Does your baby have scaly, dried patches on the scalp? Learn how to get rid of cradle cap from her head using at-home, easy treatments in as little as days.
Cradle cap—one of the many terms I learned once I became a mom. I wasn’t even aware my baby had it until his pediatrician noticed during a routine appointment. She caressed the top of his head and pointed out the hardened, oily scalp that had been developing.
In those newborn days, it seemed like I had an endless list of things to take care of. Blood tests, jaundice, gaining enough weight, massive spit up… having cradle cap didn’t help.
Thankfully, the cradle cap was also easy to remove.
After I did this technique with my eldest (and later, with his baby twin brothers), the cradle cap went away after two rounds and never came back. The best part? All the tools we used were found at home.
How to get rid of cradle cap
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But first, what is cradle cap? It’s used to describe the crusty, scaly patches of hardened oil found on a baby’s scalp. They’re not painful or even harmful, but they can take months to go away on their own. You might also get tempted to scratch them off with your fingernails, which poses a risk of infection.
To easily get rid of cradle cap, you’ll need a few items:
And here’s how to get rid of cradle cap:
1. Apply oil on your baby’s scalp
About 30 minutes before you plan to bathe your baby, lay a towel on a surface like your bed or the floor. Then, pour the oil (I used olive oil) into a small bowl and, using your fingers, massage it into her head. The towel will keep the oil from seeping onto the surface.
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2. Entertain your baby for 30 minutes
Next, the oil needs time to soften the hardened patches of skin on the scalp—30 minutes is perfect. Play with your baby with a toy or talk and sing to her. Better yet, do tummy time so her head is raised and has less chances of rubbing off on the towel.
3. Give your baby a bath
Once the 30 minutes is up, bathe your baby as you normally do. Make sure to shampoo her hair thoroughly to remove the oil from her scalp.
4. Comb your baby’s hair
After the bath, towel dry your baby’s head. Then, gently comb her hair to remove the patches of flakes. The comb will pick up bits of the built-up flakes, which you can wipe off with a tissue paper. Keep combing her hair until you’ve removed most of the flakes.
Note that you won’t always get rid of all the flakes on the first try, so don’t keep combing trying to do so. Instead, repeat the process the next day when you bathe her again.
This technique will get rid of the dry flakes easily. Apply oil to your baby’s scalp and allow it to soften for 30 minutes. Then, bathe her as you normally do, and use a comb to remove the bits that come off.
You might need to repeat the process the next day, but after a few tries, you should notice a significant decrease in cradle cap.
Those early months with a baby can be some of the most hectic. I was just glad that cradle cap was easy to remove, especially with this technique.
Get more tips:
- How to Survive the 3 Month Old Sleep Regression
- How to Get Things Done with a Baby
- The Ultimate Newborn Shopping List
- Newborn Tips and Tricks for New Moms You’ll Be Glad You Read
- How to Entertain a Baby
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