Toddler Eczema Update: Flip Over Cuffs

1 step forward, 3 steps back

TBH, It’s a pain in the butt having to apply lotion on my youngest as much as I do. Just how often you ask? Just today I’ve applied a 3 step regimen 3 times. It’s only 1:35PM. You know what’s a bigger pain in the butt? When you do all the “right” things and the Eczema is in the best case: the same, or in the worst case – cracked, bleeding, raw, and still itchy in the worst way. I guess if all these lotions, creams or ointments were solving the issue, all this stickiness would be worth while. (YES, I’ve tried natural remedies. Essential oils, diet change, getting rid of chemical detergents, etc etc and other holistic remedies) …. but rn, it’s not working.

UGH

In fact, even food triggers and allergens are a question mark. Example: We tried a piece of boiled egg one time and within 20-30 minutes Maverick broke out into hives on his chest, thighs and face. Since I only gave him 1 ingredient (egg) I was so sure this was the cause (because there’s egg in practically everything, right?) A week or two later my husband decided to try giving him a piece of fried egg and no reactions at all. So I tried another boiled egg a few days later and again no reaction! This isn’t the case for just eggs. It’s pretty much everything we own, everything Maverick touches, eats or is around. One day it’s the cause of a flare and another day it has zero effect on his eczema. Now we’re at a point where sometimes egg is ok, sometimes it’s not. Is our 18 mo starting to develop an immunity to things? Or it this life just playing with us?

I hate this game.

I’m frustrated, yes, and I’m tired asf. On bad days Maverick will wake up 2-3 times throughout the night screaming in pain, itching and tensely squirming his tired little body while I frantically spray water on him, change his diaper, and reapply ointments. This lack of sleep tends to leave me to be a shell of a woman the next day while his temper tantrums are at level 150 ALL DAY. It’s witching hour in my house 24/7 lately!

But I remain focused

I force myself to snap out of my funk because

1) I can’t be having a more difficult time than the actual person who has Eczema, right?

and

2) I have 2 other humans and a dog that rely on me to function. This might possibly be that “mom strength” that people talk about….Or it could just my level of caffeine intake. Whatever it is, Thank God for it.

Eczema Flares

When Maverick is going through an Eczema flare it starts off on his chest. I’ll see him tugging at his shirt around the neckline. This single sign is a guarantee that’ll I won’t be sleeping well that night. He rubs his face and eyes, a lot like when he’s tired. Light red patches will pop up around his eyes, chest, sides, shoulders, forearms and thighs. This quickly intensifies and wakes up his “trouble spots”. ( I don’t know the actual term for this, that’s just what I call them). These spots are thick and dry patches that never really go away. For Maverick these are behind the neck, on the elbows, hands, knees, and the worst spot: his ankles and tops of his feet.

Yup. This is what I see on a lot of days. It’s not an infection, it’s just a whole lot of scratching at his ankles and feet overnight. Yes, I use medication (topical steroids) but only on days like this where I know his skin won’t be able to handle anymore. In between I use lots of lotion, ointments, essential oils, diet changes, The skin needs some time to heal. I know a lot of moms and people out there who are judging me because I end up using steroids on my toddler, but you do you, and I’ll do me. We’re all in this together.

Cover it up

It doesn’t matter if my 18mo is going through a flare or has pristine skin that day, he needs to stay covered up. Long footed onesies are our current go-to outfit.

The moment I open his onesie to change a diaper, he’s back at it again! Scratching… more like clawing as his ankles and thighs. Yes, I’ve tried socks… all kinds of lengths and materials. He always pulls them off and goes back to scratching.

We don’t wear shoes in our house

This makes it difficult to have Maverick dressed in a footed PJs all day. As a walking (running and climbing) toddler he wants to walk himself outside to the car, at the park, at the supermarket, etc… Every time I need to get out of the house I have to change his outfit: from footed PJs to socks/pants/shirt. With this outfit change, he inevitably he pulls off his shoes and socks in the car or stroller and goes back to scratching away at his ankles and feet like a maniac. When we get back home from our outing, Maverick is left with raw ankles and feet so I change him back into his footed PJs with some lotion or ointment.

My Solution? Flip-Over Cuff Pants

Flip over cuffs are not a new idea what-so-ever. You’ll see it most often on baby onesies, but with gloves. My thought process: At home I’ll have the foot cuff covering his feet and I can just flip them open when we go out. Hopefully, he won’t be able to pull up his cuff pants (even when they are open) to scratch himself.

I decided this was a decent alternative to changing outfits 2-3 times a day and started my google search:

“flip over cuff pants”

“Eczema clothing cuffed pants”

“flip cuff baby pants”

“flip over foot cuff”

Nothing. It didn’t exsist.

Typically, a 2 year old doesn’t need covered hands or feet so I guess this was to be expected. Well… I did find a few options for sizes Newborn – 9 month. This wasn’t much help as Maverick is already 18 months old and is wearing 24 month sized clothing.

  • Fun Fact I found while searching: Did you know Aloe and moisturizer infused Eczema clothing exists? If you can afford 65$ for just the top and another 70$ for the bottoms of what looks like a 2 set PJ, by all means try it out.

F*K it, I’m just gonna make them myself.

I started searching for fold over cuff tutorials online and bumped into this one from Things For Boys. (Thank you for your post!)

Absolutely. Brilliant. This was it! Something simple, something that would work for the time being. Only problem: I can’t sew.

This left me to do the most obvious thing I could do – I called my mom who just happens to be a professional tailor on the other side of the country. I sent her photos of what I wanted, a yard of fabric from Walmart, and 7 pairs of toddler pants from Amazon.

Here’s the result

My mom is amazing. Here’s a video of the unboxing and a closer look at the pants.

  • She was able to make cuffs for 6 pairs of pants with the 1 yard of fabric.
  • She even pleated little ‘corners’ so Maverick’s heel would fit right in.
  • They work. Maverick is not scratching his ankles while they are covered which buys us a little time to heal the skin.
  • Another reason they work: At home we have his feet covered. When we go out I just flip the cuffs open and put on socks and shoes. I don’t know why but he doesn’t seem to try and scratch his ankles in the car anymore. Maybe his mind tricks him into thinking he still has a footed PJ on? Who cares, it’s working for now.
  • They’re a bit long. We have 1 pair that is shorter than the rest and that’s the 1 I’m using now. The rest of them are long enough to fit my 3 yo so… We’ll have to wait. I feel like my mom did this on purpose so we would be able to use the pants longer? I can’t complain, she spent her free time doing this for me.
Ok. So they’re A LOT long… My 3 year old can fit in the biggest one and she wears 5/6T.
  • My mom left the original cuff on the pants. Visually, they look nice but the pants feel a little too tight when the cuffs are open. (Too much fabric around the ankles).
  • They might get slippery. Usually, footed PJs have that rubbery fabric on the bottom for some traction but we don’t have that. Maverick hasn’t had an accident yet but I feel like I’ll have to add something soon.

It’s a work-in-progress

We definitely have a few things to tweak but I feel like we’re on the right track. Our end result is in no way perfect or complete but I hope this post can reach someone and it can spark an idea for you. Stay strong Eczema fam! Sending you guys much love and strength.

Maverick and his cute little chubby toddler feet

Disclosure: Yes, I have ads in my blog post! This is because if you click on the ads and buy something from Amazon using my link, Iโ€™ll get a small commission with absolutely no extra cost to you. This is just so I can continue to blog. Letโ€™s be real here, blogging can cost money. Thanks in advance for any and all support. Much peace and love.

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