. Over half are free of eczema by the time they are two, so there is a good chance this is only temporary. Also remember that it is a very common malady, affecting from 10-20 percent of all babies, and is not a reflection on your parenting skills or lack of them.

Don't think of it as medicating your baby when you have to rub on creams, but rather as nurturing and loving your baby. Make the application of creams a gentle, loving time of bonding, playing, and caring.

Do be willing to try different methods of healing eczema, whether they are anecdotal home remedies or potions prescribed by the doctor. Keep an open mind. On the other hand...

Don't be a slave to what anyone says if your heart is telling you the treatment you are using is making things worse. Every baby with eczema is an individual and if one thing holds true it is that your baby's best type of care will be unique. Just because something works for another does not mean it will work for your little one.

Don't get too wrapped up in trying to determine an allergen. It is rare that parents ever determine for sure what allergen has been causing the problem, if any, and trying to find the offending ingredient in your baby's life can be an overwhelming process. Focus on treatment and basic cleanliness.

Do help your baby to not itch and to not scratch. One way to accomplish this is to place cotton mitts on her hands at bedtime, but it is best to eliminate the itching if possible. An oatmeal bath, either home style or with a gentle bath product containing oats, can help cut down on itching. Another possibility is a baby dose of a medication like Benadryl, which helps reduce itching while promoting sleepiness. Talk to your doctor if the itching is very hard to control.

Finally, do remember that even these suggestions are just opinions. Enjoy your baby and listen to advice. You are sure to make it through these challenging days.

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