Last month Indy had chicken pox – it took us completely by surprise, and after we’d been sent to the pharmacist to have it confirmed, we had a very LOOOOONG week at home. Indy was lucky in the severity of the spots – none got infected and he only mildly scratched, but I think that’s because he doesn’t actually know how to scratch with his hands yet! The worst thing for me was there was no telling on when they would all scab over. They say 5-6 days – his was 8, and we all had cabin fever by the end.
It’s easy to feel helpless as the spots just have to run their course, but there are lots of things to do and try to help soothe your little one as much as possible. These are what we tried:
Don’t use Ibuprofen
If Indy’s teething, Ibuprofen is normally our go-to at bedtime along with his milk, as you can use it along with Calpol in those emergency situations! This is not the case with chicken pox, as the Ibuprofen reacts with the spots and can cause a more serious infection, so steer clear.
The Old Faithful – as you can never actually tell how a child is feeling without them telling you, I gave him Calpol if I felt he was struggling or uncomfortable to relieve the pain a bit. Also, as the risk of fever is high with chicken pox, I regularly checked his temperature and gave Calpol to bring it down if I was concerned.
We had some of this anyway for Indy’s hayfever, but as it’s an antihistamine, it helps to reduce itchiness.
I kept this in the fridge to make it more soothing when applied to the spots. I applied whenever I felt he needed it, but always after bathtime, and before getting him dressed for bed,.. a good thick layer!
This is an old wives tale, but it worked! Oats are meant to dry the skin out so will soothe itchy skin and should help the spots dry out a bit faster. To make the much less messy, I cut the feet off an old pair of tights, filled the toe with oats, tied a knot in the open end and just chucked it in the bath when it was filling up!
Baking Soda Baths
Indy was having baths twice a day when he had spots – mainly to soothe them but also to keep them clean. I added a couple of tablespoons of baking soda to the water and this also helped to relieve itching.
Always ensure the skin is fully dry
This is obvious, but it will really help to dry the spots out – always pat the skin rather than rub too.
Clothes free when possible
We were lucky with the weather during our chicken-pox week, so Indy could happily play inside and out without any clothes on as it was warm enough. I just had to keep him out of the sun as sun-cream is a big no-no with chicken pox! Not putting clothes on him stopped any chaffing or rubbing on the spots, as well as no sweating, which again stopped any irritation and helped to dry them out.
Nappy-free where possible
Indy had a few stubborn spots underneath his nappy – these were one of the first to appear and the last to scab over. At night when he was wearing his nappy, this was obviously a very warm and moist area so they struggled to dry out. Nappy off time in the day really helped to get these sorted, and was also a perfect time to start trying out the potty!
Even though chicken pox is a waiting game you just have to ride out, these are some of the things that helped us, both to soothe Indy and to hurry along those scabbed spots! If you have any other tips that helped you and your little one, please comment below to share! xxx