Diaper rash woe and the wonderment of baby cries

Eee!  My little one has diaper rash!  He’s not allowed to get sick!

Ok ok, diaper rash doesn’t mean sick, but I didn’t realize how offended I would get when people would suggest that something is wrong with my baby. Baby L had been so gassy for several days (he was much better a few days ago, and then had another tough night yesterday) that T decided to look up remedies and came across reflux and colic.  How angry I was to have him even suggest that our baby could be colicky.  Reflux, yes, of course, that’s fine and we will do everything to treat reflux.  Reflux after all is normal for babies.  But medicine for it, mom? No medicine.  Of course not, that would be ridiculous.

The diaper rash has been a challenge to deal with – It is minimal but looks like it is a fungal infection, so we had to take out the fungal cream. Then there’s trying to put barrier ointment, make sure that baby is completely dry, cleaning him everywhere but gently . . . What a challenging process.  Just cleaning and changing him is challenging enough since he constantly loves to go in the mid-air, as I have written previously.  But now there’s an additional time factor – putting on all those ointments is sometimes all for nought as I may put on everything and then he lets loose with the mid-air stream, then it’s all back to square one.  I think the rash is slowly stabilizing but it’s nowhere near gone . . . so difficult to deal with and it’s just diaper rash!

In my frustration dealing with Baby L’s gassiness, I did eventually resort to simethicone drops, which isn’t actually supposed to really do anything, as I tell all my patients.  But we tried 0.3 ml as the bottle said, and his night was better.  T thinks that the simethicone and change of diet (I had fewer milk products) did the job, I think it’s having had a better milk supply that allows baby to swallow less air. But from day to day it varies so much – sometimes it is much too high and other times it feels low just when I want to feed him.  The former is uncomfortable for me but I’d rather have that than the latter, which is quite frustrating.  How scary is it to think you can’t feed your own baby?

But now we are gearing up for an interesting three days. T leaves tomorrow for a business trip and my mom is away, meaning that I am going to be on my own till Wednesday. My dad is in town and will be coming in the evenings which will help a ton, but my whole family knows how lonely I get when people aren’t around.  Of course I have Baby L with me, but he is still a very small smaaaall boy who has lots of needs and who cannot yet converse aside from sighs and cries, and it will be just him and me for lots of hours!!  So I have a feeling that I will probably be doing even less  “me” stuff – less blogs, less intermittent reading, and certainly more “sleeping-when-baby-sleeps” simply because I think I will really need to. Having a husband — who can take a fussy baby after you’ve been up with him trying to soothe him for the past three hours — is a blessing beyond description (not to mention the generally wonderful blessing of having him in my life in the first place.  I’d be sleeping now but I just fed baby and put him down, and with his reflux he needs to be upright for awhile after he falls asleep.  Otherwise I’m just going back and forth to his bassinet with every sound he makes – and whenever I see his arms flailing and he makes weird breathing sounds/sounds drooly, I have to lift him up post-haste because I know there is a burp or spit-up in there somewhere.

But it is an amazing thing to be a mother.  Day by day I find myself identifying the source of his cries a little better.  The grunty one sounds like gas, the “nnmmmnnn” cry sounds like hunger, the more “waaah” one means that he’s wet, likely 5 minutes after getting a diaper change. T would tell me that this is “Dunstan’s Baby Language” and that we should have bought the DVD, but regardless of what it “sounds” like we still have to go through our algorithm.  Hungry?  Fed, check.  Gassy?  hold him up, burp him.  Keep doing that it’s probably gas.  After 30 minutes of this . . did you check his diaper?  Ah.

And at least the cry is one that sounds like it could get over. It’s fascinating how my body has different reactions to cries.  Some cries I know that they will end soon, that this is something that is bothersome but not dangerous.  Other cries just sound awful and I know baby needs help.  Then there is the cry that stimulates milk letdown, which is just. plain. amazing. I have no words to describe that feeling of knowing that baby wants to be fed and that my body is preparing to feed him.  Pretty amazing.  Anyway I am going to drink a little of my leftover strawberry kefir from dinner and then off to bed, and heading into my three days of me and baby together ourselves.

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A pediatrician. Now turned first-time mom. Venting and giving you all the wisdom I acquire over the days . . .

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2 comments on “Diaper rash woe and the wonderment of baby cries
  1. N says:

    I hope the next few days aren’t too rough on you! I wish we were closer so we could stop by and keep you (verbal) company. 😉

    I know the myli.con in theory does nothing, but we would’ve died without it. But then, we were doing half bottle feeds from the start, and I’m sure that adding it to the bottle as we did helped more by getting rid of air bubbles in the milk than anything else. We also tried grippe water, and it helped a little, but not a ton. I hope L’s reflux calms down soon, and it does end at some point. (N just happened to live in bibs until she was 6+ months old. 😉 )

    Poor guy with the diaper rash, though! I hope it clears up soon.

  2. Ila Gupta says:

    Rupal, this may be too late but some of the things that worked for Mira and me……..also I realize that you are a pediatrician and so some of this may run counter to what you advise typically….
    Mira came home from the hospital with diaper rash. My OBGYN and Nidhi both told me to stop using the diaper rash ointments and to use Johnson’s baby powder after I cleaned Mira’s butt at least until the rash was gone….that really worked for me. That was the only time Mira ever had a diaper rash…because I used that method every time I felt there was a suspicion of it.

    As regards colic and gas….believe it or not….after a lot of resistance…..and I mean a lot of resistance…..I finally succumbed to the old remedy that my mother and some of my Indian friends told me about…..soaking a tea spoon full of Ajwain seeds in a pitcher of water for a few hours and then drinking the strained water…..mother drinks it….not the child. It really worked for Mira and I gave it to some of my American friends….it worked for them too. I saw results within a couple of days. Each one of us was close to tears when we saw/heard our respective children cry due to the pain.

    I want to mention that Mira’s colic/gas was in my opinion a result of the nipples of her milk bottles…..she swallowed too much gas and finding the right bottle/nipple that cut that made a huge difference to the gas…..between the ajwain seeds and change in bottle the colic went away.