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{Giveaway} The Dummy Debate: Pros + cons of giving your baby a dummy

I admit, before I became a parent, I had all these lofty ideas about how and what motherhood should look like and what my life was going to be. 

And I admit, before I had kids, I kind of judged dummies.

Not out loud, hell no. But I was hell bent on not using them - ever. 

My son was a steep learning curve, but nothing could prepare me for the arrival of my daughter.

Handed this bundle of baby that had an impressive set of lungs right from the get go - I was simultaneously in love and overwhelmed. I remember a moment when I hovered over my 2 month old daughter's bassinet, her wails filling the house - I was almost delirious with frustration. I had tried almost everything to try and soothe her - all the things the books told me to do, but nothing was working. In my hand, I held a dummy. My best friend has thoughtfully given a me a box of baby essentials as a baby shower gift with my son, one I took gratefully for all the things I knew I'd need, but the dummies had sat discarded in a corner.

Until now.

Something in that sleep-deprived, anxiety-filled, exhausted hours of the night called me to it.

Desperate, I popped it in. Her little mouth latched on. Her cries stopped and almost immediately she fell asleep, her fist curled into a little ball.

Beside her, I was almost in tears. In the blissful silence that followed, I somehow felt like a failure for not being able to comfort her myself. I mean, come on, I had done this already, I should know what to do by now. (I had at that moment forgotten my first child, my son, refused a dummy and later a bottle.)

Guilt flooded over me.

The Great Dummy Debate

But while the undisturbed stretches of sleep soon convinced me that the dummy was the best invention man has ever made for new mums,  I soon found that The Great Dummy Debate raged on in mothers groups and forums and online on Facebook with everyone having an opinion.

I've heard it creates nipple confusion. How do I take it away? Our parents never used one, so why would I? OMG, what if she is at SCHOOL still with a dummy?? Am I going to have to give up my child to pay for the dentist?? And then - Best thing I ever did.

 

Like any Google-savvy expectant mum, I had spent a lot of time researching the pros and cons of dummy use, amongst other things (including finding out what the longest record was for not pooping. What? I was curious). A few generations ago - dummies or pacifiers were common place and came with only a small warning of giving children an oral fixation. These days, on the other hand, all the information makes it so difficult for new parents to make a decision.

Pros

  • Babies love to suck.  Pediatric experts say that sucking is a natural reflex for babies - so much so that you often see them doing that even before they are born. It provides comfort - and babies find that inexplicable comfort on sucking on anything - it could be your finger, their own thumb or blanket.
  • Further research found that dummies can be an easy and non-medicinal way to help comfort your child to ease pain and are even said to help alleviate the symptoms of colic and wind, when other techniques have not worked.
  • There have also been some studies that show that dummies can help reduce SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome).
  • Can help your baby learn to "self soothe"

Cons

  • Giving a dummy (or bottle) too early can lead to nipple confusion when breastfeeding.
  • The most common thing that dentists see,  that extended use of a dummy can lead to an anterior open bite (where the top front teeth don't meet the bottom front teeth) or a cross bite (where the upper row of teeth, instead of hanging outside, hangs inside the lower teeth). But not all is bad news - if you're only using the dummy passively - i.e for naps and nighttime, there is may not be any dental effects at all. Most cases, kids who have dummies stop by the age of 5.
  • One of the other things that came up when research was the connection between dummy use and ear infections. With prolonged use - more than five hours a day - that can lead to chronic ear infections
  • Again, with prolonged use, it can lead to speech delays.

Dummy Don'ts

Don't force a dummy if your baby doesn't want it

Don't use the dummy to replace or delay feeds

Don't give a dummy until breast/bottle feeding has been well established

Don't tie dummies around your baby's neck or to the cot/bassinet

Don't dip the dummy in anything sweet 

Don't use the dummy as a "silencer" to quieten your baby's babbling, which encourage speech.

Dummy Do's

Find a dummy that is BPA free, has ventilation holes to permit air passage and ideally has an orthodontic, symmetrical nipple which will not disturb the natural development of baby’s palate, teeth and gums

Keep dummies cleaned and sterilised regularly, as you would bottles

Check dummies frequently for damage and replace often as cracked nipples trap germs.

