People love touching Squally’s skin because it’s so soft and smooth; it only helps that she always smells super good (her most recent scent is milk and honey). The saying, “smooth as a baby’s butt” to me implies that you pop out a baby and they have this smooth skin and you don’t have to do anything to maintain that, but I quickly found out that THAT was not the case at ALL. Especially not on a newborn fresh out of the womb. Newborns come out COVERED in vernix and lots of moms want that clean off so that they can hold their beautiful new baby and you really should leave it ON, at least for a little while. This weird looking white coating has been protecting and moisturizing baby in utero and it has been their major protectant for so long, let them have it for a little bit longer before you immediately start coating them in all these horrible chemicals that they advertise on TV.
Picking out a cleaning routine for baby is one of the most important things that you can do! Happy skin encourages a happy babe. Now, its recommended not to wash newborns/ babies too frequently because it dries them out and compromises the immunity that they already don’t have and a little dirt is good, but as with all things parenting, you have to decide what works best for your little one. We washed newborn Squally every other day, but once she started solids, we switched to daily cleanings. 16-month-old Squally now takes one shower-bath every night with mommy. What is a shower-bath? Well I like to take showers, but she doesn’t want to wait outside of the tub like a good girl, so she plays in the shower water while I clean myself and then I close the drain and we draw her a bath! It’s extra, I know. Just pray for us.
In addition to picking out a routine, you should decide what brand fits your belief system and does everything that you need it to do! We found out very quickly that Lariah has sensitive skin and was super prone to diaper rashes, so we used Babyganics for bathing and lotioning and Cetaphil for diaper changes! Since Squally’s no-no square is so sensitive, we changed her diapers with soap and water about 90% of the time and only used baby wipes when out. While I took no issue with Babyganics, the scents weren’t all that appealing to me, but the product did its job. Sometimes it wasn’t super effective to catering to the melanin-related- ash-inducing needs of Squally’s skin, so once I used up my stash, we switched over to Shea Moisture! Now, I loved Shea Moisture; few chemicals, great smell, fully moisturizing, capable of scoring cheaply with strategic couponing, and many other great things! But as with all things, life happened and we had to make some changes!
About a month ago, Lariah caught a poxvirus that causes a harmless, but severely irritating infection called Molluscum Contagiosum. Its spread via physical contact with someone else who has it and can linger for a while! It’s not life-long or life threatening, but it does cause the skin to have outbreaks, little round bumps that vary in how they look, and they itch and are spread to other the parts of the body by touch. So naturally, when a baby or toddler has it, it’s going to spread all over their body!
We’re not 100% sure who or where she got it from because Lariah is super friendly and interacts with a LOT of people in a typical day, but half the problem is that people don’t know that they even have it to warn you not to touch them. Plus, she goes to a lot of baby activities and of course where there are children, there are germs. It’s a nuisance, but it comes with the territory!
So here are a couple of pictures of what little Ms. Squally looked like when I first noticed her breaking out.
Naturally I started posting on mommy Facebook groups to see if anyone else had dealt with a skin problem like it. It was completely random to us other than the possibility of a mushroom allergy since she had just tried those for the first time the day before, BUT there were no other allergic reaction symptoms. Of course, other mom opinions are helpful, but they aren’t health professionals, but this happened 2-3 days prior to Lariah’s 15-month doctor’s appointment. I asked her doctor about it and she confirmed that it was indeed Molluscum Contagiosum and said that it was not a big deal and that there wasn’t anything we could do about it anyway.
I wasn’t satisfied with defeat! My perfect little baby’s skin was now all bumpy and itchy and it was obviously bothering her! So, I sought out product opinions from my trusted friends at the Bohemian Baby here in Knoxville and they recommended a brand called TruKid: they have an eczema-geared, super sensitive, and unscented line of products and the employees highly recommended it. So, we bought TruKid Eczema Bubble Pods for bath time bubble fun, their Eczema Face and Body Wash, their Eczema Skin Protectant, and their Eczema Soothing Cream. As I said, these products were unscented and I love my little happy squealer to smell like the Angel that she is, so we also got some CJ’s BUTTer Shea Butter Balm in Milk and Honey and some CJ’s BUTTer Shea Butter Balm Plus for the open bumps she had already scratched off.
Let me tell y’all, Lariah’s skin started improving almost immediately! She was scratching less, her skin looked less irritated and inflamed, and she was acting more like her normal self! Within two weeks, we SIGNIFICANTLY reduced the presence of the bumps and her skin was starting to look more normal! Here we are 2 more weeks out and you can barely tell that she every broke out! Here are pictures detailing our month-long battle against the outbreak!
I say all of that to say this: babies are not stagnant. Their skin needs change and just like their dietary needs, the amount of sleep they need, and the amount of active play time! Its best to be open to the idea of change when it comes to our children because you never know when you’ll have to mix-up the routine to better fit their new needs!