Wednesday, August 29, 2012

We Share Everything!

Last night was ROUGH!  We couldn't decide if it was teething, gas, or what but Ayden woke up screaming, crying or whimpering in some sort of fashion every one to two hours.  And usually, I'll go to nurse him and he'll snuggle in and settle down, unless he needs to burp or spit up (DARN SPIT UP!!) pretty quickly.  Yeah, instead of sweetly snuggling in, he BIT me.  He had only done it once before and it was over so quickly I barely had time to react.  Last night he bit me a good 6 or 7 times, one of which he bit and pulled like he does when he's eating steak at dinner.  That time I cried out,  woke David up and scared poor Ayden half to death.  He proceeded to wail like someone was killing him and by this point it was only midnight.  Needless to say.  Long.  Night.  He slept in until 9am, though!

David snapped this picture before he left and I shall cherish it always <3 br="br">
 In hindsight, we know it was teething because biting at the breast is a sign of that and today he was a bit clingy/fussy and I can see white from the pressure of the teeth against his gums.  Our poor little man (and mommy too) is being put through the ringer this week!

And guess who's sick now??

This mommy...

My temperature is currently 99.8*F and rising.  That one degree makes all the difference because I feel CRUMBY!  Ayden, on the other hand, has made a full recovery and has plenty of smiles and energy to go around. This is Ayden as I write this.

Such a cutie! So glad that he's plenty amused practicing his standing while I lounge about :).

You may have noticed that he happens to be nakey. Back at his 6 month appointment, we showed his pediatrician a quarter sized, raised, red spot in his diaper area that had been hanging out for a while. I had been putting coconut oil on it since it is something we always have in the house and it is cloth diaper safe, anti-microbial and all natural/organic. In other words, it's a super food! We also treated his cradle cap with it twice a day and it cleared right up.

Okay, I digress... The coconut oil seemed to help for a while, then it would become more irritated, then improve and just kept cycling like that. Ever since Ayden discovered his "boy bits," in an effort to explore a couple of fingers would always scratch that very spot. Once we noticed the patch, we assumed that is what caused it and kept him from scratching it the best we could while we attempted to heal it up. Upon seeing it, his doctor wasn't exactly sure what it was. Based on the defined border, he said it looked like a little fungal infection but was very surprised that it was contained the way it was as a fungus usually spreads. He prescribed Nystatin, which is an anti-fungal cream, and didn't seem the least bit concerned.

After a little research, we found that the cream is relitively harmless, got out our diaper liners and started using it. It seemed to improve but got back into the cycle of progression, regression and never cleared up in the 2 weeks since that appointment.

Then, yesterday morning, I changed his diaper and man oh man was that spot angry!

Not only was it a fiery red and had little blister-type bumps but there were a couple of new spots. I suppose this was the spreading the doctor was looking for. Well, being the over-researcher that I am, I've learned a few things about "fungal infections" and shall share them now.

1) A rash lasting longer than three days usually contains some strain of yeast.

2) A "fungal" rash is also known as a yeast rash... I know that yeast is a fungus but for some reason I did no put two and two together. Being a cloth diapering mama, yeast rash has a WHOLE LOTTA meaning. If the doc had just changed his sentence by ONE word we probably wouldn't be in our current predicament... Yeast can colonize in cloth diapers resulting in a fun sharing game called "Pass The Yeast" and it is not as fun as it sounds (if I actually pulled off the making it sound fun part). Perhaps I will write a post completely dedicated to de-yeasting (is that even a word??) our diapers once I wrap my head around the best way to do so. I know that high heat, tea tree oil, grape seed extract, vinegar and sunlight are a few successful cloth diaper safe options, so whatever I come up with will be some variation of those things. Lessons learned are a very valuable price to pay, but at least we'll know next time.

