When my first son was battling eczema, the solution seemed to be so out of reach.
I tried different products – dozens of them.
i researched different ingredients.
i drove myself insane trying to find a way to end his suffering.
It consumed me. Day and night. (Yep I became quite a bore! My poor husband…..)
So son number two has been showing some signs of the dreaded eczema too. But I’m on it like a hawk.
My ingredient of choice is Shea butter. 100%. I love the stuff. My baby butter is rich in the stuff and my baby is lathered in it All. The. Time.
Because you see, I discovered the secret of heading it off at the pass. Or keeping it under control if you’re already it it’s clutches. There’s no magic remedy for eczema. No special magic ingredient. No one thing that works for all. It’s just incredibly simple really. Apply, apply, apply.
I expect my first son’s skin was somewhat dehydrated. I thought I was doing enough. Body butter in the morning. Body butter at night. But now I see the results on baby number two. I’m covering him, massaging him, stroking his skin with my delicious baby butter over and over again. Repeatedly through the day. And I seem to be winning this battle this time.
Find your product of choice (or mine!) and just keep going.
It really is that simple.
Did you know that here in the EU, there are no regulations governing use of the terms ‘natural’ and ‘organic’ in cosmetic labelling/branding? You can (if you have very little in the way of moral conscience) produce a cosmetic ‘health/beauty’ product that contains only a tiny amount of organic matter – and sell it to the consumer as ‘organic’.
Boots (the parent’s favourite no??) did this just recently – in 2012 the Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) investigated Boots ‘little me organics oh so gentle body wash’. They concluded that the label was misleading, as organic ingredients made up only 5% of this product. And there are other culprits. Nivea ‘Pure and Natural’ handcream, is found to contain an ingredient (Methylisothiazolinone if you must know….) which is suspected to be carcinogenic. Organix ‘coconut shampoo’ apparently contains no organic ingredients whatsoever. According to Peter Melchett, Soil Association policy director, “Ingredients ofetn found in antifreeze, floor cleaner, oven cleaner and car oil, and ingredients banned in children’s food and toys are making their way into non-certified beauty products labelled as organic or natural due to a lack of industry regulation”
Oh. My. Lord.
I have a massive issue with this. Massive.
Seems that if you are big enough, brash enough, and (of course) high-profile enough, you can make any (very loosely termed) ‘beauty product’ out of any load of toxic old crap. And call it ‘natural’. Am i right?
I dont want to frighten you or anything – but here is a list of non-organic ingredients that the Soil Association has found in products labelled as ‘natural’ or ‘organic’:
If parenting is about keeping your kids at a distance. And teaching them to cope on their own. And refusing to give them things. And restricting, and routine, and ‘letting them know who’s boss’….. then i am happy to admit, i am really really rubbish at it.
My eldest son and i took a huge sack of stuff to the charity shop (thrift store) the other day. We have an agreement – if he helps me, he can choose a ‘new’ (used) toy from the same place that we deliver our bag.
When i was speaking with the shop assistant, i happened to mention that agreement. Her response really threw me. “You’ll create a bad habit there if you’re not careful”. I can only assume that by ‘bad habit’ she meant that my son will expect something for helping me.
Some people might call me ‘soft’, but when did being a parent become ‘them against us’? I mean, its ok to give my child a gift right? And its ok to ‘reward’ him for his help? We’re on the same ‘team’. And i love them. And this is not a military operation. I’m not raising a little army.
I’m regularly offered advice (aka opinions) on how to raise my kids. My neighbour will openly tell me that my ‘downfall’ (as she so kindly put it) is that i carry and cuddle my kids too much……that i pick them up when they want me. And that thats wrong.
There’s an army of folks ready to tell me how i should put my kids in their bedroom and let them cry to sleep. How thats the only way i’ll ever get them to sleep alone. The only way i’ll ever stop them waking in the night. I’d really rather not. I like my kids. Even if they do ‘play me like a fiddle’ (to quote another warning i received). Even if i don’t get nearly enough sleep. Even if i often wake with a tiny foot in my face, or a finger in my ear.
I’m not a perfect parent. I probably get it wrong at some point every day. But i love my kids, and i also like them. And here’s the ‘bad habits’ i am happily letting them develop:
1. When they cry, i cuddle them. And i love it.
2. If they need me in the night, they can have me. Anytime. For as long as they want.
3. I carry them. Albeit for less time than i could when they were tiny. But they like to be carried. So i carry them.
4. If they don’t want to eat it, they don’t have to eat it.
5. I buy them treats. When i feel like it. As often as i can afford.
6. If they help me, i reward them. Sometimes its a biscuit. Sometimes its a trip to the park. But i reward them.
7. They can make a mess. This is their house as well as mine. They can leave their toys on the floor, they can leave comics lying around, they can pull out the contents of the bookcase. We’ll tidy it before bed.
If cherishing and treating and keeping my kids close is creating ‘bad habits’, so be it. My kids won’t always be ‘kids’. For now, I’m just throwing myself into it. They’re kids – lets throw caution to the wind and just enjoy it.
Unfortunately my son’s (our chosen) school is too far away for us to walk there.
I’ve given us a week to get accustomed to the early morning routine, and now, i plan to drive some of the way and make us walk the rest (perhaps a mile or so). And here’s why:
I know it’s premature, and i know that i’ll be really sick of it by Christmas day, but our tree went up this weekend. And now i need to brace myself for 4 weeks of overtired, over excited, slightly delirious kids.
I’m easily over stimulated at the best of times – i hate noise, bright lights, scratchy textures – but Christmas is a whole other level of sensory overload.
Here’s some tips for avoiding sensory overload at home during this excitable festive period:
Here goes December – i’m coming in.
See you on the other side!
I am obsessed with natural skincare – and in particular, natural skincare for children.