For a child with eczema, like MyItchyBoy, having the right bedding is key to a good night’s sleep. Tiredness makes an already itchy child more itchy and tired, grumpy parents will find coping with the daily trials of eczema harder than usual.
So, this is what I’ve learned (the hard way!) about bedding for eczema over the past few months:
1. Cotton sheets are an obvious one. However, the brushed cotton sheets that I thought might be cosy and soft, bobbled up in the wash. These small bobbles were enough to irritate MyItchyBoy’s skin. So, I replaced these with normal cotton sheets
2. Non-PVC Mattress Protectors are the best choice, but I found that they still seem to make MyItchyBoy itchy. I now put one of the aforementioned defunct brushed cotton sheets over the mattress protector before the normal top cotton sheet, which helps a lot. It does mean three layers have to come off if there is an accident in the night though
3. Pillows are filled with either: feathers or polyester. Along with the food allergies, intolerances and eczema, MyItchyBoy also has inhalers for mild asthma symptoms. For this reason, I have avoided feathers. That leaves polyester. Polyester irritates MyItchyBoy’s eczema. I have managed to track down a cotton pillow protector. Fingers crossed this will stop MyItchyBoy raking his head most nights. This is still new, but seems to be good so far
4. Duvets are either filled with feathers or polyester. It doesn’t matter what other names they call it, if it isn’t feathers, then it is polyester it seems. When we originally bought MyItchyBoy’s duvet, we bought an anti-allergy one. It is good quality and wasn’t cheap. Months later, I have realised that my natural pull towards and reliance upon ‘anti-allergy’ labels means that I didn’t really think it through. Eczema is not an allergy. Although AllergyUK even endorses some duvets and pillows, there is no reason that these products would be any good for MyItchyBoy’s skin. When looking to replace his duvet (this was last on my list due to cost), I only found one in store that mentioned being good for eczema. This is filled with silk, and although out of our price range, can be found here. Instead, we opted for the Marks and Spencer range of cotton duvets. They have cotton cases and are filled with cotton. So far, this has had a big impact. MyItchyBoy still doesn’t sleep well but he is waking less frequently for cream and the itching is not as desperate and intense. I wish I had made this change earlier and shall now make sure I don’t choose ‘anti allergy’ as a default but remember to separate out his allergies from his eczema.
We are still all suffering from MyItchyBoy waking up every night at some point. The chunks of sleep in between are getting longer, however, and I haven’t heard ‘I want to tear the skin off my legs!’ for a while. For that alone, all the bedding changes have been worth it.