Alex had his first bubble bath tonight! This probably doesn't sound like a big thing, in fact most people would probably wonder why we waited until he was 22 months old before we gave the poor boy some bubbles in his bath. For me, though, this is a big thing. Alexander was born with the smoothest, clearest skin I have ever seen on a newborn baby. It was beautiful! Within a couple of weeks however he started to get a few spots on his face and body and by four weeks old my sweet baby boy was covered in eczema. I remember wanting to weep at his beautiful little face all covered with angry red patches of eczema. I slathered the little thing in Epaderm and thankfully by a few months old the eczema had cleared from everywhere except his legs. We were able to keep the worst of it at bay by not bathing him everyday, using special emollients in his bath when we did and with a regular moisturising regime. Any perfumes, soaps and bubble baths were an absolute no-no. I did occasionally have to use steroids during a flare up, but the eczema never went above his knees again after those first few months. Until we took him swimming...
Last year on holiday his skin was looking clear enough that we thought we'd chance taking him swimming for the first time. After being initially timid at all the noise in the pool, he soon found that he loved it and had a wonderful time. We took him again the next day and again he loved it. He's a real water baby! Later that day, however, I noticed spots appearing on his torso and within a couple of days his entire torso, front and back, was covered in eczema. It took months to clear it up completely, just from two trips to the swimming pool. My poor baby boy!
Over the past six months, I have seen a huge improvement in his skin. He hasn't had any eczema now for months and although I still am afraid to bathe him daily I am cautiously optimistic that he may have outgrown his eczema, as most sufferers of infantile eczema usually do. Tom also suffered from it as a baby, but had largely outgrown it by the age of two. When I was in Boots the other day I bought a very mild bubble bath (Mega Mild Bubbly Bath by Cussons Mum & Me if you are interested.) and thought we'd give it a go. He absolutely loved it, saying "Bubbles! Bubbles!" excitedly from the second he walked in the bathroom. The photos show far more than words can how much he enjoyed his first bubble bath.
Alex will still have very sensitive skin, so I will still be very careful. I will watch his skin like a hawk for the next few days for any signs of dryness or redness, but fingers crossed my baby boy can finally enjoy the occasional bubble bath like most little children. Here's hoping we have left the eczema behind us.