Q: My two-month old has cradle cap. Iknow it doesn't bother her, but it bothers me! How do Iget rid of it?
A. Ah, cradle cap. Like baby acne, it's one of those run-of-the mill conditions many infants experience that can frustrate parents. You know your baby is perfect, even with superficial imperfections, but still—it's just so … icky. Well, turns out there are a few things you can do to treat it, if you're too itchy (pun intended) to wait until it subsides on its own.
Cradle cap is the crusting and scaling of the skin on the scalp, and can occur in any baby. It is caused by the overproduction of the sebaceous glands, glands that help keep skin and hair lubricated. This overproduction causes a greasy substance to be secreted by the skin, and since skin—especially skin on a brand new baby—is constantly shedding, the sloughed off cells get trapped in the secretions and together they dry into the flaky patches you see on top of your wee babe's head. While you can't necessarily prevent this overproduction of waxy oil, you can combat the aftermath. Here's how:
1. Just before bathtime, before soaping up baby's head, apply a small amount of oil to baby's head. You can use olive oil, or a product specially formulated for cradle cap, like Gentle Naturals Cradle Cap Care:
2. Let the moisturizing substance do its work while you make silly faces at your baby for two to three minutes.
3. Take a dry terrycloth washcloth or a soft brush and gently scrub away the scales. This step can be made more fun if you choose tools that will make you smile, like these cute creatures from giggle.
Or, if you need to treat and go with no muss and fuss, you could always opt for this combo device that brushes, sponges and dispenses shampoo all in one:
4. Shampoo baby's hair as usual. Continue silly faces.
5. Repeat at each bathtime as necessary, until scales diminish. If you find that scales remain stubborn after one or two treatments, wrap the top of baby's head with a warm washcloth during step two, taking care not to let the washcloth cool down too much and lower baby's temperature.
These tips should help your gorgeous babe be patch-free in no time.