Sunday, July 28, 2013
How do I prevent my washer and dryer from smelling like feces or vomit?
How do I get feces out of clothes?
How do I get vomit out of clothes?
How do I get blood out of clothes?
You can do this list forever when you have an infant or toddler. Or if you're drunk and vomiting a lot, I suppose.
This is the ONLY trick you ever need to know! (But don't fool around with dry clean only, I don't buy those kinds of clothes so I can't speak for them)
Step one: keep the clothing item moist and relatively fresh. As in, wash it before it dries out. This doesn't mean you have to have a wet diaper pail, it just means don't leave them sitting around long enough to get dried out or moldy.
Step two: put the clothing items in your washer and do an entire cycle on cold (I find the extra pre-rinse on my washing machine insufficient), no detergent necessary.
Step three: when the clothing is finished on the entire cold cycle, then add your detergent (of course remembering that for babies you'll want some non-irritating gentle detergent, particularly for cloth diapers) and run on whatever hot/warm/cold cycle you normally are supposed to do with your clothing.
Step four: run the clothes through your dryer or on a drying rack or whatever it is you normally do to dry them. Done!
Summary: RINSE WITH COLD WATER ASAP, then wash as normal!
Seriously, the only time baby messes have ever stained or stank is when I let them dry or mold before washing, or forgot and ran it on a hot or warm cycle before a cold cycle.
If you accidentally do run a warm or hot cycle on a load and the washer and dryer end up reeking of feces or whatever, just run a clean wet towel or two with a little bit of bleach through both machines. Then remove the bleach by running that same towel through the washing machine enough to get the bleach out, then run it through the dryer.
Sunday, July 21, 2013
Don't panic! I know everyone panics about these things. There's just something about your kid appearing less-than-perfect that inspires parents everywhere to lose their shit and smother their kid with tons of creams and lotions, or overwash their kid, or cut out this or that food, or whatever, but don't panic! It's ok!
First, remember you (should) have a pediatrician to consult for these kinds of things. But knowing you, just as I know myself and a bajillion other parents out there based on all the forum posts about this, you're cruising the Internet trying to figure out what this is. But please, CONSULT YOUR PEDIATRICIAN. I am not one of them.
So, let's take a look at some of the possibilities here:
Milia : teensy weensy little white bumps that your baby may have been born with and will go away within a few weeks. Don't squeeze them or try to treat them with ointment. It's just tiny pockets of dead skin.
Baby acne : may be a reaction to mother's hormones, or a skincare product. Again, don't try to attack this problem with scrubbing or lotions or ointments. No one is exactly sure the cause. Just wash your baby gently with gentle soap and water regularly, and try to pay attention if he's getting any oils or creams from you on him.
This is one I commonly see as attributed in parenting forums as "dairy allergy." Typically the online advice would have you cut out ALL dairy (even if you are breastfeeding, because the dairy you consume can find its way into your breastmilk) for about 2 weeks until you see improvement. It's worth noting that baby acne in general clears up in several weeks to several months. Imagine you take this advice to avoid dairy and the acne clears up in 2-4 weeks? Yes, you'll think that your baby had a dairy allergy (or sometimes people believe it is artifical hormones in the cow's milk). Nearly all the posts and comments on this fall into this category. I've even seen posts by people who have cut out dairy for about a month but still encouraged to believe it is a dairy allergy because it must be sneaking in somewhere as some hidden ingredient in something. But here is the problem... it can also be true! It really can be an allergy to milk, soy, peanuts, etc... and dairy can sneak its way into many foods. Check your labels.
If you really believe your child has an allergy, please consult your pediatrician! I mean, think about it... why wouldn't you?
When my beautiful baby's face became covered in pimples, I read all these forum posts about food allergies. It didn't seem so unbelievable to me that there would be this massive internet plague of dairy allergies (after all, we live in a world with a lot of people on the Internet, and those people with genuine conditions can and will find support groups for each other), it was the snap judgement by strangers on the Internet that it must be an allergy without any reason to believe so, and continued insistence that dairy must be "sneaking in" somehow even when all dairy is cut, or talking about dairy allergies that went away very quickly (as in, after a few weeks or months). So, I ignored this explanation and lo and behold, my son's "dairy allergy" cleared up on its own. Ask your pediatrician what the true signs of an allergy are, to be safe.
