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I did it all wrong: swaddling, eczema and thumb sucking

(15 Posts)
yumcha888 Sun 19-Jun-11 08:37:31

i did it all wrong sad

DS is now 3.5 months and from day 1 he was happy to sleep without a swaddle. I thought, 'Great! now I won't have to wean him off it in a few months'. BUT now he's developed eczema on his face and scratches himself awake from all naps and sleeps. I've been waking up at the first sign of scratching and holding his arms down but, of course, now I'm a wreck. DH is well meaning but a heavy sleeper so a bit useless for this one.

Yesterday I tried a swaddle and it was ok, until he woke up and tried to put himself asleep again. He usually does this by sucking his thumb noisily for a minute or two but, obviously, this time he couldn't reach his thumbs and became more and more pissed off.

So, now I'm in a dilemma, do I:

a) swaddle so he can't scratch but also can't comfort himself withthumb sucking?
b) don't swaddle so he can thumb suck and risk scratching?

Is there an option c)???

Thanks for reading, any advice really appreciated.

Filmbuffmum Sun 19-Jun-11 08:45:11

I realise you might feel like this is introducing another solution which you will need to wean him off later... but have you considered a dummy? I was determined not to use them, but ended up giving in after a few months (when bf was well established). and both of them definitely slept better. Are you using anything (creams etc) for the eczema?

SouthGoingZax Sun 19-Jun-11 08:46:12

Option c)
Sleepsuits with scratch mitts on the ends of the arms.
Dummy?

Don't beat yourself up smile

BeeBopBunny Sun 19-Jun-11 08:58:53

Poor you, it's miserable, isn't it. I found the sjeepsuits with scratch mitts attached amazing - you can get them from Mothercare and Sainsbury's and no doubt loads of other places. Have you seen the GP for something for the eczema? I found Oilatum good (there is a baby version) in the bath and Infaderm (an emollient cream). And the GP prescribed a very weak hydrocortisone cream which is very effective.

I wouldn't try swaddling him at this stage. Little babies love it but once they are a few months old they just fight their way out of the blanket in my experience.

yumcha888 Sun 19-Jun-11 09:08:58

Thanks guys!

Taking DS to the Dr on Tuesday, we've been using Aveeno in the bath and E45 as the emollient. I'm hoping for some hydrocortisone to break the itch scratch cycle.

Didn't think of scratch mitts. We used them when he was first born as his razor nails scratched his face but he used them to rub the sides of his head away instead (my poor baby, I hate watching this). Definitely going to give them another go now.

Re: the dummy - now that DS has discovered his thumbs he's not interested in the dummy, even when I pull his thumb out and quickly replace it with a dummy, he doesn't want to know.

Thanks again!

AppleAndBlackberry Sun 19-Jun-11 20:17:49

Cut his nails really short and try to get some good creams from the doctor. I'm not sure if he's too young for piriton but the doctor might let you have it if the scratching is really bad. I wonder if you can engineer a scratch mitt to leave the thumb out and cover the rest of the fingers?

dribbleface Sun 19-Jun-11 22:01:50

Not sure why but E45 made DS's eczema angry. Hope the GP can offer some support.

Think appleandbalckberry is onto something there, worth a try?!

shesparkles Sun 19-Jun-11 22:08:56

E45 contains lanolin which is a common allergen for eczema sufferers-it really sets mine off sad

cottonreels Sun 19-Jun-11 22:25:59

i heard socks are better than scratchmits - not sure why!

dribbleface Sun 19-Jun-11 22:28:37

thanks shesparkles - often wondered why.

moojie Sun 19-Jun-11 22:30:35

I used to swaddle ds with one hand tucked by his side and the other hand (his thumb sucking hand) up by his chin. If I swaddled him quite tightly (I used huge muslin squares) then he could actually get his arm out further than to just suck his thumb.

yetama Sun 19-Jun-11 22:31:04

Have you tried olive oil? It really works vey well with my daughter. I have tried so many different creams from the doctors and nothing seemed to work until I was toldto use olive oil. Massive improvement at least for my daughter

TeamLemon Sun 19-Jun-11 22:33:05

Socks are better than scratch mitts because you can pull them right up to the elbows and they can't easily be pulled off! Really helped with DS1, who had a large patch on his cheek as a baby.
We also used them on DS in the snow - layering a sock, fleece mitten, another sock - kept him toasty warm.

yumcha888 Sun 19-Jun-11 22:55:59

Oh wow appleandblackberry, I'm sitting here watching ds suck a thumb that is sticking out of a tiny hole I cut into his scratch mitt. He's so content!

Moojie, I'm trying your swaddle tomorrow (it'll help him not at himself awake). The hand that's close to his chin - how do you engineer t so it doesn't just come straight out? I guess you somehoe wrap cloth around the forearm?

SouthGoingZax Mon 20-Jun-11 06:07:24

O yes, E45 is a no no for excema.

The Doc will give you Cetraben - calmed my DS's skin right down.

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