No one likes seeing cradle cap on their baby’s brand new skin, but unfortunately, some babies get it. Nope, it’s not a pretty sight. But there are things you can do, and if your baby hasn’t gotten cradle cap yet (not saying that they will), there are things that you can do to help prevent it, and if baby already has it, some things to help get rid of it.
Wash your baby’s hair.
Easy peasy. Wash your baby’s hair with a gentle shampoo two or three times a week. This can help prevent cradle cap by removing excess oil and dead skin. Don’t wash more often, because you can actually make cradle cap worse, if you do that.
Brush baby’s hair.
I know, some baby’s only have peach fuzz, but brushing even that peach fuzz will give baby a gentle scalp exfoliation, especially if you do it right after a bath. A great brush (that the company sent me to review) for that is the New People Company brush. This brush is great for everyday brushing, not just for treating cradle cap. Made out of recyclable plastic and top rack dishwasher safe, it’s surprisingly gentle yet effective (unlike those soft bristle brushes you get at the store). I used it on Little Man’s cradle cap right after his baths (without oil, as he had a very mild case) and it helped clear it up quickly.
If it’s really stubborn, try a little oil and brushing.
Olive oil seems to be the most popular recommendation. I would imagine coconut oil or vegetable oil would work as well. I have heard moms complain about coconut oil or their kids cradle cap getting worse when using oil though. Here’s an article with a little bit more info about that. Apparently some kinds of cradle cap can be caused by a form of yeast, and if your kid has that kind of cradle cap, olive oil can make it worse. If you go this route, try leaving it on your baby’s head for at least a few minutes before brushing. You shouldn’t have to use a lot, just enough to moisten the scalp. You can wash after if you choose or feel like baby’s hair is too oily.
All of my kids have had cradle cap unfortunately. My oldest boy had the worst and longest lasting case, though trying to clear up cradle cap with my girl’s thick hair was a pain too. Little Man got lucky and his was very mild. And it did help that I had access to a good quality brush like the New People Company brush. They’re a little pricey at six bucks a brush, but I think they’re worth it for how well they work.