Pretty much since Calvin's birth, he's had dry, flaky, rashy skin. Below is an example. It was worst right around his forehead, neck, knees, ankles, and other fat folds.
I've been able to mostly keep it under control until about a month ago. It just seemed like NOTHING I was doing was helping his poor skin - and I had tried everything. I would bathe him only in Cetaphil and then smother him in Aquaphor, Aveeno, Cetaphil moisturizer, and any other number of products that promised to help. Since he had begun to develop better use of his arms and hands, he was constantly scratching his face and head. We would put socks on his hands to try to stop the carnage, but still, he was rubbing his poor little eyes nonstop. Once, when TJ was holding him and pinning his arms down, Calvin tried rubbing his face against dad's 5 o'clock shadow to get some relief. It made me so sad! During our four-month-old checkup at the pediatrician's office, I of course asked about it. He prescribed some special lotion to help clear up the worst of the rashes, but told me it was likely a food allergy. He referred me to some allergists but told me that it's often difficult to test for allergies at Calvin's age because you get mixed results. He said the best way to figure out what his allergies are was to begin eliminating common allergens from my diet, namely:
I captured my reaction right after I heard the news.
Seriously, it was kind of traumatic. I was asked to give up ALL my favorite treats!! I left the appointment near tears. I wandered around Target looking at food labels and realized that almost every processed food product has one of the above ingredients in it. Still, if I was ever to help my little guy's skin, I had to do it. Luckily, I only went without wheat for a few days before adding it back in and realizing it had no effect on Calvin's skin. Whew!! That was a relief. I couldn't live on spelt bread and gluten-free cookies.
I think the biggest culprit was the peanuts/tree nuts. His skin is SO much better! I also think he may be pretty sensitive to soy. Diary is definitely a no-no for now - I tried adding in a piece of cheese to my sandwich the other day and Calvin was back to scratching. Eggs might be ok, but I haven't been willing to try those again. Seeing my son so much happier has made this diet a lot easier. To be honest, I was due for a diet upheaval. It feels good to eat more vegetables, fruits, beans, and lean meats. Just today, I made some yummy chicken and wild rice salad with celery, dried cranberries, and balsamic vinaigrette. TJ's sister Jamie had to do the same thing with her son Easton, so she's been a fantastic resource for moral support and recipes. She truly knows what I am going through! Plus, maybe I won't feel like such a post-pregnancy heifer now.
As far as Calvin's development goes, he is a pretty small guy. He weighed in at 13.5 lbs, which is 25th percentile. His height is also 25th percentile, but that little noggin is in the 75th percentile! Holy moly. Lots of brains in there. :)
We also started solid foods! He is doing great and was so ready for it. He loves it. He is eating peas, bananas, pears, oatmeal, and rice cereal. I make all my own food (except for the rice) and he's doing great with it. I even eat it sometimes! Fresh baby food is so delicious! He only eats about a tablespoon or two three times a day.
I haven't taken any fancy pictures of Calvin lately, but here are a bunch from my phone. He's just such a doll.
Calvin LOVES his "mirror friend". He laughs and giggles every time. It's so dang cute.
Check out that BOD! I could pinch those thighs all day.
My little sweetie pie.
All ready for a day out with mom! Thanks Julie for the cute hoodie!
His first taste of bananas. Success! He loves them.
He is so good at tummy time. He even rolled over for the first time yesterday.
He smiles and talks and laughs a lot. Playing with him is just so fun. I have the best job!!
His sleep has been tricky this past month. He was having a hard time working through transitions during naps. He would wake up and then not be able to go back to sleep. Luckily, I think it was just a phase for a few weeks. I would let him fuss a little and generally he'd go back down. If he wouldn't, I would just move him to his swing until it was time to eat again. He also started waking at night again. AHH! That is the worst. You think you are beyond that once they are out of the newborn phase! I'm not sure what it was, but last night he slept great again. I dropped the dream feed, so he's now down to 5 feedings a day with 3 solid food feedings mixed in there. For a while, I thought his night waking might have been hunger, so I added the dream feed back in. No dice! It made him wake up MORE often! It's so true that an earlier bedtime helps babies sleep longer. Once I moved back his bedtime to 8:00pm, he started sleeping 11 hours.
I told Calvin today that he's not allowed to get any bigger. He's just my sweet, cuddly little man! I could not possibly love him more.