Step by Step Cure for Cradle Cap

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Before I had Emm, I had never heard of cradle cap. However, when I began to notice the dry, itchy scales on my baby’s scalp, it wasn’t difficult to diagnose. I had been told by several moms that it was a natural part of baby’s development and there was nothing I could do about it.

Besides, they said, it’s harmless.

And maybe it is, for most babies. But my daughter hates it and will scratch her scalp to pieces to get rid of it. She started scratching at it as soon as she knew how to reach up to her head. So I had to do something!

I asked around for advice from more women and finally was given an answer, and here it is! Thank goodness for resourceful relatives 🙂

This cure for cradle cap works like a charm and removes the cradle cap from my daughters’ head for about a week. It is kind of an involved process, but it’s worth it! Even if my daughter didn’t itch her scalp to get rid of it, I would use this. It makes babies’ scalp look so healthy and clean!

How to Banish Cradle Cap

***It is best to do this process in the bathtub at baby’s regular bathttime. I tried doing it in my living room, and let me tell ya, big mistake! If you are doing this properly those dry flaky scales will get everywhere and it will get disgusting. So trust me, do it in the tub when you can wash those things away STAT.

Step 1: Wet baby’s head

You’ll want to start with your baby’s head a little bit damp. This helps soften the scales up slightly and prepares your baby for the scalp scrubbin’ they’re about to get. Regular old water will be just fine, a little more than a handful will be plenty to dampen things up.

Step 2: Slather on coconut oil

I know, I know, everybody talks about coconut oil these days like it’s the cure for everything. But in this situation, it works extremely well! It’s just the right amount of lather to smear all over your little one’s scalp, and it clings to the scales amazingly well.

Gently massage about a tablespoon (yes, it’s a lot) into your baby’s scalp. Make sure to get the back of their head beneath the bald spot. Let it sit for a few minutes to soak into the scales, then move on to Step 3!

greekfood-tamystika / Pixabay

Step 3: Scrub with fine-toothed comb

Now, this part will feel a little weird at first. You need a comb that has very fine teeth, most baby combs will work just fine. The comb I used came from a haircutting kit I bought recently, it has fine teeth that are pretty stiff. The stiff part is important.

With this proper comb, start scraping your child’s scalp. Yes, I said scraping. Do it gently! Hold the comb with the teeth straight down to the skin and drag it across your little one’s scalp. The first time you do this, it will be tough. The scales take a little bit of work, and your little one’s scalp will be red for a few hours afterward. Don’t drag super heavy handed, it should be enough to irritate your kiddo but not enough to hurt or make them cry. Every time you do it you can use a lighter hand, but the first time those scales are really stubborn. I had to wipe the comb off several times because it would collect so much gunk.

I know it sounds a little rough for your kiddo, and I thought it was a little extreme too. But after the bath and Emm reached up to feel her scalp, I could see the relief in her eyes! No more itchy scales!

Step 4: Double check for residual cradle cap

Double checking is important. If there is any residual cradle cap, it will look scarier than ever all patchy and irritated. You will be able to feel bumps on your baby’s scalp and see the scales if there are any remaining.

Step 5: Rinse and wash baby’s head thoroughly

Once you are sure there are no more scales, lather your baby’s head with some gentle soap like this one! I usually have to do several wash and rinses to get all of the coconut oil out, it’s a sturdy oil. (Also it’s alright if you can’t get every little bit of the coconut oil out– a little bit left over is good for your baby’s hair and scalp.)

Step by Step Cure for Cradle Cap
PublicDomainPictures / Pixabay

Step 6: Apply a light layer of lotion to baby’s scalp

After baby’s head is dry and they’re comfortably dressed post-bathing, put some lotion on their scalp. This will help with the irritation from the scrubbing and will also help prevent further cradle cap. I have found that when I forgo the lotion the cradle cap comes back more quickly, so don’t skip this step!

Step 7: Admire your baby’s beautiful scalp!

Ta-da! Clean, itch-free scalp. Take a picture and pretend your baby is on a Huggies commercial!

So like I said: You will probably need to repeat this once a week, maybe biweekly if you’re lucky. Each time it will get easier, as your baby’s scalp will have less time to develop the cradle cap each session.

Thanks for reading!

Rachel M

Tried these steps? Tell us how it went and ask questions in the comments below!

Step by Step Cure for Cradle Cap

1 thought on “Step by Step Cure for Cradle Cap

  1. Ahh coconut oil! When my kids were little (before coconut oil was a thing), I used olive oil and vitamin E (pure, from a pierced capsule). I did the scrape w/ a comb method with the olive oil, then topped with the vitamin E to soothe. Worked great. Glad the coconut E does both!

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