We've had a rough week in the Larsen household. For some reason, my little lad, who is two weeks shy of three years old, has decided to bite his baby sister - twice.
I don't think he did it to be mean or malicious, and to be fair, my nine month old is at a phase in her life where she thinks it's super fun to put her little baby fingers in somebody's mouth....so I think my toddler thought she was asking for it.
One time it just seemed to hurt her. She cried out in pain, and I rushed to her side.
The second time, however, skin was actually broken. She wasn't bleeding, but I was still a little nervous, as I recalled hearing once that a human's mouth is wrought with germs and if a child is bitten, they often need to go on antibiotics.
Sure enough, our pediatrician put our little lass on a 10 day dose of amoxicillin.
I'm not a huge fan of antibiotics, and asked if there was anyway we could wait it out a little bit to see if she really needed the medicine. The doctor said I could wait two days, but if the skin was still broken, that she would need it.
Well, two days later, there was still a cut.
So why do I hate antibiotics? Well, aside from the fact that sometimes I feel like they are given out too frequently, my main concern is actually that it has given my kids some seriously crazy diaper rash.
I'm talking about the most epic, painful, red, swollen, make-me-even-cry-just-looking-at-it kinda diaper rash.
Yes, I took pictures of it, and, no, I'm not going to post them here because I don't want you to cry upon seeing it. A baby's skin is five times thinner than an adult's, so its super sensitive to irritations and environmental influences - so just imagine how sensitive it must be when things go awry!
Antibiotics can sometimes cause craaaaazy diaper rashes in babies and toddlers because they not only kill the bad bacteria (like the kind we feared entered after my son bit my daughter) but also the GOOD bacteria that live in my children's intestines.
My little nine month old has now been on the antibiotics for four full days, and (knock on wood) the epic diaper rash has not shown up yet. I honestly think its because I think the best defense in this type of situation is a good offense.
I've been prepared - and here's how I've been combating diaper rash.
One of the ways to get some good bacteria back into your child is through probiotics. We have picked some powdered ones up from our local health food store, and I add it to applesauce, yogurt, water, and breastmilk - so that my baby gets about two servings a day.
My pediatrician did recommend that we give probiotics two hours away from the antibiotics to avoid interference (antibiotics kill all bacteria -- so they would even kill the good ones)
Another fantastic source of good bacteria that tastes yummy is yogurt. My nine month old has been having two servings a day since her antibiotics medicine has started, and sometimes I've stirred in some of the probiotic. I've also been upping my yogurt and probiotic intake - since I'm breastfeeding my daughter. there hasn't been a ton of research yet on moms passing good bacteria from mom to baby through nursing, but I figure it can't hurt!
3. DIAPER CREAM
My daughter hasn't been prone to diaper rashes, but she has had occasional times while teething, just like my son did at her age. When my son was put on antibiotics, he received that hideous diaper rash that I was talking about before. I had no idea that antibiotics could cause such a reaction until it happened to him, and I had only wished I had known to be proactive with diaper rash cream before things got out of control. His rash honestly was so raw and bad that we had to get yet another prescription for his little bum to help combat the pain.
This time around, I've been using Weleda Calendula Diaper Rash Cream from the start. I like it because it is free from synthetic preservatives, fragrances and petroleum - and uses pharmaceutical-grade zinc oxide. This cream is Weleda's best selling baby product, and uses organic anti-inflammatory calendula extra, and was formulated in collaboration with German midwives. The product is safe for newborns and up and also for use with cloth diapers.
*Read more at the bottom of this post to learn how to possibly win one of 15 Weleda Prize Packs.
4. NAKEY TIME
One of the best things to do when a baby gets diaper rash is to let the area air dry - so after a bath or even just a diaper change, I let my infant spend some time on a towel on the floor, or I fan her little tush with the diaper to make sure it is super dry before adding the Weleda diaper cream.
(It should go without saying, I am not a pediatrician. If you ever have concerns about your baby's diaper rash, I'd recommend you reach out to your doctor. )
Again, knock on wood, but my darling baby's bum has been rash free so far, and I really think it's because I've been super careful about what has been going in and on her body.
Now, if you don't mind, I'm off to read some blog posts about how to stop a toddler from biting! Any tips would be greatly appreciated, as the only one I've gotten from grandma has been to make him bite soap. Yuck!
Talk soon friends,