Eczema and sleep?!

So anyone who has a child with eczema will know a good nights sleep is pretty hard to come by!!

Ayla turned four a few months ago and I don’t think we have ever had more than 4 or 5 nights in a row where she has slept through. Even now that her skin is so much better and I would say under control she still struggles to settle herself when she wakes in the night.

Maybe she is just a bad sleeper! But I can not help to think that those early years of being itchy and uncomfortable at night time have something to do with it. When she was younger she would wake up and scratch herself at night until her skin bled. It was awful, and very upsetting, so we would do whatever we could to comfort her and get her back to sleep (for all our sakes). Whether that was sitting with her or letting her sleep with us. So maybe she has just never learnt how to settle herself?

I remember when she was about a year old and she was hot and uncomfortable and scratching so Mr G took her out in her buggy at about 4am!! She finally fell asleep so we just left her strapped in the buggy and the bottom of the stairs while we climbed back into bed!! I guess you just get use to the lack of sleep. We know have a 9 month old baby who sleeps like a dream, its topsy turvy when we go to bed and listen out for the 4 year old not the baby!!

We decided that we had to stop the scratching as it was damaging her skin even more so we did some research and from about the age of two she started wearing PJs with mittens attached and buttons up the back so she couldnt sleep. It definitely helped – and we could let her cry out without worrying she was scratching herself silly!! She still wears a PJ top with mittens although it is now a treat if she is sleeping well she gets to wear regular PJs. Ayla also wears tight tops and leggings underneath which she has on prescription so we plaster the cream on at night then put them over the top.

We get the PJs with mittens and flat seams from www.eczemaclothing.com

The tops are also good for long car journeys when little – as that often causes the scratching to start up – and when you are driving there is nothing much you can do!!

Eat Study…

Following a post earlier I thought I would write a post on The Eat Study – which my now 9 month old son is enrolled on. It is a big nationwide study (www.eatstudy.co.uk) being run at Guy and St Thomas’ Hospital in London. At the time I thought I was being sent info because of Ayla, however it turns out it was because I had just had a baby and they were looking for mums with babies under 3 months being exclusively breastfed.

“The EAT Study is testing the hypothesis that the introduction of six allergenic foods into the diet of infants from 3 months of age, alongside continued breastfeeding, results in a reduced prevalence of food allergies by 3 years of age.” 

We signed up straight away, not only because I am so interested in this field but it also meant we would have access to specialists in this area. At around 3 months we went down to London with Baby Bro and had some tests (inc skin pricks) and luckily everything looked good. We when then put into the early introduction arm which meant we were to introduce the six food into his diet after 17 weeks of age. Everyone enrolled completes a monthly questionnaire, which examines signs of eczema and respiratory issues to name a few.

BB has taken to food like a monster!! He will eat anything put in front of him – or out of Ayla’s hand if she isn’t quick enough. So far he looks like he is eczema free and isn’t showing a reaction to any food groups.

We will be back there around his first birthday and will continue to be monitored. I am really interested to hear the findings but also to see how the results on BB.

All the info is on the website if anyone wants to find out more.

Keeping clean!!

Thought I would write a quick post on something just eczema related.

Even though Ayla’s skin is much much better, I think she will always have eczema and at the very least ultra sensitive skin.  So after trial and error we now only use Surcare Washing Powder (found in nearly all supermarkets) for laundry or Eco Zone Eco Balls.

I must admit I miss that fresh new sheets smell but it’s worth it.

We also try and mainly use Surcare Washing Up Liquid. Now I don’t make Ayla do the washing up just yet but it is kinder on Daddy’s sensitive skin!!

When she was younger and her skin was quite bad I would always take a towel if we went to Nana’s or family houses as all the cousins love to have a bath together and if she used a towel washed in regular powder she would get a rash!!

With eczema you always have to think ‘what if’ so we trundle around with creams, towels and itchy suits even if its just going out for tea!!

Ice Cream Cones – Yippee!!

Just a very quick post as the sun is shining today and may well be gone tomorrow!

