Today we feature Kelly Northey who created the Bamboo Bubby Bag for eczema and learn about her story. Kelly is also mom of an eczema child.
What was your inspiration behind the Bamboo Bubby Bag?
The Bamboo Bubby Bag was born back in 2010, when I was a new mum to a 6 month old baby, who while was completely gorgeous, had suffered eczema since he was born.
Thanks to the discomfort this caused him, he’d barely slept longer then 30-40 minute stints day or night for that entire time. To call us sleep deprived was an understatement!
We tried everything we could possibly buy from pharmacies to give him some relief while we waited for doctor and specialist appointments, but nothing really seemed to help a lot. We quickly found that there’s often no quick fix for eczema and each day seemed a month long when nothing seemed to solve the ongoing battle we had with sleep every single day. We found that some of our baby’s sleep time scratching was minimized while he was young enough to be wrapped or swaddled tightly (as long as he didn’t fight his way out of it, which he often did), but this all changed dramatically when at 6 months of age he learnt to roll, meaning an end to being able to be wrapped safely, as babies need access to their hands to be able to roll themselves back over.
I started then using baby sleeping bags with him and found that it was long sleeved ones that worked best as I could use a larger size and try to fold over the ends of the sleeves so he couldn’t scratch as much, however all the long sleeved ones were designed for cold weather and being an already hot, flaring eczema baby were too hot for him and yet all the lightweight summer type ones which he slept better in were sleeveless.
So one day out of frustration I made him one that was of a fabric that wasn’t too hot or too cold for him and with enclosed sleeves that could be adjusted as he grew (another frustrating and expensive thing is having to upgrade sleeping bags every few months) and this worked fantastically for him!
Having his hands enclosed with a soft fabric meant he was still able to have the free arm movement required roll around in his cot as needed but the damage he could do to himself from scratching was drastically minimised and for the first time his skin was getting a chance to heal. The sleeping bag also had the added bonus of helping to keep his layers of creams on his skin longer which also helped a lot.
What was your motivation behind starting Bamboo Bubby?
Once we had used the first version of the Bamboo Bubby Bag for a little while and could see how beneficial it was to our son and that it worked alongside other treatments both natural and conventional, the seed for the Bamboo Bubby business was planted when I would take his sleeping bag with him to day care and the childcare workers would all tell me how great they thought it was and just how many other babies they’ve known over the years who could have used one!
I loved the idea of being able to help other families just like us and so I started the process of finding a way to manufacture them, sell them online and also started the Bamboo Bubby Facebook page.
The rest is history and Bamboo Bubby has grown dramatically in the past four years here in Australia as well as overseas including online stores in New Zealand (www.bamboobubby.co.nz) and the UK (www.bamboobubby.co.uk) to allow our products to arrive to parents faster. We also have stockists and distributors all over the world including the US and have fantastic partnerships with complementary product manufacturers like ScratchMeNot in the US who create the ScratchMeNot Flip Mitten Sleeves and Body Suits which we distribute here in Australia and New Zealand as part of the Bamboo Bubby range and also Soothe in the UK who have create a range of eczema pyjamas for adults.
How did you see your child change after using these products?
The change for our baby after using the Bamboo Bubby Bag for just a few sleeps was quite dramatic. He used to scratch his head a lot and within minutes left alone in his cot would have scratched badly, causing bleeding, infection and a never-ending itch-scratch-wake cycle. By having his hands covered in super soft fabric, this scratching damage was minimised and his sleep started to improve.
The other great bonus for us in using the Bamboo Bubby Bag was that the sleeping bag became part of his bedtime routine and a sleep queue for him. When we’d put him in it, he’d associate it with calm and peace and it helped a lot to also minimise some of the anxiety we all had around bedtime after so long without proper sleep. He’s now 4 years old and while he no longer fits in his Bubby Bag, when he gets a bit sick and run down or has an eczema flare up he will still go and find his Bubby Bag and likes to sleep with it like a comforter blanket!
Can you share some stories from other parents with eczema children?
I hear A LOT of eczema stories back from customers, so many that I’ve started collecting them and publishing them on the Bamboo Bubby Blog because while everyone’s eczema journey is quite unique, we often all do feel the same frustrations and isolation when it is our babies especially who are suffering it. Reading the stories of others in the same situations can really help during this time as well as the fact that these stories are full of helpful tips and tricks that someone else might not have thought of yet or heard about to try!
Have you found health care professionals to be knowledgeable about products for kids with eczema?
We found the allergy clinic specialists very knowledgeable about products to help our child with eczema and did come away from appointments with names of products to go and buy and try which was great. We’re also continually working now to make Bamboo Bubby products known to these specialists so word of them can get to the people who are needing them the most.
What is the most helpful advice you have been told regarding eczema?
A dermatology nurse gave us the most helpful advice regarding our baby’s eczema and it was something that no one else had ever mentioned before about the importance of layering moisturisers to lock the moisture into the skin as much as possible. Once we started doing this using prescription ones first (if we were using these) followed by thinner ones and then finally the really thick, intensive type, it really helped us battle the dryness and helped the healing as well. I tell that many people now about this, that I wrote about it here to explain it better: http://www.bamboobubby.com.au/blog/what-is-the-best-moisturiser-for-baby-eczema/
What is in store for Bamboo Bubby’s future?
I’m really excited about the way Bamboo Bubby has grown in such a short period of time to now be helping thousands upon thousands of children worldwide with our unique range of specially designed bamboo clothing products. The future is also exciting as we have in development a new version of the Bamboo Bubby Bag for warm climates. Bamboo Bubby is also starting to ‘grow up’ and into a new range called Bamboo Buddy that will help older children with eczema as well as many adults who continue to suffer the condition. We aim to be able to soon help soothe sensitive skin across all ages and help everyone get a good night sleep!