Cradle Cap and Ear Piercing

About 10 days ago I got Scarlett’s ears pierced. Finally! It is not that I didn’t want to do is sooner, but I held off because she had cradle cap on her ears from birth. She is the only one of my kids to get it. It covered the top of her scalp and her ears – inside, outside, behind – everywhere.

I cleaned her ears daily with a wet cloth and my fingers, getting all the crust off her ears. It would cake up if left, especially behind her ears, so daily cleaning was a must. On her ear lobe it was easy to pick off.

For the top of her head I used (and still use) Johnson’s Baby Hair Oil. I just put a small amount in my hand, then apply it gently with my fingertips. Because of the soft spots, it is important to be gentle when cleaning off cradle cap. Allow the oil to sit and loosen the cradle cap for a half hour or so, then remove by gently rubbing with a baby hair brush, using a circular motion all over the head until it all comes off. Wash the hair afterwards with shampoo.

You may be tempted to use your nails to clean it off, but I know from experience that doing so scratches the baby’s head and seems to hurt more than using the brush. Make sure you are using a baby brush with soft bristles and not an adult one with hard ones.

In Scarlett’s case it took several months before her ears no longer had any cradle cap on them. She still has some on the top of her head, in lesser quantities than before, so it is going down. But it will be some time before it is totally gone. For most children, it clears up by age three, but for some it continues up to six or seven.

Update Dec.2012: She still has it at 2 years old and I needs it cleaned about every 2 months.

If you do decide to get your baby’s ears pierced, I’d recommend doing it earlier instead of later. The longer you wait and the older the baby is, the harder it will be to get it done. If you want to wait for her to choose when she is older, then wait. But if you want it done, then do it early. I actually waited a little too long with Scarlett (though I didn’t really have a choice). She plays with the piercings at times and that can hinder the healing, whereas a younger baby won’t do that because they can’t. I had Lila’s done at 6 months and she never touched them.

Everyone has their own idea of what should be done for them to heal properly. I used to use rubbing alcohol for cleaning the piercing, but read somewhere that it actually hinders healing by destroying the tissue instead of healing it. Here in India they recommend coconut oil, but I never tried that. Instead I use the most common thing for cleaning any open cut or sore that actually helps it to heal – water.

I have found – from cleaning my own piercings to Lila’s and now Scarlett’s – that just running some clear water over the piercing daily and turning them at the same time helps them to heal well with no infection. A piercing is like any open wound – touch it with dirty hands and it will get infected, so make sure your hands are clean before touching, or else do it when bathing your baby. That is actually the easiest time to do it, and it really only needs to be done once a day. Make sure to rotate the earrings so that the ear doesn’t heal onto them.

What do you think about baby ear piercing, yea or nay?

Two-week Backlog

I don’t really like posting backlog; I prefer to post things as they happen, but what can you do when you don’t have internet. Oh yes, it is fixed now. They just did it today. So now I am going to update you on all that has happened and try to not make it too long. 🙂

1. At the beginning of the month we decided to do some work on the house – mainly painting and repairs, plus getting some new decor. Here in India washable paint on the walls is almost unheard of even though you can get it. It costs a lot so we have paint that is supposed to be washable – it washes off when you wet it. Ha. Then there is semi-washable – you can wet it a few times before it starts to look worn. True washable paint is only used on door frames and outside doors, etc. So when the walls get touched by dirty fingers, you can’t really wash the marks off. Instead, you just plan to paint your house once a year.

The entrance.

Living room.

Dining room.

As you can see, these were taken the day we celebrated Logan’s birthday. The dining table is usually in the center of the room.

2. During the above chaos, my bedroom was to be painted. I decided to take the children out for the day since with all the work going on there was no where for them to play. I took them to a mall that recently opened a short distance from our house. I was hoping to visit the arcade and do a bit of shopping, but when I got there I discovered that not only was half the mall still under construction but the elevators were not installed yet. The arcade was due to be finished in another 2 months. What were we going to do? There was no where else to go that was close enough to home that I could walk to. Trying to take the stroller in an auto is a big headache as the stroller can only be closed with two hands. Try that with a baby in your arms and a toddler running around. And forget about a bus. Not only can I not read the signs (all written in Tamil) but every bus usually has standing room on the outside only. So I only go where I can walk with them.

We went into the few shops that were open. In a big one we spent some time in the toy department. Logan kissed most of the stuffed toys, and then he found a cute toy that made noises he liked and he played it over and over for a long time. I let him so I could pass time until lunch. In between there were trips to the toilet and a stop in the changing rooms to nurse the baby. Finally lunch time arrived so I decided to take the kids to the newly opened McDonald’s.

I hoped at least there there would be a place to play, but no, there was no such thing. And a kids meal is a burger, drink and toy, no fries, yet that is the part Logan loves best. He ended up eating most of my fries. Oh well, things are different here. The menu is not what you would find in a McDonald’s in the west. Anyway, we ate, and then both kids took turns napping in the stroller.

Don’t you love how Lila fell asleep?

While Logan napped I did a bit of shopping and then decided we had had enough of the unfinished mall, so decided to go to the park. Oh yes, I forgot to mention that to check out the floors, I had to carry the stroller up the stairs and make sure Logan was waiting for me, then go down and carry him up the stairs. It was quite an adventure. So we went to the park for a time and finally came home at the end of a long eventful day.

3. We celebrated Logan’s birthday. His birthday was on the 11th but we celebrated on the 7th since it was a Saturday and we hoped more people would come. They would have too, had it not been raining so heavily. So we only had two families come over instead of the expected 10, but Logan had fun just the same. He isn’t so into meeting new people so maybe it was just as well.

We did end up with too much cake. We had cake for days afterwards. I made a dump truck cake that came out not as expected but good enough. It tasted better than it looked. The truck was lemon cake with lemon frosting and the dirt was chocolate cake with chocolate pudding and cookies.

4. The next big event was…Lila got her ears pierced. I was debating whether or not to do it now but then realized that the younger she got it done the better as she would get over it faster. It’s been over a week now and her ears are healing well. I also bought her some gold earrings to put in once the holes are healed. The piercing earrings have a tiny pink stone in them and they look so cute on her. Yes, she did cry, but it was over quickly. I was nervous for her since I knew what was coming and she didn’t. Ha. But then I should be used to it – I have 3 piercings in each ear. Anyway, my baby did great and here she is.

(If I may, a word of advice to my sister Anaik: Get Michelle’s ears pierced now. Don’t let her wait until she is 15 like you did for your ears. It will be easier for her (maybe not for you but definitely for her) and will give her a “girly” look that will distinguish her from all her brothers. Let me know if you do.)

5. Last big event: Lila got her first two teeth. (Look at the above pic closely and you will see them.)

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