Your baby is a few weeks old and you start to notice their scalp may be scaly and red. Or it may look like your baby has a case of dandruff. You wonder what it might be. Luckily, it’s a common, benign condition called “Cradle Cap.”
My own son had a mild case of cradle cap. I would wash his hair and brush it only to get tiny flakes of dead skin all over! His head would look good and well – until the next day when I would see scales and flakes in his hair, yet again! I was lucky that my baby had a mild case, but I want to ease your worries – cradle cap is absolutely normal.
Disclaimer: This post details how I anecdotally got rid of my son’s cradle cap. If you are ever concerned about your child, please contact your pediatrician. I am not a licensed medical professional.
What is Cradle Cap?
According to HealthyChildren.org, cradle cap is a non-infectious skin condition that is very common in infants. It is not itchy or bothersome to them and it is a condition they grow out of.
The Mayo Clinic states that while the cause of cradle cap is unknown, it may be due to the transfer of hormones from mother to child before birth. These hormones may signal increased oil production. `
How I got rid of my newborn’s cradle cap
I tried many methods to get rid of my son’s cradle cap. Most often, I would oil his head with baby oil and let that set. I would then brush it out and then shampoo his hair. It was a quick fix – for a day or two. But then, I found a technique that got rid of my baby’s cradle cap FOR GOOD.
Step 1 – Lather Coconut Oil
I lathered a nickle-sized dallop of coconut oil all over my son’s head. In fact, I love coconut oil, and use it on my own hair to maintain a healthy shine. I allowed the coconut oil to sit on his head for about 10-15 minutes before bath time.
Now, I want to instill something important: do not pay for coconut oil from the beauty store!! The food-grade $6 coconut oil from your grocer is all you need – for your baby or yourself! (The other stuff is just a marketing ploy meant to mark up the price of goods!)
Step 2 – Start Baby’s Bath and Wash
The first mistake I made was brushing the coconut oil off before the bath. Therefore, I suggest starting your baby’s bath and bring the soft-bristled brush with you!
My son had a Cow’s Milk Protein Intolerance and Eczema, so I purchased this Mustela Stelatopia Cleansing Cream (Baby Wash). I highly recommend it, because it also helps with cradle cap! It’s also much gentler than other baby washes. However, if you are on a budget, I suggest trying the Dove Fragrance-Free White Soap for Babies.
Step 3- Lather Your Baby’s Head
Gently lather your fragrance-free soap on your baby’s head. Once its nice and soapy you will go in with a soft bristled baby brush and brush your baby’s scalp in a circular motion. This helps loosen the dead skin flakes from his head.
Once you are finished, rinse and dry as normal.
Step 4 – Comb Baby’s Head
Once out of the bath, comb baby’s head gently from forehead back. The comb will help catch any extra flakes that may be adhered to your baby’s head.
Step 5 – Be Patient and Repeat as Needed
Remember your baby’s skin is brand new to this world. That means they may need time to regulate oil production. Do not get discouraged if their cradle cap persists or comes back. I would absolutely say to repeat these 5 steps as necessary for your child’s cradle cap.
When in doubt – Call Your Doctor
When in doubt, never be afraid to call your child’s pediatrician. While cradle cap is a normal occurance for newborn babies, it is recommended to call your pediatrician with any concerns.
Tell Me Your Results
If you used coconut oil to get rid of your baby’s cradle cap, let me know in the comment section! Until next time, come say hi to me on instagram!