Medical

Baby Gets Headband – Becomes Super Hero

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I'm the awesome chick on the left!

The DOC Headband has weighed heavily on our parental minds for weeks now. We knew the appointment was coming, but did our best to try and forget about it. Our greatest fear was that the band would be uncomfortable for the baby. However, it seems that the band is bothering the parents a great deal more than it’s troubling Maddie.

The fact that baby is not bothered is a great relief to us, but we know that could change. I actually like the look. When Maddie is wearing the band, she looks like one of the PowerPuff Girls, the black-haired one named Buttercup!

The band is designed to help shape the head in a certain way so the baby has no jaw problems when she gets older. Of course it is all but impossible to believe that there are any issues now. You can already tell by her pictures that Maddie is perfect.

So now comes the trial period where we check for sore spots on the baby’s head every three hours. This is to make sure that Maddie is not having any adverse reaction to the material against her scalp.

It’s certainly not designed to be an attractive piece of headgear, but Maddie makes it look good. And what’s up with the name, “the DOC Headband?” In most states, the D-O-C stands for the department of corrections. That’s right, jail, prison, the big house where society houses the bad guys. I guess we’re lucky that the doctor didn’t suggest that Maddie wear the orange correctional jumpsuit. Next thing you know, they will have her working on the chain gang with Cool Hand Luke.

So back to the headband – there will be no pictures of this little time period in our lives. Maddie may check out this blog in the future and lord only knows what the World Wide Web will be doing with photos 10 to 12 years from now. The band is only supposed to be on for about six weeks. So for now, we just follow the doctor’s orders and hope for the best.

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Parents Try to Make Sense of Baby’s Treatment Options

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Ignorance for new parents can be like a disease. Suddenly your pediatrician tells you that the baby might need to see a cranial specialist. The word might suddenly takes on a whole new meaning and becomes just a bit overwhelming. You take the baby to a specialist and they talk about possible future issues with jaw alignment and other nasty possibilities to fill your head with for the holiday season.

There is no real problem yet, but if left untreated, there could be a chance for future problems. With a newborn baby, who in the their right mind wants to leave anything to chance?

So today’s consultation was either very good or somewhat bad. Good because things can be corrected easily and bad because there are some complications.

I have been blessed with an amazing daughter who is a very happy and healthy baby. There are so many people out there who have much more serious problems, so there is no room to complain. But dealing with your child’s health issues is much more taxing than dealing with your own.

If correcting the child’s balance and symmetry now can save her from future issues, of course we must do it. The fact that extra tummy time may also correct the problem by itself just isn’t good enough. And that’s where the trap is. Nobody wants to deal in the world of could haves and should haves years down the road – so whether this treatment is truly necessary or not, it must be done.

I’m sure every parent has found themselves in similar situations at one time or another, but it’s definitely a first for us. What we do know for sure is that the treatment won’t hurt Maddie and I guess that’s all we really need to know. It ultimately comes down to making the best decision for the baby with the information we have available. Like Denzell said in the movie “Training Day,” it’s not what you know, it’s what you can prove.”

Baby Defeats Diaper Rash Without the Hype

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Probably works just as well as anything else!

For three weeks now, I’ve been terribly apprehensive about writing this article about how we defeated sweet Madeleine’s diaper rash. The fear is that if I publish the article, the rash will comes back at my 4-month-old with a vengeance!

Diaper rash had been constant headache for all of us since the baby was born. It actually seemed to impact the parents a great deal more than it bothered our little girl. We would fret, complain and complete exhaustive research projects like we were trying to cure yellow fever.

We purchased every darned product we could find under the sun:

  • Butt Paste
  • Creams
  • A+D
  • Burt’s Bee’s
  • Desitin
  • Home Remedies
  • VooDoo dolls and potions
  • Ouija board

One of three things happened every time:

  • The rash would get temporarily better
  • Stay the same
  • Get worse

Every time it was right back to square one with bumps, the redness and sometimes blood. Never has there been an affliction with so many cures available that only seem to make the problem worse. Maybe teenage pimples, but isn’t that another billion dollar pharmaceutical industry designed to rip off desperate consumers?

Sorry, I promised Maddie that I would not get carried away. So without further adieu, here’s the cure.

STEP I – Stop using baby wipes, especially the medicated ones.

STEP II – After each diaper change, use a little container of water and cleanse the affected area with GENTLE paper towel halves. (Pick a brand)

STEP III – Throw all of that diaper rash crap out the window – Every tube, jar and bottle of magic potion (unless it actually works for your baby.) Sometimes a little Mustela can go a long way, but try the natural route first!

STEP IV – In 3 to 4 days, Maddie’s rash went the way of the 8 track player and the dinosaur. It’s gone. There’s been no flare-ups, no bumps and no blood.

I don’t know if this remedy will work for you and your baby and we don’t know for sure if it made Maddie any happier. However, we sleep much better at night knowing that the baby is not resting on a chapped bottom!

Maddie Using Sleep to Combat Vaccination Blues

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Forgot my coffee!

Two days after our vaccination misadventures, Maddie is feeling a little bit better, but still struggling to sleep off all the nasty drugs churning in her system.

The baby not only slept until seven this morning (WHICH IS A MIRACLE!) but is making sure to catch extended catnaps at every turn. The first nap came after we had a couple pieces of furniture delivered this morning, including a new recliner! As soon as the delivery guys left, Maddie and her PaPa raced over to check out the new recliner. We looked at each other and decided to take that bad boy for a drive.

