Picture Perfect

First, let me say that I realize what I am about to say completely contradicts the post from yesterday.   You’ll understand in a minute…

Have you ever seen those baby pictures that just make you want to melt?   Those pictures of smiling, happy babies?   I am obsessed with those pictures.   When I was pregnant, there were several of my girlfriends who were due around the same time as me.   Funny enough, all of us had baby boys.   I follow pictures of this group of babies religiously.   Because they are cute, yes.   But also because you learn so much about babies through their pictures.   You see what they are playing with, what they are doing, how they are developing…

But the thing about pictures is that people only take them during the happy times.   Nobody takes the picture of their screaming four-month-old whose teething.   Nobody takes the picture of their precious baby boy flipping out in the pasta aisle at the grocery store.   Nobody takes the picture of the apple of their eye screaming because his diaper rash is bothering him.

Yeah, nobody takes those pictures.

So when you stare and stare at these perfect baby pictures, just remember that for every one, really great, sweet picture of Beanie, I have about twelve others of him pitching tiny temper tantrums.   And most of those other pictures were probably taken over the last two weeks.

The last two weeks have been brutal for our family.   And I blame Bean.   (Sorry, Bean)

First, it started with a terrible cold that quickly became a raspy, nasty cough.   The doctor said they think it might be a touch of bronchitis.   On top of his cough and cold, Beanie went through a couple of days where his teeth – or lack thereof – were driving him crazy.   And the teething led to diaper rash.   And to top it all off, he’s been constipated for about four days.

I took him to the doctor last Thursday and they said to give him Benedryl at night to help him sleep and 2 oz. of pear juice for the constipation.   We tried both of those, but had no luck.   For the cold, we were running ourselves crazy.   We had a humidifier in his room, we put him in steamy bathrooms, we used the Benedryl, we use saline spray, we used the nose sucker, we raised one end of his crib so that he slept at an angle (For future reference:   use bumpers when you do this.   Beanie ended up rolling to the bottom of his crib one night.   Oops.).   We really tried everything we had ever heard of to try and make him feel better, but nothing worked.   During the day he was a little better, but at night he still kept himself awake with the coughing.

At night, we found the only thing that helped at all was to put him in the swing in our bedroom.   Our doctor had a minor heart attack when I told her that, but I don’t care.   It worked and that’s all that mattered.   The problem was that he got so used to sleeping in that swing that now we can’t get him to sleep in his crib again.

Freaking perfect.

After four days of coughing, no sleeping, and no poopin’ I called the doctor back again today.   She said there isn’t much we can do that we aren’t already doing.   Because he’s so young, he can’t really take medicine.   She suggested that we increase the amount of Benedryl to help him sleep at night and that we increase the amount of pear juice we were giving him for the constipation.   Later when I picked Bean up from daycare, his teacher mentioned the constipation thing and asked if I had tried prune juice.   I told her our doctor suggested pear juice, not prune.   That’s when she leaned in to me and whispered, “Doctors don’t know everything.”   She went on to tell me that pear and apple juice were great for keeping babies regular and helping with light irregularity.

“But prune juice?” she said.   “That’ll really clean them out.”

At this point, I’m willing to give anything a try.   So Chris bought some prune juice today and we’re going to start small amounts of that tomorrow.   Hopefully it’ll…um…get things movin’.   So that’s been our past two weeks.   Pretty rough.   But I think we’ve got a good game plan together that will hopefully get us back on the right track soon.

Until then, I’m just going to keep looking at those sweet pictures of Bean and trying to remind myself that he’s there inside that snotty, constipated, diaper rashed, teething body of his somewhere…

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25 Thoughts to “Picture Perfect”

  1. […] (If you are so inclined to read more about Beanie’s last week, jump on over to The Bean’s page.) […]

  2. Mendi McCormick

    Ok….I love this! We have had two long weeks too. Teething and a cold! UGH, what fun. Prune juice does work wonders, We’ve had to use it a few times with Palmer. He doesn’t really like to drink it, but use a dropper and you can get it to go down easier 🙂 You have to be sneaky sometimes! Also, for teething….go find HYALINE’s teething tablets. They are amazing! We tried oragel, tylenol, motrin, etc, with no luck. We got our teething tablets at Walgreens (not sure if you have those or not). I hope little Bean gets better and you guys get some more sleep soon! 🙂 Love seeing the pics of him, he’s just a doll!

