This is a very personal story to me, and I struggled with whether or not to share it. I figured if it could help just one person, then it is worth it. I struggle because it caused me pain seeing my baby girl in uncomfortable pain and many sleepless nights for months on end. We went through many ups and downs her first 2 years of life. Trying to talk with the pediatrician, friends, and doing my own research. What also worked for us, may not for you. I am not a medical professional so please consult with one.
It all started around when Charlotte was about 4 months in age, and she would break out in eczema patches. At first I didn’t think anything about it because it would come and go. It didn’t seem to affect her much and doctors stated she would eventually grow out of it. At the time I already decided not introduce food until they were 8 months of age. I am a cautious parent, and when I found out I was pregnant with the twins I decided to rid the house of chemicals. Which also included taking a look at the kinds of soaps and lotions we were using also. I love Earth Mama Angle Baby so my twins used their line of bath, lotions, and butt balm. Still to this day, I love using their lotion.
My twins were on breastmilk until almost 18 months of age. Earlier on I didn’t think much about food playing a factor in her break-outs. When she was about 3 months of age I already cut out dairy. I did with my other 3 because I noticed they were sensitive to it. All my kiddos would spit up, but once I eliminated dairy they would stop. It never crossed my mind that other foods may be playing a factor until after having dinner with some great friends. In September of 2012 my husband and I decided to do an elimination diet to see if it would help. We figured it would be easier if we had the whole family involved. For one, it would be easier on me for grocery shopping and meal prepping as a mother to 5 young children, and two, minimal complaints about food since we were all involved. So in came the Paleo diet. If you are not familiar with it, check out here to read up more about it. You can also google Paleo diet and get more information that way. So that meant we eliminated gluten, dairy, legumes, and processed foods/sugars. We cleaned out the fridge and pantry and went head on. Rob and I did a strict Whole 30, while the kiddos followed a paleo diet.
The changes we saw were incredible not with just Charlotte, but the whole family. They way the kiddos felt, their attitudes, and energy levels. Same went for Rob and I. Feeling better about ourselves, losing weight, and the joys of cooking together. I don’t want to go much more in detail about it. I may do that in another post. Furthermore, Charlotte was showing improvements and started to sleep better for us.
Two months later, things changed again. Beginning in November I started to notice the breakouts lasting longer and not going away like they use to. The picture to the right is when she was 10 months old. This was the time I started taking pictures to help me with trying to keep track of what her skin was doing. I figured there had to be more to the problem. She was not just going to grow out of it, and there had to be more I could do. It just didn’t sound right to me, to let her be. There were many nights I would cry because I felt so helpless. She would be so miserable. Most of the time I kept clothes off her because I was trying to eliminate any irritation to her skin. She would break-out almost over her entire back, legs, and upper butt region. Her back may heal up, but her upper butt region would be inflamed for weeks. She would also scar up on her lower legs from all the itching. I would talk with her pediatrician, and once again was told she would grow out of it. (Side note we did
make 1 change in pediatricians earlier on). I figured since I had seen improvement with the changes in our diet, we would stay the course. I had to be missing something…
Next I figured I would try out some different creams to help with the itch. So I started my journey on researching creams. I wanted to provide her with relief, but at the same time not have to use a steroid to do it. I did some research and tried different creams. Earth Mama Angel Baby was great, but didn’t help her with the inflammation and itching.I tried Aveeno, and it seemed to make it worse. I tried Burt’s Bees Baby multipurpose ointment, and she would just get redder. The picture to the right is from a month later in December. As you can see she is still red and inflamed. I would remember endless nights of crying and her not being able to sleep. Even holding her through the night, she may only get a total of about 3 hours here or there. Then wake up screaming, moving around constantly, and itching. Rob and I were back at it with nighty rotations of staying up and comforting her through the night. Even though I felt our diet was great, there must be something I was missing. It wasn’t all the time she was breaking out. She would go through some periods of her skin clearing up and then being inflamed again. So I started a food journal to try to help me figure out what was going on.
In the meantime I still needed to help her out with all the itching. About mid December after some more online research I found MooGoo skincare based out of Australia. I contacted the company to get more information about their products. I decided to order the Eczema & Psoriasis Cream with Marshmallow, Elderberry and more. It was expensive, but worth a shot. The reviews I have read were amazing, and after emails back and forth with the company, I figured why not. The cream arrived, and finally some relief for my baby girl. Within a week her back pretty much cleared up. This photo was taken January 2013. You can see her back is clear, but pigmentation discoloration from where she was inflamed. Still to this day, I keep this lotion on hand. So finally, yes she got relief. Finally sleeping through the night. Finally a happy go lucky girl again!
This post is already so much longer than I thought it would be. Part 2 to come regarding food allergies and food allergy testing. Along with my research in diapers and wipes! Part 2 of the story click here. Part 3 of Charlotte’s story can be found here.
***these are my own thoughts and opinions. I was not given or asked to write a review on any of the products I mentioned.