Red had it when he was a baby. Scarlett now has it even worse than Red. It’s cradle cap. Cradle cap is harmless, and affects babies aged 4-7 months. It’s almost like a mini rite of passage, and although it doesn’t hurt anyone, it should is unsettling to see your baby’s scalp looking like a dinosaur straight out of Jurassic Park. The little scales are thought to be caused by either mom’s hormones or an excess of sebum (a natural oil secretion). Before baby’s hormones even out, the cradle cap can be mild or downright super scaly! So how do you get RID of cradle cap? There are a few easy steps that you can do yourself (right at home) to help cure cradle cap and keep it at bay:
Wash your baby’s hair with a soft washcloth (like this bamboo version) during bath time. Suds up with a little shampoo, and softly scrub the affected areas with bubbles and rinse gently afterwards. It is important to note that baby’s natural oils and chemicals are building up to help correct the cradle cap, so don’t wash your baby’s hair more twice a week!
One of the best things you can do is to keep baby’s scalp nice and oily. The cradle cap scales will become softer and nearly invisible (calming your nerves) when the hair is oiled. Dab a few drops on your hand and rub gently onto your baby’s head. My favorite oil to use is the Honest Company’s baby oil, if only for the natural ingredients! The pump top is a nice alternative to dumping a huge bottle of oil upside down. You can oil your baby’s head day and night if you like!
Grab a soft bristly brush like this one and after you apply the baby oil, be sure to brush his or her hair well. While the oil will soften and loosen the cradle cap scales, brushing them daily makes getting the existing ones off easier! This process lightly exfoliates to help remove loose skin. Of course, a full head of hair makes it harder to exfoliate, so you can grab a comb if you feel that works better for you and baby.
Did your baby have cradle cap? What age was it most pronounced? I want to hear your experiences!