3) Yeast like warm, moist environments and enjoy sweet, starchy things to eat, and this I did know.  But I didn't realize why it all of the sudden took such a turn for the worse.  According to my midwife, apparently Ayden's fever acted as a mega incubator.  They were super happy for that 24 hours and multiplied their little hearts out (or the heart equivalent for yeast?).

4) Nystatin is not as effective as doctors claim because, like anti-biotics, it is over prescribed and yeast are resilient. They can mutate and repair themselves like radio active lab rats. 

5) Do not use anti-bacterial soap on your child's bottom area.  Though it will help kill off 99.9% of bad bacteria (ummm... what about that strongest .01%?), it will also kill off any good bacteria that may be residing there to combat the bad guys.

6) Natural remedies and working from the inside out is actually the best way to nip yeast in the bud.  I started giving Ayden a full dose of his pro biotic yesterday and will continue to do so until he is rash clear for a while.  Apparently, this can be a good idea to do anyway when introducing solids because said solids can mess with the flora of the digestive tract and weaken it.

7) (Sorry, this one is a long one): It is usually advised that you put cloth diapering on hold until a yeast rash is cleared up so you can avoid prolonging the rash with that fun sharing game I mentioned earlier.  While your child is taking a break, you can attack that yeast!  Disposables, or any waterproof material for that matter, do not breath so unless you get the kind that changes colors right when you baby pees, chances are you'll still let the yeast hang out in their favorite environment for a little longer than you should.  So here is my plan.  I have 2 dozen 100% cotton pre-folds which is enough for two days.  There are actually a lot of great things about using pre-folds, but two features are going to come in handy for my plan.  When worn without a cover, they are breathable and you can feel immediately when your child messes in their diaper.  The other reason is that it is really difficult to mess them up.  Other fancier styles of diapers are cuter and "easier" but you have to be careful about exposing them to too much heat because it can ruin the snaps, elastic, and waterproof material; what/how much soap you use to avoid stink and absorbancy issues; etc.  Pre-folds are just straight up cotton...  You still have to be careful about absorbancy when it comes to choosing diaper creams or dryer sheets but they can be thrown in a pot of boiling water to fix any mistakes.  To kill yeast you need high heat and last time I checked, boiling water is pretty hot!  So the idea is that, on laundry day, I'll wash them as usual and then boil them for a bit, sun them and run them through our hottest dryer setting; so that we'll be able to put yeast free diapers on Ayden every time.  Is that time consuming?  Yes, but as you'll read in this post, having time is one of the many reasons that I chose to be a stay at home mom!  Am I always able to find the time that I need?  No, but I sure have more than I would if I were working.  I also am glad that I will have disposables to fall back on if my plan is harder than I think it will be.  One last reason why I chose this particular route in "The Battle Of The Yeast" is because some brands of disposables have ingredients that actually feed the yeast.  

8) The last thing that I want to mention is that yeast is not contageous.  It may spread around your child's diaper area but it will not spread around his/her body or to someone else.  That is, if you are making efforts to keep them at bay. 

Shew!  I hope I have helped someone out there!  For something that isn't super serious, I know my facts may have overwhelmed some folks, but knowledge is power!  As with any area of your life, if you educate yourself about things you are going through you can take on the world and maybe even help someone else along the way!

Ayden snuggled in and nursed right to sleep tonight so I am hoping to not get any bites tonight.  Keep your fingers crossed for me!



  1. What if it's a non-yeast fungus? Also, please consider/research whether some yeast spores are resistant to temperatures even higher than the boiling point of water.

  2. Hey Sarah my daughter had yeast infection and it also got into my breast (from breastfeeding) so I guess u could say it is contagious in that way. She didn't actually have thrush (yeast in the mouth) but my doc told me it was probably still present in her mouth and got into my breast that way. It felt like tiny pieces of glass in my nipple when she nursed...incase u have those symptoms that could be what it is.

  3. Thank you! I had asked my midwife if that was a possibility and she told me what warning signs to look for but said it wasn't very common. Glad to know maybe it's more common that she thought...