    1. Katie

      We got the teething tablets, but we couldn’t tell if they worked or not because of the cold. I’m anxious to try them when he’s feeling better to see if they really work with him. I’ve heard really great things about them – mostly from blog readers!! 🙂

      1. Ok…Hyland’s Teething Tablets…definitely work! Just calmomile in them to calm baby right down…amazing! The same brand also makes Vitamin C Plus for colds…equally AMAZING! Prevented son#1 from getting son #2’s cold and aided in Son #2’s runny nose and all around horrible cold symptoms. Likened to Airborne for adults. The Vick’s Vapor Rub on feet and then put socks onover them…I gawked at this first time I heard it (when I had bronchitus at age 30) but it worked for me AND it worked for my boys as well. Think about it…it was all they used in the “olden days”. One more thing…when it comes to a point that you need to use Pedialyte for dehydration…no kid likes the taste of that (not even adult kid), my DR recommended good ole’ Gatorade! Yup, believe it…just water it down a bit because it is full of sugar still. Oh and to help “move things out”…a grammy from our church told me to lie baby on back and move baby’s legs in circle like motions…I couldn’t believe it but it worked! Oh and in our house we swear by bath time to J&J sleepy bath bubbles (the one in the purple container). It containes calmomile and has worked for my crying babies. Just some things i have learned thus far in the journey to sainthood.

  3. One time I posted my son crying on my Facebook page, and one of my expecting father friends thanked me. He said he needed to be reminded of what was really to come.

    Some of my favorite photos from our professional shoots are of Jack crying. They’re so cute! But when it was happening, I was totally stressed out.

    For the stuffy nose, try Vicks vapo rub on his feet. Rub some on them and then cover them with socks. It worked the other day for my son. (though the Dr. didn’t like that – my mom friends said it worked every time)

  4. Tressa

    Awww…yes..pictures of Beanie make me melt all the time!
    Good luck with the prune juice, I hope it helps. I hope you all get better soon.

  5. Michelle Uhlfelder

    WE ARE HAVING THE SAME ISSUE but my doctor said something totally different. Firstoff, Henry is on breastmilk (which means he shouldn’t be stopped up as much as formula, go figure! Shows you it’s no science for sure). Secondly, we started solids as in rice cereal mixed with either pears, prunes or apples. We do this once or twice a day (just a little bit- he’s still getting used to it and really doesn’t consume more than a few tiny teaspons- if that). To my knowledge- as told by my doctor- prunes and pears are the ones that will get things moving. Note: as told by my doctor, Apples do not- they are like bananas- don’t help in the poop department). So we’ve been doing that just fine, nothing more than a day of no go…but last week, when Henry hit day 3 of no go- I called the doctor. They said put one to two teaspoons of DARK Karo syrup in his bottle. I really questioned this (seriously, Karo?) and called a baby expert I know (and a few other moms to make sure I wasn’t hurting my child). Sure enough, it’s a old trick that works like a charm. He did it a few hours later. ANother friend did it as well and it work RIGHT THEN. I would HIGHLY recommend this method if he doesn’t loosen up soon.

    Actually, Henry is on Day 2 of no go. If he doesn’t go by tomorrow morning, I’m going to do the Karo again. I hope this helps! I know you are getting lots of advice, and it’s so great that you start these discussions- I LOVE reading about what you are going through because we are right there with you with Henry (5 months old). 🙂 GOOD LUCK!

    1. Liz, JM, and Leo

      Hi Michelle and Katie,

      Michelle we don’t know each other, but I wanted to advise a bit of caution using Karo Syrup for constipation – I’m sure 99.9% of the time it’s fine – but here’s a link I found from Mayo clinic that gives a word of caution: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/karo-syrup-for-constipation/AN01826
      Sorry the link is obnoxious and long – I don’t know how to get a link into a comment!

      I’m sure if you use it once – no problem – but I’d imagine if you start to need Karo Syrup to ease constipation in an infant habitually – that could mess up their digestive system a bit – Karo Syrup is not exactly baby food!

      Also, I have heard many times over from many moms that rice is actually constipating. And, take it from me (I live in China and have had food poisoning 4 times), it is. It’s one of the few things I can eat minor amounts of when I have food poisoning (and thus WANT to be constipated more than anything else in the world!). I have heard that many babies suffer constipation on rice cereal. Try eliminating rice cereal and starting a different grain altogether, or just give your baby a few fruits and vegetables to get solids started. There is no good reason that rice cereal needs to be the basis of your baby’s diet to begin with. We do it just because everybody does it that way. There are foods with much higher nutritional content than rice (try potatoes). And I’m saying this again, as a person who loves white rice and eats it in large quantities every day. Or you could try brown rice – which is much more hearty.