Set boundaries to when you offer the dummy - use it for soothing purposes and for short periods of time


Speaking from experience

I took a quick survey from mums on our Facebook page and it turns out that most people made the decision to use or not use the dummy based on what was happening at that moment - and what worked for one child, didn't necessarily work for the other.

Laura, mum of 11-month-old Emilia, decided not to give her a dummy at all. "I had heard the warnings of nipple confusion and breastfeeding was really important to me. I have to admit as well, it was influenced by seeing friends who had given their babies dummies and now were struggling to wean them off it. I think one took close to a year to for their child to be fully weaned from it".

This was a big concern for me as well. For someone who wanted to breastfeed for as long as possible, and knowing how hard that journey had been for me - I didn't want anything to come in the way of that. What I learned was that dummies require a different sucking action than breastfeeding. If a baby sucks on the breast in the same manner as she does with a dummy - very little milk comes out and all you get is sore nipples. This is why most lactation consultants and breastfeeding advocates recommend dummies be given only once breastfeeding has been well established.

Anjali, mum of two year old Priya admits that she is starting to worry about her teeth and speaking. "Priya has some words she says, but I always wonder if the dummy is holding her back in some way". Jo-Anne stopped once her son was 18 months old, cold turkey and other than a few nights of bedtime fussiness - she got through it.

Weaning off the Dummy

The decision to introduce a dummy is a personal one, and so just like that, how you decide to wean it off is also a very personal choice. Some parents go “cold turkey” and gradually reduce using the dummy over time or use the concept of the “Dummy Fairy” to take the dummy away (and will of course leave something in exchange for it!). 

It can be a traumatic experience - in the short term, it can be a big loss for a kid. With that in mind (and to hopefully avoid the meltdowns), timing is everything - not around any big changes like holidays, moves or a new baby for example - and think about the wording before you ditch the dummy. Work with your child to get them onboard - rather than saying "You're too big for this" and taking it away can leave the child feeling shame and rage and leaves them distraught - which, of course, then gets nightmare, meltdowns and whining. 

But one piece of advice - once you have weaned your child off it, throw it away! 

As for me, my little girl dropped the dummy around six months.  And now, whenever one of my friends is having a new baby I always gift one - just in case - because I learned that when it comes to parenting sometimes it is whatever gets you through for those moments.

 

GIVEAWAY!!

Blue Brontide are giving away TWO of their organic cotton dummy clips! Worth $36.00 each,  they are perfect for keeping dummies/ teethers off the floor & close at hand. All handmade in the UK from hand-printed organic sustainable fabrics, and all sewn together with GOTS certified organic thread!

These materials are carefully selected not only to create an eco-friendly product but to make sure they are safe against your baby's soft delicate skin! We even pack green sending your dummy clips in an organic linen bag, with oak wooden tags & a drawstring top to keep your littles soother clip safe and clean when not in use!

To enter the giveaway, leave a comment below or on our Facebook page under the post about whether you ever thought you would use a dummy before kids - and if you did or not. For additional entries, share the blog post or like our Facebook page.

Blue Brontide ship worldwide and are also giving our readers a generous 20% off STOREWIDE to buy anything from their gorgeous range of eco-friendly tableware and accessories. Use the code ORGANIC20 at checkout.

Giveaway and discount offer ends midnight 2nd of November 2017. Winners will be chosen via random.org and posted in our newsletter and on our Facebook page the following day. Good luck!

5ways to raise socially conscious kids

I believe that one of the most important jobs as a parent is teaching my kids kindness. While we may want to shelter our children from the realities of the world, raising socially conscious kids is one of the many ways in which we can take charge and help change the world.

Raising socially conscious kids and guiding them to show empathy and become aware of social issues helps them to forge the future in which they want to live in. It's about raisings kids to rise above and be compassionate leaders, community minded and caring members of their families and friends.

Veronica Sherman (http://veronicasherman.com.au) is a social activist, blogger and award-winning powerhouse behind Happily Made that provides training and financial empowerment to Cambodian women through her ethical toys. She is also the mother of four children who are fearless and strong in their desire to make the world a better place. I asked her about her top tips on how she raised socially conscious kids. 

