Photo from Mini Republic
Cradle cap is a term used for the flaky, dandruff-like spots which can appear on a new baby’s scalp. Often the cradle cap manifests as yellow or brown patches of crust on the skin. Doctors call it infantile seborrheic dermatitis and though the name sounds intimidating, cradle cap is harmless to babies. Most babies lose their cradle cap between 3-12 months old, however, in the meantime if you’re wondering how to treat cradle cap in infants, there are some easy and natural home remedies to try.
Though it may be tempting, never pick at the affected areas of your baby’s cradle cap. Picking at the skin could cause infection in the baby’s sensitive skin. Further, steer clear of any shampoos or treatments that contain harsh chemicals or ingredients. Avoid skin irritants and instead, look to a few of the wonderful, completely natural and harmless methods that explain how to treat cradle cap in infants.
The most successful and popular natural treatment for cradle cap is to use coconut oil on the scalp. Coconut oil smells wonderful, has natural antibacterial properties and is a natural moisturizer.
Coconut oil can be found at most major groceries or online. Note that coconut oil comes in solid form, so you will want to take some in your hands first to soften before rubbing on the scalp.
Apply a small amount of coconut oil to your baby’s scalp and massage in well. Let it sit for a few hours, or even overnight. This will soften up the dry skin, and make it easier to rub off.
Use a mitt or brush made for rubbing off cradle cap, a cradle cap sterile bristle brush or even a baby washcloth to gently rub the areas of cradle cap on the scalp. Between the oil and the gentle exfoliation, you should be able to remove most of the dry skin.
To finish, wash your baby’s hair with some warm water and normal shampoo.
If you don’t have coconut oil in the house, olive oil is a second best bet. It may not have the antibacterial properties like coconut oil does, but if you rub it in, and brush it off, it is sure to reduce cradle cap.
Shea butter is a safe and natural method for parents looking for tips on how to tread cradle cap in infants. It is easily absorbed into the scalp and does not leave a greasy residue. If you want to let the treatment sit overnight on the scalp, it will be less greasy than other options.
Massage shea butter into scalp, let sit for a minimum of 20 minutes, and then gently rub the patches of cradle cap, until it flakes off. To finish, rinse the baby’s head with warm water. It may take a few times to get most of the dry skin off, so be patient and repeat process daily.
Also a successful and natural method for new moms wondering how to treat cradle cap in infants, baking soda can be made into a gentle cream. To make a baking soda cream, mix 1-2 teaspoons of baking soda with a small amount of water or oil (coconut or olive).
This will form a paste to apply to the affected areas of the scalp, let it sit for around twenty minutes, use a soft brush or washcloth to rub off flakes, and then rinse.
Apple cider vinegar is another cure-all treatment, which also is a tried and true treatment for baby’s cradle cap. Mix two teaspoons of water with one teaspoon of apple cider vinegar (or any 2:1 water/vinegar ratio), massage into baby’s scalp (be mindful to not get into baby’s eyes), leave for ten minutes and then wash off with baby’s normal shampoo.
For information about natural treatments for other baby illnesses, check out this post.