We plopped down into our new seat and Maddie knew exactly what to do – she passed out dead asleep in my arms in less than a minute. It was an hour and half before she finally woke up, but it was clear that this little nap of hers was just an appetizer. It was also apparent that this new recliner might work out very nicely in our happy home.

I really had to prod Maddie during her afternoon feeding just to keep her awake. The baby was only half way through the bottle when it became obvious that she couldn’t finish. Just before Maddie fell asleep, we decided to pay one more visit to the new recliner in case it was feeling lonely.

The leather chair greeted us like a long lost friend. Maddie’s little temper was flaring, but as soon as we settled in, the chair’s comfort assumed control of the situation. Maddie and PaPa both succumbed to the charm of the chair as we were forced to take another nice long nap.

Maddie ended up sleeping for two full hours and indicated that she is a big fan of the new chair! Good job Mom!

Sister’s Sage Advice Overcomes Vaccination Angst

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Giving out big props to my Aunt Rachel!

I will always be eternally grateful to my younger sister Rachel. Her vaccination advice continues to be a lifesaver after poor little Maddie had another bad reaction to her scheduled shots last night.

Having some idea of what to expect during this round of vaccinations made things a little bit easier – but not much.

I was hoping that Maddie wouldn’t suffer from the same reaction to her shots that she had last time, but that was obviously wishful thinking. About four hours after Maddie’s vaccination – my sweet little girl literally went berserk. She screamed with a fear and desperation that was more than enough to rip your heart out.

I instantly remembered my sister’s strange, yet very successful advice that she had shared with us when she was visiting two months ago. She said, hold the baby tight, rock her and sing to her. (You can’t be serious!) It worked then, I prayed it might work again!

I scooped up Maddie and held her tight, but for the life of me, I couldn’t think of the words to any songs at all. After 30 seconds, Maddie was screaming with an intensity none of us had ever heard before. Suddenly, through the fog of her wailing – the words to the song Everyday by the Dave Mathews Band came spilling into my swirling brain.

“Pick me up love, Everyday!”

The words spilled out into a jumble at first, but then turned into the song that I hoped would calm my panicked precious child. Like a magic spell, in less than 30 seconds she started to scale down. I kept on singing like an obsessed street person, terrified to stop even for one second. Two minutes later she was quietly staring at me, as I went over the song verse by verse, again and again.

Another few minutes passed by and the baby was sound asleep in my arms as Gina started coming by and applying warm compresses to the leg where Maddie received the offending shot.

It was a tough night for all of us, but once again, my sister’s unorthodox cure was a true lifesaver. She has two amazing children of her own, so I am thankful that she was able to share some of that critical knowledge with us.

Upon further review of why this strange solution actually relaxes the baby – I can only guess that when an infant reaches an uncontrolled panic mode, he or she is looking for a specific form of warmth, security and protection that allows them wind down in an active, yet completely safe environment. I’m not sure why singing (especially mine) conveys a sense of security; I just know that it works.

Maddie Squashes the Flu Bug

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Flu Bug no match for Mad Maddie!

After going back and forth, Maddie finally sided with the medical community and insisted that her parents go in and get their flu shots. After weighing the pros and cons, Maddie decided that she was not willing to risk a potential flu outbreak in her home.

Personally, I think Maddie was looking for a little payback after her vaccine issues in early October. (READ: Baby Pays the Price) But we decided that even though neither of us have ever gotten the shot or contracted the flu in the past ten years, we would comply with our daughter’s wishes.

So after an almost two hour nap on her PaPa – Maddie was ready to escort her parents out on the town for some nice flu shots. We saddled up the baby and headed downstairs for our walk. I was in the process of placing the wind guard over the baby’s stroller when the buggy was rocked by a frigid blast of wind. Maddie’s eyes went wide with confusion and she wondered if the weather was actually a greater threat than the flu bug.

We started walking and Maddie was on full alert, collecting every bit of visual data she could absorb. Once we made it to the drugstore with out anymore rogue winds buffeting the stroller, Maddie was content to grab a quick nap while her parents got their turn with the needle.

Trying to get the flu shots presented a little more of a challenge than we originally anticipated. The girl behind the counter seemed overwhelmed by not only her job, but by the sheer act of taking down our information. I could already tell that interacting with her was certainly going to be more painful than the flu shot itself. Even Maddie woke up long enough to eye the clerk with complete dissatisfaction and let out a few disapproving snorts.

Once the shots were over, Maddie seemed to lose all interest in the process. However, on the way back home she did a crack a little smile that seemed to say, revenge is a dish that it best served cold. Little does she realize that her next round of shots have already been scheduled for early December.

Maddie Makes Stunning Rebound from Rough Doctor’s Visit

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Don't call it a comeback - I've been here for weeks!

Maddie showed amazing resiliency by bouncing back after her bad visit to the doctor’s office earlier this week. Her appetite was off – but she started the day in high spirits and it was a great relief to see her smile again.

It might have cost a night of sleep to get her back on track – but I will take that deal any day of the week. It also seems that Maddie has recovered much more quickly than her parents from this little ordeal.

I admit that between Rachel (my sister), Gina and myself – the baby hasn’t had to sleep by herself since her trip to the doctor. Rachel and I took Maddie out to breakfast while my Alaskan sister soaked in all the sunlight she could before heading back to the frozen tundra of Homer, Alaska.

When we got back, Maddie rejected all efforts to be coaxed into another nap with PaPa. However, once I put her in the Cradle ‘n Swing – she slept for a solid three hours without making a peep. She must have needed some alone time after her clingy father wouldn’t giver her any peace.

When the baby finally woke up – she was ravenous, screaming at the top of her lungs for food. Mission accomplished – Hide the food – Maddie is herself again.