Continue Reading →

BEHIND THE BRAND: VERONICA SHERMAN OF HAPPILY MADE

Veronica of Happily Made has created a beautiful biz created from her experiences from living in an Cambodia village for two and a half years and the desire to make a difference. Fueled by her bottomless pit of wild, wonderful ideas, Happily Made stock cheeky magnetic monkeys and huggable knitted soft toys which give marginalised Cambodian women and men sustainable employment, contribute to an education fund for the women’s children and give kids around the world something to snuggle.

We caught up with her last week to chat about how she manages the craziness of motherhood that comes with raising FOUR children on her own, with running her own business and her plans for the future…

What did you do before starting your own business?

I was busy raising my four kids and had a counselling degree tucked away in a filing cabinet that I hoped to use one day.

How did you come up with your company name and why?

 I was wanting to avoid using the term "fair trade" but at the same time wanted people to understand that my project was wholesome and positive...

 What inspired you to start your own business and how did you start it?

I had been living in rural Cambodia for two and a half years. Initially I was completely overwhelmed by the poverty all around me and my family.  Without intending to I found myself running a sewing project from my home. I could see first hand the difference it could make for these young women and mothers.
 
When our family moved back to Australia so my children could “be normal” I vowed to keep doing something that would help the marginalised women in Cambodia.   I was so painfully aware that without the support of someone ‘back home’ connecting the product with the public there was no way for any community project in a developing country could survive no matter how great it was.
These past four years back in Australia have not been easy. The juggling act of solo parenting 4 children in the midst of studies, some major health concerns all in a brand new city has been one of the biggest challenges I have faced in my life. Through it all though I have tried my hardest to keep the promise I made when I left Cambodia which was to not forget the women there no matter how deeply suburbia sucked me in.
 
The frustration was of course that we needed to have people in Australia buying the items in order to keep the project going. As it turned out I became that person that I was longing for. Almost five years after arriving in Melbourne I am excited to have an online shop where regular mums and dad can access some of the beautiful things being made in Cambodia. I now do the selling and marketing side of things while my friend does the hands on stuff in Cambodia.Every item bought on here will change lives over there.
 
 
 
 

What is your vision for your business?

I know that there are a lot of great community projects who need a person like me who can help them tweak their product to make it more attractive to Australian customers as well as help them get more sales. I would love to support more projects and take them under my wing.

What is your vision for the world?

What I have learnt is to try to focus in on what I can do in "my world" and be that change that I long for instead of just feeling overwhelmed by the world as a whole. I know that when we can provide meaningful employment for women, their children benefit. And in turn the whole family benefits which in turn transforms the whole community.
 

What are the biggest challenges you have found in your business? And the biggest rewards?

The biggest challenges is when an aid organisation steps into our communities and hands out bags of rice and our knitters feel as if they have their needs met for the month and decide they don't need to work anymore. It's a very shortsighted way of viewing their finances and is a direct result of living in poverty. It's taking a lot of work to show these women that they can accumulate  income over time and don't need to live day to day. The biggest reward is hearing about yet another community of women who have completed their training and are able to start a new path.

What’s your advice for a company wanting to incorporate ethical practices into their company?

Don't assume everything is kosher in the "fair trade" world. Talk to people who have been doing it for a long time. 
 

What has been your greatest lesson in business and motherhood?

That stress doesn't help anyone. The more I can generate a peaceful presence the smoother things go. If I am kind to myself everyone else benefits.

Besides business and your family, do you have any hobbies you love to enjoy (when you have the time)? 

It's not a hobby as such but every Friday afternoon I go to the Detention Center and visit men seeking asylum. It's the one time in my week my phone is locked away and I am forced to sit down at a table and just 'be'. I love this moment out of time in my week where I get to connect with those who have not tasted freedom for many years. It puts my life into perspective and I love that my youngest daughter comes with me and we get to share this special ritual together. 
 

I can't start my day without coffee. What's that one thing you need everyday to kickstart yourself? 

 I wish it was something wholesome like an hour's walk before breakfast...but it's probably chocolate.

Who has been your greatest inspiration to you in your life and why?

This is going to sound weird but my greatest inspiration is probably that elusive "better version of myself" that I'm constantly trying to evoke. 

If you could travel anywhere or do anything in the world what would that be? 

