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How to Clear Cradle Cap on Your Baby

Updated on January 17, 2016

Baby with Cradle Cap

My Experience with Cradle Cap

Cradle Cap is a common condition on babies, however, that doesn't make me feel any better when it's on MY baby! Through the years and five babies later, I have learned a few helpful hints on clearing it up.

You should know it doesn't bother the baby at all, unless it's a bad case of cradle cap, and then it may itch a little. It bothers us as parents more, mostly because people tend to look and stare.

Years ago a common myth was if a baby had cradle cap it wasn't well cared for or bathed.

RELAX! It's nothing you or the baby have done or not done right! Now word has gotten out that it is a skin condition that is normal and common usually between the ages of two months to six months old, sometimes lasting through the first year.

Three out of my five children have had a bout with cradle cap.

Definition:Cradle cap (or infantile seborrhoeic dermatitis) refers to the relatively thick, scaly, yellow or reddish crusty skin that appears on the top of the scalp of a newborn

Baby Oil used to treat Cradle Cap

Steps to clearing up cradle cap

  1. Gently rub the baby's head with baby oil or mineral oil, Olive Oil, you can also use baby lotion or petroleum jelly.( I don't suggest the petroleum jelly as it can create a barrier for moisture and it's harder to remove)
  2. Allow the oil to set on baby's head for about an hour or so
  3. Get the scalp wet and take a soft baby brush or a soft toothbrush works really well and gently "scrub" the scaly areas on the scalp. If you see redness appear you need to stop as you are scrubbing to hard.
  4. Then take a small fine toothed comb or a "nit" comb and gently run it through baby's hair and scalp( this is usually only if the baby has a lot of hair) to assist in getting the skin cells out easier
  5. Then lather baby's head with baby shampoo and wash scalp. Rinse and towel dry.

You should see a great improvement once completed, however, don't be alarmed if you still see some spots, this usually needs to be done for about two to three days, once a day before it completely goes away. Don't be alarmed if your baby's doesn't, just keep doing it every so often and it will eventually clear up.

Cradle cap normally clears up on it's own if left untreated as well, this just speeds up the process.

There are also natural remdies and over the counter products available, but I've found baby oil works just as well and cost less.

If you have tried the above steps and given it a few days and the cradle cap is still present with no improvement, you may want to consult your Pediatrician. Some have suggested a dandruff shampoo for really heavy & stubborn cradle cap.


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    • profile image

      Lisa 5 years ago

      Brush gently daily J21 and use Olive Oil

    • profile image

      LC 6 years ago

      The soft brushes used on newborns in the hospitals work great and are now available to purchase. You can find them at

    • moonlake profile image

      moonlake 9 years ago from America

      When our first baby was born he was a beautiful darked hair boy. In no time at all he had cradle cap. I was so upset. I had done just what my mom told me to do oil his head with baby oil after his bath. I took him to the doctor and the doctor told me to use dial soap the yellow bar on his head and nothing else. The cradle cap was gone in no time. After that I only used dial soap on the heads of our next two kids and they never had cradle cap.

      Enjoyed your hub. Brought back old times.