Dreading another sleepless night because of baby eczema? A good night’s sleep is crucial to everyone’s health. But if your baby is suffering with eczema it can be an excruciating time for all in the family. There’s a few reasons why babies with eczema awaken frequently at night. Below we share some helpful tips to get everyone sleeping again.
Why do babies with eczema wake up and scratch at night?
According to an article in the National Eczema Association’s newsletter by Dr. Lisa Meltzer, everyone cycles through various stages of sleep and there is a brief time of awakening at the end of each cycle. Once awake it’s easier to realize your skin is itching and that’s when the scratching starts. Children’s sleep cycles last about an hour and so they may wake and start scratching much more frequently than adults. Another reason why nighttime can be worse for babies with eczema is that body temperature rises in the night and heat and sweating can contribute to itching skin for people with eczema. In the same article by Dr. Meltzer, she writes that studies have shown that babies with eczema sleep the best between the hours of 2 and 4 am when they reach their coolest internal and external body temperatures.
Tips to help babies with eczema sleep better:
- Routine: Following a consistent bed time skin care routine which can include a warm bath, moisturizing, a book and snuggles can help to calm both parent and baby.
- Soak: Doctors recommend a warmth bath with a gentle fragrance-free cleanser. Bathing in warm, not hot water adds moisture to skin and can help wash away allergens that have been picked up during the day. Some people also find adding in a small amount of bleach or apple cider vinegar to the bath can be helpful. See these links for more information Mayo Clinic Bleach Baths, Apple Cider Vinegar Bath
- Moisturize: Follow the bath by lightly toweling excess water off skin and immediately applying an emollient or moisturizer over damp skin. Moisturizing after a bath is very important to retain moisture and prevent the skin from drying out.
- Keep Cool: Being too warm can trigger eczema. Keep the baby's room at a comfortable night time temperature and dressing baby in clothing made of lightweight fabrics such as cotton or thermo-regulatingTencel® can help keep baby comfortable at night.
- Wet Wrap when Needed: Wet wrap therapy has been shown to reduce itching, add increased moisture to the skin and work as well as steroids in some cases. Using wet wrap sleeves and clothing can also add an extra layer between little finger nails and skin. Wet wrap sleeves and clothing from AD RescueWear are made with thermo-regulating Tencel® and designed to make wet wrapping easy and comfortable. Discuss wet wrap therapy with your physician.
- Humidify and Clear the Air: Consider using a humidifier to help with hydration and an air purifier to clear out allergens. Dust mites can be triggers for eczema. Following safe sleep recommendation of less soft bedding and stuffed animals in the crib or bed can keep dust mites away. Discuss best options for home air purifiers with your physician.
Wet Wrap Therapy: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25017527
Helping Children with Eczema Sleep: https://nationaleczema.org/helping-your-child-with-eczema-sleep/
Bathing with Eczema: https://nationaleczema.org/eczema/treatment/bathing/
Please remember information on our blog is not designed or meant to replace a physician’s advice. Always consult your doctor about your medical conditions. AD RescueWear does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.