I would love to spend some time in central Australia and connect with the people there. I love this country but feel as if I have only tasted such a small part of it.
 

If your children learn one thing from you what would you wish that to be?

To not travel to the other side of the globe and start a family there but instead remain within 5kms of their mother so they have support when they have their own kids. 
 
 
Veronica and Happily Made have been nominated for an AusMumpreneur award in the MAKING A DIFFERENCE - BUSINESS category. Head on over to vote (Go to category #1 and find contestant #10 (Veronica Sherman) and ask your friends to do the same!!) and support this amazing business. Voting closes midnight 13th August 2017.
 

Shop these gorgeous monkeys here.

 

20 of the best organic + eco EOFY sales online for mum and baby

I'm just going to come out and say it.

There are only 25 more weekends until Christmas.

Every year I say I'll be more organised with gifts - buying quality over quantity (let's face it -quality natural products do tend to cost a bit more so I am all for saving money where I can - and kids grow fast!). And so many of my favourite stores and brands are having massive sales right before the end of June, but there's a problem

It's freezing.

And do you know what that means? It means hair grows wild, I try and get away with wearing pj's EVERYWHERE (Who knows what I'm wearing under that coat) and soup is my go-to meal.

I am NOT a winter person, so the only way I can get through the cold months is by rugging up on the couch and not moving. Which means I do all my shopping from there as well. So I thought I'd put these amazing sales all in one place, so that you too, can shop from your couch. 

Totally PJ-friendly.

♥ SMILEY ORGANICS

Smiley Organics are a great little Aussie online store that offers a wide range of quality Organic baby and kids products including organic cotton brands like Frugi, Little Green Rascals and And the Rest. Everything ...absolutely EVERYTHING 40% OFF storewide!!! Trust me all these goodies won't last long.... get in quick!

♥ BOODY ECOWEAR + BOODY BABY

Boody Baby is the new range launched by Boody Ecowear and made using organically grown bamboo.​ The collection of clothing essentials​ is great​ for newborn babies up to 2 years old. Easy on the skin, practical for new mums and good for our planet, Boody Baby ​also ​makes for a useful and thoughtful present​ (beautifully packaged)​. 

  • Beautifully packaged and ready to gift - our packaging is 100% recyclable!
  • Hypoallergenic & soft - our fabric rests gently on a baby’s delicate skin and is certified by Oeko-Tex
  • Sustainable - made using only certified organically grown bamboo by EcoCert
  • Pesticide and insecticide free

They've super generously given us an exclusive discount code (use code : ORGANICCHILD) to get 15% off STOREWIDE across all ranges and for the next 2 weeks - EXPIRES 11/07/2017

♥ MODIMADE

When you shop with Modimade, you know that your purchase is making a difference - all products are ethically made in Cambodia. The range includes Baby/Kids Toys & Clothes, Womens Clothing/Bags/Jewellery and Homewares.

Modimade are offering 20% STOREWIDE! Use code EOFY20 for 20% off the whole range (+ Free Shipping!)

♥ MOONLIT SLEEP

$50 OFF all Single quilt cover sets + FREE Australian shipping.... 😱💥🎉 It's happening right now, so you can get your little one snuggled up in one of Moonlit Sleep's super soft organic cotton quilt cover sets at a bargain price!!

Go to the single bed section on their website, then use code EOFY at checkout.

♥ MEM + MAEVE

Mem & Maeve is an Australian online store specialising in products for babies and children with allergies. They only stock brands we love and trust, hand selecting our product range to ensure it is suitable for sensitive little bodies while still being on trend.

Think breathable cotton clothing and swaddles in fun prints for eczema prone and sensitive skin; beautifully illustrated books for children living with food allergies and their peers; natural skin care products that safely nourish new skin; and insulated medication bags to safely carry and protect essential medicines.

Right now their EOFY sale is 15% off all specialised eczema clothing and organic cotton clothing - use code ECZEMA at checkout.

♥ LITTLE BEAN ORGANICS

The wait is over!! Little Bean Organics have launched their much anticipated Ocean Child collection with the beautiful new prints across a range of unisex onesies, bodysuits, rompers, sweet little dresses and matching head bows. ⠀

Little Bean Organics offer a range of organic clothes and other essentials for babies and toddlers, made from gorgeously soft, high-quality organic cotton, grown free from nasty chemicals and toxins.⠀

Stock is limited and you don't want to miss out on this release. So many beautiful winter essentials for your little one and made from the softest, 100% GOTS certified, organic cotton 😍.

