Swimming with an eczema baby

DS2 is such a water baby, I’ve been desperate to get him into the pool. The only thing that’s been holding me back is his eczema, which coats the whole of his body.

Okay, it’s not the only thing holding me back… getting into the pool myself for such a brief time, just to faff about in the changing rooms after with a shivering cold baby, as well as the horrible smell of chlorine, has put me off.

Splash About Warm-In-One wetsuit

Splash About Warm-In-One wetsuit

As you can tell, I don’t share the same enthusiasm for the water as DS2. But, I was willing to put all my doubts aside when Splash About sent me their Warm-In-One wetsuit to review.

Moisturised head to toe with his eczema cream, we set off to the local pool with DS2 already wearing the wetsuit for ease. At 8.5 months, the wetsuit fits comfortably with his swimming nappy on and there’s still lots of growing room. The website says it’s made from a specialist fabric and fleece lined – perfect for keeping him warm and protecting his skin.

The pool itself was quite warm, but the wetsuit meant we could stay in just that bit longer. The real test was when we got out of the pool (where I was shivering, as anticipated), but amazingly DS2 remained warm in his wetsuit. He didn’t give any indication of being cold (however, he was clearly shattered from all that splashing about).

Luckily the velcro strip gives it a wide opening back. It was a bit of a struggle to get his arms and legs out, but that’s to be expected with a wetsuit. We showered and headed home, with DS2 having a lovely nap as soon as he got hold of his special blanket. All in all, a very successful trip to the swimming pool!

I should mention that the wetsuit also has UPF 50+ sun protection. It came in handy at the seaside in Cornwall, when it was (shockingly) rather hot.

Although it’s a bit pricey (currently at £22.99), the age brackets for 6-12 months and 12-24 months means it’ll last for longer (they also have it in 3-6 months if you’re super keen to get into the pool).

You can purchase a Splash About Warm-In-One wetsuit from their website.

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Bowling for Fruit.

As you can see, this is my fruit bowl. It consists of:

3 bananas

5 pears

4 plums

5 apples

There are also a bag of grapes and box of cherries in the fridge.

I must be honest, I barely eat any of this. The bananas are mainly for DH to take to work, however the rest are consumed by a very tiny boy with a big appetite. DS’ favourite is a classic; apples. I try to vary the types of fruit he eats, but it is difficult with a boy who has eczema. Oranges are a definite no go and other citrus fruits are in a bit of a grey area. He has tried exotic fruits like mango and dragon fruit, but they were not a great hit and I am tentative to give him anything too exotic in case it makes him itch. Sometimes he will reject particular foods because of its colour or texture, which does not bode well for strawberries. I always try to incorporate them into yoghurts, slicing them into tiny pieces so it is barely noticeable. Although the older he gets, the harder it is to fool him.

I feel almost ashamed of my own fruit intake (DS’ leftovers), justifying my unhealthiness as a sacrifice for DS’ wellbeing. Let’s ignore the fact I could simply buy more fruit.

Cut the crap.

I can honestly say one particular salon in Canterbury, has to be one of the worst hairdressers I have ever come across. I’ll leave out the name and spare the business.

I have myself to blame really. I originally had planned to get my haircut at Rush but decided against it when they would not allow 50% discount for recommending a friend; because I had recommended them on a Saturday, not a weekday, God forbid. I was feeling particularly frugal that day and hunted around on the internet for another salon in Canterbury that would offer me a discounted rate. I was not willing to succumb to £45  for a haircut when I could potentially only receive a half arsed trim.

I enquired into one particular salon’s ‘standby appointments’, where you pay a fixed price of £25, pick a time and whoever is available at that time will cut your hair. I was under the impression I had just bagged a good deal, considering the person who would cut my hair was worth £40 normally.

At first glance the salon appears to be flawless, with shiny floors, big mirrors and Aveda hair products on show. I had my usual glass of wine; one of the main reasons I booked an evening appointment was to relax and be pampered. Unfortunately the wine tasted as if it had been opened and left in the fridge for a week. Clearly, it was all downhill from here. It is only when you look closely at the staff you realise why these ‘standby appointments’ exist in the first place; their haircuts are typically ’70s with the attire to match. Usually I would expect my hairdresser to have some wacky red dye in their hair with a splash of blonde, not barely brushed dull hair being held back with a crocodile clip.

Half way through my haircut one of the more eccentric hairdressers approached me and offered a ‘hand and arm ritual’, whatever that is. I kindly declined and added this onto my list of reasons not to return.

I had hoped I was just being cynical and these guys were just modest in their dress. But no, they did not have a hidden talent, my haircut was very disappointing. She somehow managed to make the hair at the front into a point, so the bits on the edge of my face would look like a triangle. I have not attempted to style my hair since, it is would just aggravate me more.

That night I woke at 3AM with a burning sensation on my head and the need to itch. My eczema had flared up on my face and neck, so I spent the next two hours fighting the urge to scratch. I had obviously reacted to the Aveda products so I showered to wash it all out and stayed awake until Jesse awoke at 7AM.

My lesson has been learnt; next time I will happily pay all the money in the world to avoid having my face burnt off by cheap shampoo. Budget hairdressers just don’t cut it.

Every guilty person is his own hangman.

I am forever varying DS’ diet, making sure I cover all the main food groups and he gets enough vitamins and nutrients to help him grow. For dinner today I made cauliflower and cheese, mixed with a bit of swede and potato so it would be heavier on the stomach. This was not a new concoction, I previously made it and he loved it. The last time I made the cheese sauce with too much butter and hardly any cheese; this time I grated too much cheese but used it all anyway, thinking the more calcium he has, the stronger his teeth and bones will be.

It was not until about the second mouthful his lips reddened and a rash formed around his mouth. We dismissed it at first, believing that it was just his existing eczema, but then it became evident that this was different; it was an immediate allergic reaction to the cheese. The rash spread to his cheeks and his chin, so much so that it looked swollen. His existing eczema started to worsen and the rash continued down both of his arms. The next thing we knew, he was spewing his food all over the floor. I was in hysterics.

After I cleaned him up, coated him in an emollient cream and changed him into newly washed clothes, he was much better. His rash rapidly disappeared and a cheeky grin spread across his face once again. I am so relieved he had such a speedy recovery and forgot what had happened within minutes. Unfortunately I was not able to get over it as easily, guilt ridden that I had made the food, and I caused his pain.

I set out to fill him up with goodness, hoping the more calorific it is, the more he would gain from it. Instead he suffered and now cannot eat any allergens in fear of reacting again. That means no more dairy, berries, exotic fruits, and oranges and nuts are a definite no-no. My attempt to vary his diet has backfired. I am not upset necessarily that he can no longer eat these foods, but more that he had to find out. If I had kept the dosage of allergens to a minimum, we could have avoided this whole scenario and DS would be able to continue not fussed with what he eats. I almost feel like I have physically poisoned him with this allergy, passing on my lactose intolerance through the umbilical cord without his consent.

He forgives me, for now, but can I forgive myself?