If you kiddie looks longingly at the Ice Cream Van and just wants an ice cream cone – I spotted them in Sainsbury last week!!! Wheat Free in the Free From area. And then get yourself to the freezer aisle for some Swedish Glace!!

My sister surprised Ayla with a cone at her cousins birthday party last month – she had got them from the internet. But all that effort was worth it seeing Ayla’s little face light up.

Such a simple pleasure…….

Orange Cake

Now this cake is delicious – I thought it sounded a bit weird at first as no flour. Trust me its good!!

This is from a new book…..wheat gluten & dairy free (Love Food)

Dairy free margarine

6 eggs – separated

200g/7 oz caster sugar

150g/5 1/2 oz ground almonds

Topping – juice of three oranges and 3 tbsp of clear honey

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F?Gas Mark 4. Grease a 20cm square (or any shape!!) cake tin and line the base. beat the eggs yolks with the sugar, orange rind and almonds in a large mixing bowl.

Whisk the egg white in a separate bowl until they form soft peaks. Fold a spoonful of the egg whites into the almond mixture, then fold in the remainder. Carefully pour the mixture into the prepared cake tin.

Bake in the preheated oven for 45-50 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin.

To make the topping, put the orange juice and honey into a small saucepan and bring to the boil, stir once, then cook, without stirring, for 6-8 minutes, or until reduced, thickened and syrupy. Using a folk, pierce the cake all over, then pour the syrup over the top and leave to soak in before serving. Yum………..

Ayla likes Alpro soya cream poured over hers (although she likes cream poured over any cake!!).

Sponge Cake :-)

By Nana!!!

So this is the first recipe and its really good.  It can be used for a birthday cake or cup cake.

125g soya butter

125g caster sugar

Cream above together….then

125g rice flour or wheat free flour or mixture of both

2 eggs beaten

Add flour to eggs.

Level tsp gluten free baking powder

Level tsp xantham gum

Few drops of vanilla extract (NOT essence)

Add everything together and mix well.

Pour into whatever tins you fancy and cook of Gas Mark 4 or 180C (160C ) for approx 30 mins or when knife comes out without mixture.

To make the Ladybird Cake (Aylas 4th Birthday Cake)….

Use a 2 litre bowl for the mould and increase ingredients to fit bowl size. Then cover the baked cake with soya buttercream and cover in red fondant with balck spots. The antenae are licqurice secured with cocktail sticks!! Yummy….

 

 

Summertime :)

We love the sun………..

Ayla’s eczema improves soooo much we she gets some sun on her body. As soon as we get some sun it is time to strip off and get the sun all over. But it is a fine line we thread with suncream and no suncream. She needs the sun to clear her eczema but I also need to protect her skin. So if the temp is just right then we go cream free for the majority of the time and then find it best to cover up or sit in the shade rather than pile cream on.

Luckily (I guess) Ayla has the sort of skin which tans nicely and doesn’t burn easily. A few days of sunshine and her skin looks beautiful.

But when it gets too warm then we also have PRICKLY HEAT to deal with. Now this has taken some research and trail and error. A holiday to Majorca when she was 18 months was mostly just error!! During this holiday I could see the eczema was clearing up but then she got this rash all over her body and face. It didn’t seem to be bothering her too much but it bothered everyone else. I had a suspicion that it was prickly heat so used what most other people would use – aloe vera and moisturisers. Big mistake!!! it was just clogging her skin up so it couldn’t breathe and cool down. So now we keep her skin as clear as possible just a little suncream and/or emollient. Then at the end of the day even if she has a rash just shower or bathe well and wash any cream off and then use normal eczema creams. Keep cool and by the morning she is looking lovely again!!

Just a quick note on suncream…Ayla has prescription suncream as most creams have milk in!!!

Helloooooooooooooooooo

So I have finally done it…set up a blog!!! And I don’t know a thing about computers. But stick with me and I will work it all out.

I am just getting to grips with themes and backgrounds, but then I will get rolling with how we are living with eczema and allergies, tips that have worked for us, places to shop for PJs and great wheat and dairy free recipes.

I will be sharing the highs and lows of our life with Ayla – who is teaching me more than I could ever have imagined.