Grab a great bargain with 30% OFF STOREWIDE  with code EOFYS17.

♥ OXFAM

Oxfam is having a massive June sale with lots of stock clearing out at up to 50% off. Shop the sale here and also check out the 20% off page as well. On sale in June while stocks last.

QUICK FACT: The sale doesn’t affect how much Oxfam pay their producer partners.

♥ ASTER + OAK

This is a last minute addition because this is one of my favourite organic brands for kids, Aster & Oak organic cotton clothing is created exclusively using 100% GOTS certified organic cotton and dyes, making them safe, soft and gentle on your little ones’ skin as well as gentle on the environment. Super stylish and beautifully soft as well.

Get up to 30-80% off with code EOFY17 on their entire range. (ENDS TONIGHT 27/06!)

♥ MAX AND HOUND

MAX & HOUND source all their brands with ethics and sustainability in mind. Catering from newborn through to 8 years old, every product is chosen with love and care, offering on trend style, unique brands and quality fabrics.

Use code WELCOME 30 for 30% off all Clothing (excluding rainwear and sale items)

BUT WAIT!!! WHAT BOUT THE RAINWEAR??

Ok, Ok, here's a little sumthin' sumthin' for that too.

Use code RAIN20 for 20% off all Rainwear (overalls, capes, jackets, boots and more!)

EOFY sales5C (3)

♥ ECO MANIA

Eco Mania is an Australian owned company who believes that everyone should have access to natural, organic and eco-friendly products.  Their mission is to provide you and your family with honest, pure products.

All their products have been tried and tested, are safe to use, promote wellbeing and reduce our impact on the environment. Any products that originate in countries other than Australia, all support fair trade and ecologically sustainable manufacturing.

Grab a great bargain on their already affordable prices with FREE shipping - use code: FREESHIPPING06

♥ LHAMI

Lhami is a mum-owned luxurious natural skincare range from NSW mum, Natalie. All of their products look amazing and use aromatherapy oils  (I think I'm kinda in love with the Winter Beauty Box - seriously everything you need to get through this winter!)

There are so many lovely products and you can get a very generous 25% off facial skincare products until the end of June (excluding sunscreen and starter packs). You must use the code: EOFYSALE

♥ BLUE BRONTIDE

Blue Brontide creates organic baby accessories in gender neutral colours made with premium sustainable fabrics & ethically sourced wooden baby/kids tableware to make mealtimes fun!

I mean, how CUTE are those plates?!

Based in the UK, they offer affordable worldwide shipping andpack green sending all their items in bio-degradable bags made from renewable corn starch. Great for the planet!

Blue Brontide are giving My Organic Child readers an exclusive 20% discount off STOREWIDE - and get this - a FREE bunny/bear spoon with each purchase. Use code ORGANICCHILD at checkout 🙂

♥ FLORA AND FAUNA

Gorgeous online store filled with an amazing range of natural, organic and eco-friendly products for the whole family -  Flora and Fauna are clearing stuff out up to 50% off in their Winter sale!

 

Best buys: Weleda (LOVE their teething stuff), Nuzest protein powder and Inika makeup. Also a great range of vegan bags + wallets on sale.

♥ 'LIL FOOTPRINT HAMPERS

'Lil Footprint hampers take all the hard work out of getting a great gift for new mums - filled with beautiful organic and natural products, they are wrapped and ready to make someone's day.

Their Starter Packs are super popular and my favourite for this Winter is the the "Baby Wellness" pack. Filled with items like teething powder, sleep support and something for those colds - you'll find something to naturally help soothe and calm babies and kids alike, and offer assistance in the management of colds, coughs, teething and colic. A wonderful gift for a new mum!

'Lil Footprint Hampers have given our readers a great code to use until the end of June - Use code EOFY17 to grab 15% off the entire Starter Pack collection.

♥ BARE + BOHO

Bare + Boho are inspired by the beauty of the mother-baby bond, and are humbled by the inner wisdom that emerges from our little ones. A great collection of eco-friendly items for family and home including modern cloth nappies for babies and cloth pads for mama, bamboo glass tea flasks, produce bags and natural nutritional support for mama.