      And Katie, prune juice is THE way to go! I put prunes into everything for Leo and it always had a good regularizing effect. And also, try doing some stretching exercises with his feet – pushing them into his tummy and give his tummy a good rub when he’s not stuffed after a meal. Sometimes this movement and massage will get things moving too! Constipation (and a cold for both of you at the same time – youch!) just sucks! I hope you’re all feeling better really soon.

      Love, Liz

  6. Oh I feel your pain on the teething and diaper rash!!

  7. one of my favorite pictures of my son is from when he was about a month old. he had the most impressive pouty lip when he was an infant and in this picture that thing is sticking out as far as it can go and his face is all contorted in a huge wail. oddly enough that picture makes me melt even more than most of his happy smiling pictures. it’s amazing that i miss something like a pouty lip, but it was so cute 🙂

  8. Mom of 3

    If you’re not already using it, try real Desitin (not the creamy version). It is really thick and covers better than anything. Try not to wipe it off when you change the diaper.

    Have you by chance started rice cereal lately? One of my kids could not tolerate it at all, even with prunes. So my doctor said to just skip cereal and move on to fruits and veggies (but we didn’t do that until 6 months).

    Hope you’re all better soon!

  9. At least he photographs so cute when he is crying. He makes the cutest faces!!!! I mentioned this in another comment I left on the ” land before time” but when using the prune juice, dilute it a little bit… half prune juice half water! That way you won’t be up to your ears in poop!!

  10. Jennifer

    lol not /everyone/ takes only smiling photos of their kids – I took this one and even posted it on facebook just to keep things real… 🙂


  11. You have the cutest baby even when he’s crying!! Although, I will say seeing him crying and hearing your battle is wonderful birth control for those of us who have a different opinion about having children each day. Thanks for making it a no today! 😉

  12. For the diaper rash, I agree, no creamy anything. The oily ointment types work better. They stick to the bottom not to the diaper. My son gets diaper rash very easily. I add a little baking soda to his bath water. I run the water, add the baking soda (like 1tsp to start) and stir it around with a rubber duck, then add the boy. It works wonders and is a tip I got from the lady who kept him as a baby. It doesn’t however help at all with my cousins boy but does help with 3 other boy’s that are my son’s age. Teething tablets are great! And hang in there, it will get better soon!!

  13. Kelly

    I have taken (and posted) tons of pictures of my kids throwing fits and pouting. They make me laugh (bad mommy).

    I hope Bean starts feeling better. My son’s constipation lasted from about 1 to 2.5. It is not fun. We tried everything. Prunes – HA! he laughed at prunes. Every baby is different. For Nick it was plums with apples – did the trick every time. He was finally “cured” when he was potty trained.

  14. Sarah

    At work we give glycerin suppositories or gylcerin by mouth, enemas (the little squeeze bottles you buy OTC), and lots of apple juice….

    wonder if his poop is just changing? I dont want to go into any more detail because I do realize that not everyone talks like a peds nurse does…

  15. Jennifer

    Boudreaux’s Butt Paste- Funny but real name. It worked for my son a few years ago. Very thick sort of a funny smell. But it worked.

  16. Nate's Mom

    My Nateroo is sickers too. We are obsessed with the Little Colds Chest Rub – we slather it all over Nate’s chest and back. Tends to wear off quickly, so we do it at every diaper change. Also a friend of mine recommended the Vicks Waterless Humidifier – it takes these little tiny pads soaked in Vicks smell and heats them up to fill the room with the scent. We’ve also had to nurse in a steamy bathroom. Baby colds stink. Totally stink. We’re sending the Bean some good poo vibes…hope this all ends soon and the Bean is back to his cheery self!!! (And that Mom and Dad get rest – totally sympathize with the “keeping score” comment in your other blog entry!!!)

  17. Toni S.

    Prune juice works wonders. However, the suppositories may be needed if it has been a while. We went through a rough time with our youngest for almost 6 months. She weaned herself, and was taking formula and starting solids. So, I totally know what you are going through.