Eczema and cradle cap/sebhorreic dermatitis : this will look a lot more like a patchy rashy thing than a pimply thing. If it happens in the groin area, of course, realize it will probably be diaper rash. Eczema and cradle cap are skin conditions with not-fully-understood causes. Follow your pediatrician's advice. For cradle cap, it'll usually go away on it's own. Don't over or underwash your infant.
Eczema seems to have an inheritable component and although it isn't an allergy itself, it might be triggered by certain detergents, fragrances in soaps, etc... best to switch to something mild and fragrance-free. Moisturize with aquaphor and make sure the infant's clothing is light and breathable. My son, who has just developed eczema recently as a toddler, seems to suffer from it more when he gets sweaty, so I often leave him shirtless when I can. It's very itchy so it is important to keep it moisturized and as untriggered as possible to prevent damage from scratching which can make it worse.
Cradle cap/sebhorreic dermatitis... nothing much you can do about this one. Use a gentle, non irritating shampoo/soap, make sure to rinse it all out. I say this as an adult sufferer. For mine, a liberal rubbing in of virgin cold-pressed food-grade coconut oil helped a lot (but was unsustainable for me because I found it impossible to thoroughly massage my scalp enough to reduce the flakes and NOT have a greasy blob of hair to go with it). I didn't know about coconut oil when my son had cradle cap, and don't bother googling it... the Internet will tell you coconut oil will cure everything. Ask your pediatrician if it is safe. I know it irritates me to all hell when/if it drips into my eyes. Well, at least for nearly all infants dermatitis simply vanishes on its own! Lucky bastards....
Your baby's face isn't clean : if you don't gently wipe up all that drool and spit-up and overflow off your baby's face, chin, neck, and wherever else it's oozed, it will encourage bacteria to grow and that can give you some pimply red patch goodness. Just a damp soft cloth will do.
If any of this comes on real suddenly, is oozy, bleeding or cracking, is blistery, etc... call your pediatrician right away! There are real and severe allergies, atopic dermatitis, infections, impetigo, yeast rashes and more that need to be treated ASAP.
Baby acne (Babycenter)
Mom and baby skin care (AAD)
Baby acne (Mayo Clinic)
Rash - child under 2 years (NIH)
Food Sensitivity (Kellymom)
Allergic Proctocolitis in the Exclusively Breastfed Infant (Breastfeeding Medicine)
Milk allergy in infants
Food allergies (Babycenter)
Saturday, July 13, 2013
So, I ran out of commercially produced washable kid paint the other day and in desperation turned to one of several recipes on the Internet.
I had avoided this recipe before because it had seemed unsound. It called for flour, water, and food coloring. I thought to myself, won't this stain? But then I thought of how I never got a stain from goods baked with food coloring so, maybe food coloring diluted and mixed with flour would be OK. And of course, a simple recipe like that, similar to salt doughs and such seemed just so comforting and familiar... and it looked adorable in my muffin pan.
So what happened?
Well, first off the particular recipe I used was a bit watery. The result of this was that much son quickly learned that splashing it everywhere would be AWESOME. It was on the walls, all over him, all over anything within 15'.
If it was cleaned up before it dried, it was OK.
However, if it was not cleaned up before it dried... well, it was a bit tough to get off the wall. And although I intended to wash my sons clothing immediately I forgot about them for some time after I tossed them down the stairs. After washing, they did not appear to stain, but dozens and dozens of little balls of colored dough became stuck to them. I ended up throwing the shirt out instead of fighting with it.
Oh, and forget getting it out of the brushes if you use brushes.
Can be OK in a pinch as long as the area and the surrounding area is easily wipeable and immediately wiped and cleaned.
If you're more laid back, or just letting the kid paint with minimal supervision or have a kid that's going to run around the house covered in paint and hug all your cloth furniture, you'll want to stay away.
Wednesday, July 3, 2013
There is apparently still time to order Glass, so if anyone is interested in funding this quest... please let me know.
I'll be keeping this blog up as a placeholder for Glass parenting news and in expectation of the day when I own a pair of my own upon the retail release.
Thank you all!