Hot tip: With their viral video on how founder Jordan only ever used TWO of her cloth nappies for her son's entire nappy period, they have been inundated iwht orders for their beautifully printed modern cloth nappies. Stocks run out fast, so get in quick!

Get 10% off storewide with code EOFY.

♥ PLAYFAIR KIDS

Be kind to the earth and fair to its people. What better sentiment could we teach our children? This is at the core of everything at Playfair Kids.

You can shop their range of hand picked, high quality ethically sourced children’s pieces from around the world. Their focus is on products that are hand made, fair trade and eco-friendly and the pieces they collect are made from sustainable, recycled and organic materials.

Playfair Kids have given us an exclusive deal with 15% OFF STOREWIDE (excluding sale items) with the code: organicchild15 (all lower case).

♥ AVIDIVA

Kickee Pants have taken the U.S by storm and have become a sought after label. We’ve spotted celebs dressing their latest arrivals in these gorgeous pieces and received reviews from mums that their babes have better night’s sleep in their award winning snuggable sleepwear! You will fall in love with the deliciously soft and luxurious fabric and super cute designs!

Use code KICKEELOVE20 for 20% off all Bamboo Clothing

♥ ECO TOYS

Eco Toys is Australia's leading expert in sustainable kids toys. They are a family run business deeply committed to providing you with quality, wooden toys, natural & non-toxic toys.

This EOFY sale includes some of theirbest selling products, as well as lots of toys under $10. PLUS spend over $100 and get a FREE Dinosnores CD valued at $20. Simply put FREECD in the comments box. 🎶

For one week ONLY or until stock lasts. HURRY, this is a great chance to stock up on quality, 🍃 eco-friendly wooden toys and SAVE!

♥ AVA LOLA ORGANICS

Ava & Lola Organics is all about a natural approach to your child's health, care and wellbeing. You can find beautiful organic gift boxes, and safe products for Mum and Baby in this online boutique.

Best buy: The Breastfeeding Box - perfect for any mumma who plans or is breastfeeding all the essentials plus a few treats for mum as well.

Use code EOFYS for 15% off Storewide!

Most of these offers are only available until 30th of June (unless specified!) so get shopping 🙂

7 easy tips to manage eczema and dry skin in Winter

Guest Post by Mem and Maeve

For many children, the winter months result in an increase in dry skin and a surge in their eczema flare ups. Generally speaking, Miss 3’s eczema is much worse in summer – she suffers from hot eczema. However as she gets older, her eczema seems to be more persistent and is lingering into the cooler months.

For children with eczema, their skin barrier does not work as well as it should. This means that their skin is unable to hold in moisture and dries out much faster, becoming itchy and irritable. Whilst eczema is not curable, symptom management can significantly minimise the impact it has on your child’s everyday life.

Here are 7 easy tips for helping your sensitive skinned little one get through the winter with minimal discomfort:

Wet Wrapping

Wet Wrapping involves moisturising your child’s skin and wrapping affected areas with wet bandages. When Miss 3’s sleep is disrupted due to her relentless scratching, wet wrapping is my first go to treatment. It is the ABSOLUTE best method for reducing the itch, thereby preventing further damage and allowing your baby’s skin time to heal. It also helps everyone to get some precious sleep!

>> Click here to download our All About Wet Wrapping Guide

Keep their nails short

It sounds like a no-brainer but it is something that is easily forgotten. Many times I have failed to check, then BAM! I look, only to find my daughter has claws! Keep ‘em short to minimise skin damage, reduce the risk of infection and promote healing of the skin.

Moisturise

I literally carry little tubs and tubes of moisturiser everywhere. I have them in the nappy bag, in my handbag, in my glove box, next to my bed and hers - EVERYWHERE. I know you’ve probably heard this a million times, but regular moisturising is key. Beg, bribe, do whatever works to get your child to sit still at least twice a day to be moisturised. When Miss 3 was younger, it was a simple part of our routine each morning and after her evening bath. Now I use any distraction possible, sometimes even sneaking in to moisturise her once she’s asleep!

