Babies and children with eczema often find sleeping a problem as their skin can get hotter and itchier at night. This can affect their mood and concentration the following day, especially during flare ups. And a bad night’s sleep can make an itchy day even harder to get though. But how on earth can you help an eczema child to sleep?
Here are some things that help our scratchy, eczema son to sleep well and wake up bouncing:
- Applying moisturiser before bedtime stories to allow it time to soak in – we have naked teeth cleaning in our house!
- If you are using hydrocortisone cream on damaged skin make sure you do this at least half an hour before bedtime. This means that any stinging has time to subside.
- Wearing loose fitting, cotton nightwear – short sleeved pyjamas and ScratchSleeves work well for us
- Keeping his bedroom cool and using a humidifier (or damp washing!) when the central heating is on
- Using light cotton and natural-fibre bedding
- Keeping fluffy pets out of the bedroom
- Listening to stories on CD as he falls asleep – they distract him enough to ignore the itch but not enough to keep him awake
- Using Children’s Piriton on really scratchy nights (this doesn’t work for all children but it makes Max sleepy enough to doze off even if it doesn’t reduce the itching)
- Keeping house dust mites to a minimum by airing bedding daily over a chair, dusting regularly with a damp cloth (don’t forget any mobiles!), machine washing then freezing soft toys for 24 hours and replacing his carpet with hard floors and machine washable rugs*
When he was very small we found that swaddling really helped too.
*NICE guidelines suggest not trying to eradicate house dust mites as a first step in dealing with eczema as it is costly and not necessarily effective. However, we have known house dust allergies in the family and already had a lot of these measures in place so it seemed sensible, and proved effective, to extend them to Max’s room.
These ideas have really helped to get our eczema child to sleep, what has worked for yours?
Visit Daily Life: Living With Eczema for more articles like this one.
Here at ScratchSleeves we don’t just share our experiences of bringing up an eczema child and favourite allergy friendly recipes, we also manufacturer and sell our unique stay-on scratch mitts and PJs for itchy babies, toddlers and children. We now stock sizes from 0-adult years in a range of colours. Visit our main website for more information.