  18. Oh and one more thing…Aquaphor! Swimmers use it…not sure what for, I don’t want to even know for that matter. Everytime I use it for diaper rash the rash is gone faster than I can even imagine. I have boys…we use it for scrapes, cuts, chap lips (on mine too)and really just about everything (think about the scene from My Big Fat Greek Wedding and Windex…that’s us and Aquaphor) LOL. OK…now I can’t quit laughing at myself. But I guess that’s what motherhood really is about, isn’t it? LOL

  19. Sarah H.

    Aww, this is so sad–all 3 of you need a big giant bear hug!! ::HUGS::

  20. Tammy

    Oh, the pouty lip picture really tugs at the old heartstrings. I hope he feels better soon.

  21. Heather

    Hi there, peds nurse here again…
    Okay, first, remidies for constipation. Try taking a rectal temperature. A lot of times, this stimulation will help. Do not use an adult dose of any medicine or suppository, and be sure to make sure anything you do give your baby is at a safe dose- check with the in-store pharmacist. You could also try a tylenol suppository (again, in the proper dose- you may need to do only half a suppository, cut it in half, maybe with a butter knife)- but it gets up there and melts and can help, and besides, it sounds like he’s in pain anyways. (Don’t give him motrin, he needs to be 6mos old for that). You could also try gas drops like Mylicon (or the target brand, which is lots cheaper)- this medicine is actually simethicone, which is also a stool softener.
    The longer he is constipated, the harder it will be to un-clog. Also, be sure to watch that he is still having a normal amount of WET diapers, and that the soft spot on the top of his head is flat and normal, not sunken in- these are both signs of dehydration, and if he is dehydrated, he needs to go to the ER for some IV fluids- this is very dangerous for babies. And make sure he is still drinking the same amount of volume, even if you have to give him pedialyte to get him to take fluids- dehydration can make constipation worse, and is extremely dangerous. If he is weak or dehydrated now, or if he becomes dehydrated later (eg w/ diarrhea in the day or two after he is unclogged) go to your ER immediately. And if he is dehydrated and has a fever too, again, go to the ER. Do not give him table food or rice cereal yet- you should not do this until he is at least 6 months old.
    Once he is un-clogged, I’ve heard pediatricians recommend putting 1/2 teaspoon of adult prune juice in with the baby’s formula every day to keep things moving properly. If constipation continues to be a problem, you may need to consider changing formulas- but talk with a decent pediatrician before doing this.

    Okay, now the diaper rash. We get babies in the hospital who often develop HORRIBLE diaper rashes from their antibiotics. (If it started from when he was on an antibiotic, it may be more likely to be a yeast diaper rash, and normal diaper creams will not help. Also, you can give pro-biotics like florastor, acidophilus, etc, to help prevent & treat the diaper rash during antibiotic use.
    A normal diaper rash is flat red, but a yeast infection diaper rash is raised red, and sometimes has little red bumps that can stretch all the way up to his belly. You can google Dr. Sears information on diaper rash for some great pictures that show the difference. If it is a yeast diaper rash, you will need an anti-fungal cream or medicine to treat it (and DON’T believe what your pediatrician says about him being too young for any medicines- preemie babies have extra- sensitive skin and get horrible diaper rashes all the time- and we treat them all the time! Ask your pharmacist if he is old enough for over-the-counter medicines).

    I’m sure he probably screams his head off during diaper changes, but you don’t want to let him sit in a wet diaper either because that will make it worse. This is because the soap in diaper wipes is very caustic to sensitive skin. Rinse the wipes by filling the container w/ wipes up with water & then dumping it a few times to rinse a lot of the soap out- this should make it a bit less painful.

    Okay, now for diaper rash creams. If it’s yeast, like I said, you’ll need an antifungal. If it is yeast, apply the anti-fungal cream first, before the barrier cream. Otherwise, start with a thick pasty barrier cream like triple paste (aka zinc oxide)- you don’t have to wipe this off with every single diaper change or apply a new coat each diaper change, and this protects the skin). Then you have to find which combination of desitin, aquaphor, and vaselline works best for him- I find that a good mixture of aquaphor and vaselline, or even straight vaselline often works best- this layer tends to wipe off easily, so you will usually have to re-apply it each diaper change. And of course, continue to change his diaper regularly, so the urine does not irritate his skin further.

    Whew… this went on WAY longer than I expected. But you sounded so miserable, I hope it helps. Please let us know what DOES end up working for you. And get some rest!

  22. Experienced Mom

    So, you’re using Benadryl, pear juice, and prune juice to fix the problems caused by artificial baby milk. What next?? Just breastfeed!

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