The right clothing

100% organic cotton clothing is the best option for little ones with sensitive skin. Making sure they are comfortable is important- watch out for rough seams and edges, or scratchy labels, as they may further irritate the skin. Choose clothing that allows the skin to breathe, is soft and loose fitting, to minimise the risk of flare ups. Avoid rough fabrics like wool, which are known to further irritate the skin.

Looking for cute stylish organic cotton, bamboo or merino clothing for babies and kids? Check out our brands here.

Scratch protective eczema clothing made a massive difference in our lives, and we still use it for Miss 3 today. The attached mittens in this specialised clothing help prevent scratching, thereby reducing the risk of further skin damage and allowing the skin time to heal.

 The right bedding

100% hypoallergenic bedding is a must. Miss 3 has a nasty dust mite allergy, which only exacerbates her itch at night. To combat this, she has a dust mite cover on her mattress and her pillow. I also make sure her linen is washed in hot water each week. If your little one is still in a sleeping bag, the same rule applies.

Check our range of organic cotton and bamboo bedding for the family - our favourites are Elkie + Ark and Ettitude.

Temperature control

Heat is the most common trigger for eczema. My little eczema lady gets overheated so quickly, and as soon as she starts to feel warm, she starts to scratch. Our immunologist has always advised us to “heat the room not the child”. Sometimes that is easier said than done. I tend to have an urge to rug my girls up like snug little bugs, especially before I send them off to bed. I am slowly learning to resist! Overdressing can exacerbate eczema symptoms, one to two layers of cotton clothing is usually sufficient. We live in a cool climate without central heating, so I have invested in a ceramic heater. I use it to heat the bedroom before I tuck my daughter into bed at night. The heater is also set to come on when the room drops below a certain temperature. This means I don’t have to pile on the blankets, sticking to just her cotton pyjamas and a hypoallergenic doona.

Natural Remedies (and antihistamines)

Sig's note: As with everything prevention is the best cure. While there are so many topical treatments out there, it is also important to address the underlying problem, specifically: diet and lifestyle factors that were causing/contributing to the eczema to begin with.

Some natural ways to help manage eczema include:

  • Coconut oil - yep the miracle oil (It is one of the things that would absolutely be on my list in a you-are-going-to-an-island-and-can-only-bring-five-things type situation. )
  • Magnesium Baths/oils - the detoxing effects of magnesium can be helpful in skin healing.
  • Essential oils - I've used successfully a combination of pure lavender, tea-tree and geranium essential oils, diluted with coconut oil and applied topically on the area.
  • Probiotics - A good quality probiotic isone supplement that seems to make a noticeable difference with skin health (if the problem is diet/gut related)

However,  while I always try my best to keep Miss 3’s eczema under control, no matter how vigilant I am - using the right detergents, avoiding known allergens, keeping her well hydrated, moisturising daily - these measures don't always provide a cure. Instead, they can help reduce the severity and frequency of flare ups.

Whilst antihistamine medications are not always successful in reducing eczema itch, they may help relieve the itchy symptoms of an allergic reaction. Minimising known triggers is important for reducing symptoms and allowing your little one to have a peaceful night’s sleep.

I hope you find these tips and tricks help you and your little one get through the winter with minimal discomfort.

Love & happiness,

The Mem & Maeve team

Mem & Maeve is an Australian online store specialising in products for babies and children with allergies. The inspiration behind our store is our own children, some of who are living with food allergies, sensitivities, eczema, and asthma. Over the years we have found it difficult to source hypoallergenic products for our girls that were both affordable and fashionable. Here at Mem & Maeve it is our mission to provide you with products that are allergy friendly while still appealing to a modern aesthetic.

**Disclaimer: Information provided in this post is only based on experience and should not replace the advice you have been given from a medical professional and if you are at all worried about your child, take them to see your family doctor.

 

How can using a symptom tracker help my child?

When you're a first time mum (or even a more experience one!) - there are times when you have no idea what is wrong with your child. There are symptoms after symptoms and you know they are having a reaction to something - but can't figure it out. 

Mem and Maeve have created a free downloadable Symptom Tracker that allows you to create a detailed running record of your observations and child’s symptoms, information all in the one place that you can then take to your health care professional to help narrow down the list of possible triggers.

Download it here.