Eczema creams, especially prescription ointments, can have a little sting when applied to delicate or broken skin. When it comes time to apply, have you found yourself in a power struggle between you and your strong-willed toddler?
Toddlers are tiny emotional landmines ready to explode at the drop of the wrong color sipping cup so in the battles you chose on daily basis, carefully applying eczema cream is likely one of your top priorities. Keep reading for 7 quick distractions that will allow you to apply the needed creams…and move on with your day already… Less Itch, More Smile!
Hot Tip: Before you begin, be prepared with all required supplies within reach. Open the medicines and have any or all of the distractions at hand for a swift execution!
For an eczema rash that is spread over multiple areas of the body or if the child is old enough to mount a serious challenge, a helper can go a long way as a second set of hands but also to be the one to execute the distraction so that you can focus on getting in and getting out and being done! Don’t go it alone!
Get creative with who you ask for assistance; it could be Dad, a helpful sibling, a friend or just anyone capable of engaging with the child.
Hot Tip: Switch up your helper to keep the distraction fresh and unpredictable.
2. Bob Saget to the Rescue?
Desperate times call for desperate measures. Even if it’s something you wouldn’t normally do, give it a try. Pull up YouTube on your phone, laptop or TV. Important note; this method will work if the special video is reserved only for lotion time and is limited to only the time lotions are being applied.
Hop Tip: America’s Funniest Home Videos, Yo Gabba Gabba, and Little Baby Bum nursery rhyme songs, are a few suggestions from an experienced mom if you don’t know where to start.
Naturally, your child will develop an anxious reaction to the notion of applying lotions after one or two bad experiences. The mere sight of the eczema treatment cream or awful-tasting Antihistamines will be enough to send your toddler running for the hills (or closet).
To reduce the anxiety and fear, and before making a move towards the lotion, start singing. Is there a song she will sing with you? Or one she likes when you sing? Sing it! Sing everything you can think of! As long as she is focused on you and your singing, there’ll be less time for the fear to well up before the cream is even in sight. Be silly and goofy; sing the wrong words on purpose and see if she catches it or put her name into the song in a funny place just to make her laugh. The goal is for your child to learn that you are trying to calm and heal eczema, certainly not induce fear and anxiety.
4. Role Reverse
Toddlers love to learn and do new things, it’s how they develop independence. Why not delight your child by allowing her to be the one in control of the whole procedure? To be clear, we’re not recommending you hand over a prescription tube of antibiotics to your toddler and walk out of the room, you’ll certainly need to closely supervise the application and ensure the cream is thoroughly applied to all eczema affected areas. However, guiding your child’s actions rather than doing it for them will build independence and self-esteem. Win-win!
Yep, it’s simple but very effective. From very young to older kids this one works. Extra points if you have one that can change colors or flash at different intervals! Dim the room slightly so that light can be visible. Make a game out of it and ask the child to point at different objects around the room with the light to keep them engaged and occupied.
6. Play Doctor
Tell your child their baby doll (or action figure!) has eczema, is very itchy and it’s their job to help them feel better. Get out a plastic toy doctor kit and have your child care for their doll while you care for your child. The longer and harder you stick with this one the more it will pay off, especially with boys, who may take a bit more convincing than girls.
Steer clear of using phrases like “you’re ok” or “it doesn’t hurt” with your child. It’s not fair to tell your child how their feelings, instead use words that let them know you understand that they’re uncomfortable or hurting and that you’re there for hugs or cuddles whenever they need them. Remember that toddlers have a hard time identifying their emotions, so be sure to offer hugs as they don’t always know to ask for one but sometimes a mom or dad hug is the best medicine.
When all else fails experiment with different creams. Talk with your doctor about your concerns to see if they have alternative treatments they can recommend.
Hot Tip: Regardless of your chosen eczema treatment, add a Soothems eczema relief garments over the cream and it will improve the effectiveness. Our garments are designed to be snug fitting, so the creams stay exactly where you put them. In addition, our TEWLTect fabric protects moisture levels on the skin, can greatly reduce itching, It is super soft, bacteria controlling, lightweight, and thermoregulating. Oh, and we have ‘magic’ fade-away ink that will blow your child’s mind!
Reminder to Moms, Dads, and other caregivers; take the time for self-care. Take a hot bath, indulge in reality TV (we won't tell!), get outside and do some yard work or a round of golf.. whatever it is that makes you feel like you, make the time to care for yourself so that you can continue to care for your child.