Swaddling & Eczema

The enquiry:

Hi Louise

Just wanted to see if you have any bright ideas for me. Baby is now 6 months old and big for her age, probably nearing 9.5kgs and 70cm+. She is suffering from eczema.

Swaddling her in the cooler weather was fine but I find that she overheats now it is warmer even if I use a light cotton wrap. I have cut a single sheet into 40cm strips and lie her on a strip, bring the fabric over each arm and then under her body so that her body weight holds her arms down. I then put the Safe T Sleep over her whole torso. At night she is in a light sleeping bag but during the day I have her in footed pants. I also put mittens on her hands.

My problem is that every once in a while she somehow manages to wriggle an arm out and scratches up her face, which can lead to infection and antibiotics and sleepless nights for me as I lie there wondering if her arms are secure.

Do you have any swaddling techniques that might help in this warmer weather? We're booked in to see a specialist about Baby's eczema later this month but I'm not expecting a cure, just some advice on how to minimise the eczema occurring so I think I'll be needing to continue the swaddling for a while yet.

Thanks very much

Sarah


Our recommended solution:

Hi Sarah

Thanks for your message and swaddling enquiry.

Have you tried your daughter with less clothing on, and still inside a firm wrap? I would recommend a 100% cotton stretch wrap, and with maybe just a singlet inside. Some babies eczema is worse if they get too hot.

If the eczema is really bad, you may need to keep your baby completely covered with clothing, such as an all in one suit with mittens and feet.  I recommend you get in touch with Rebekka at www.kumfycotton.co.nz, as she has a special range of clothing for babies with eczema, including nightwear (plus she is an eczema expert!).

You may need to consult with your doctor about wet wrapping inside your baby's clothing....this is a special technique for managing severe eczema that we can't give advice about but I understand it is very helpful in some situations and a doctor would be able to help you there.

You will need to ensure the swaddling is firm and doesn't come undone during the night. The best wrap for this is a Miracle Blanket, which can be used over a sleeping bag once your baby grows out of it lengthwise - see this link.

Another really secure wrap that keeps the arms from escaping is the Dream Swaddle, which is available in 2 sizes - the large size fits up to 10kg.

Also check my swaddling instructions, so you can wrap very securely with a regular wrap.