I'm just going to come out and say it. I put Levi on formula on Sunday.
Here's the background:
We've been battling The World's Most Stubborn Diaper Rash for a couple weeks now. We use cloth diapers, but have been changing from cloth to disposables depending on what type of diaper rash cream we're using on any given day.
This diaper rash is relentless. Levi has sensitive skin to start with, so he's already prone to getting rashes. It would flare up, we'd change something, it would subside, but it never really went away. It was like the Princess Bride – only mostly dead.
Levi has been teething, so I know that has contributed to the problem. He was also on antibiotics for a while, so that, of course, didn't help matters either. He's also been starting solids, so I know his stomach might be handling new foods differently from breast milk.
What Drove Me To The Edge
We tried everything we could think of. More air drying. Switching from cloth to disposables. Switching brands, switching types, switching creams, prescription creams, switching wipes, and more. We even tried extra drying after wiping with a clean dry washcloth, just to make sure there was no moisture left behind.
Things would get a little bit better after a change, then it would get worse again. At first, I figured it was just the teething and the antibiotics. But he's been done with the pink stuff for over a week, and still battling the rash.
This past weekend was the final straw – Sunday his butt just got redder and redder and more irritated. By the afternoon, his poor bottom was completely raw. He screamed during his diaper change. I cried.
A Last Ditch Effort
In my non-professional, non-medical, stressed mommy brain, I started worrying – what if he has a food allergy? We already know he's sensitive to milk and soy protein, so I've eliminated them from my diet. I tried thinking through everything I had eaten for the past week. Nothing unusual stood out, but then again, I can barely remember what clothes I wore yesterday, let alone remember meals and snacks for a full week.
So I decided there was only one way to make sure I know exactly what Levi is getting in each meal to rule out a food allergy. Formula. It's the same stuff, over and over, and doesn't vary with my diet. I've posted before that formula isn't evil. But I also work REALLY hard to pump and make sure I feed my baby the very best I can. He's been exclusively breastfed most of his life. Why change now? I even had a bit of a scare last week with my supply, and realized I'm completely NOT ready for him to wean.
I decided to go ahead and put Levi on formula to see if it could help pinpoint the cause of his rash. And we made an appointment to see the pediatrician right away.
I Was Wrong
Thank goodness for doctors. Our pediatrician said it does not look like a food allergy at all. She said there's no reason to keep him on formula instead of breast milk unless we want to (and we obviously don't). She prescribed a new cream, more naked butt time, and baths instead of wipes at every diaper change. We also went back to breast milk right away, since there was no reason to stay with formula.
It's been two days, and Levi's butt already looks remarkably better. It's still not back to normal, but at least he's not screaming in pain during diaper changes. Hopefully it continues to improve and heals 100%.