6 Ways to Treat Cradle Cap in Infants
You bathe your infant and shampoo his head a couple of times a week, only to find pesky little flakes on his scalp that don’t seem to budge. Known as cradle cap, this flaky covering won’t harm your baby, but it can look unsightly.
Overactive oil glands in response to dry skin can cause cradle cap. Sometimes, a fungal infection usually caused by antibiotics given to the mother while pregnant or to baby after birth can also be the culprit. Either way, it’s very common and easily treatable with these natural remedies.
You shouldn’t bathe your infant more than 3 times per week, as it can dry out his skin. Dry skin is the most common cause of cradle cap. When you do bathe him, use a hypoallergenic, moisturizing baby shampoo that won’t dry out his skin.
As you shampoo, take a fine-toothed comb, much like a lice comb, and gently brush it along baby’s scalp. The shampoo will help loosen the dried-on flakes so they are easier to remove. Make sure you rinse the shampoo thoroughly, or you may end up with more flakes. Repeat each time you bathe your infant until all flakes are gone.
Coconut oil is one of those natural things that moms swear by to treat several things, like baby acne and diaper rash. Cradle cap is yet another condition that coconut oil can help with.
An organic coconut oil contains cleansing, moisturizing, and antibacterial properties that can help keep baby’s skin hydrated to prevent, and remove, cradle cap. Use a small amount of coconut oil on baby’s scalp and rub it in thoroughly.
Leave the oil on the scalp for two to three hours. In the bathtub, add some water to a wash mitt and create a lather on baby’s scalp. Use the mitt or a fine-toothed comb to gently remove flakes.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar’s acidic features can help it remove dried flakes from baby’s head. However, be warned that this is a smellier option than others. As well as it may work, you may find that you can’t bear the smell on baby’s head.
Pour a few drops of vinegar onto a cotton ball and rub along the affected areas of the scalp. Do this twice a day on the days you will bathe your infant, and then shampoo thoroughly, using a wash mitt or fine-toothed comb to help remove the flakes.
Baking soda is a multi-purpose ingredient many people have in their homes. When mixed with a small amount of water or oil, it can form a paste that you can use on the skin to treat skin conditions.
Mix a couple of tablespoons of baking soda with a few drops of water or coconut oil. Stir the mixture thoroughly until it forms a paste, adding more of each ingredient if necessary.
Spread the paste on the affected areas of the scalp and let sit for several minutes. You can then use a wash mitt or fine-toothed comb to remove the flakes and shampoo baby’s head as usual.
There’s a reason you find raw shea butter in most shampoos, conditioners, and lotions. It has highly-moisturizing properties that protect skin and the skin’s natural oils.
To use it for cradle cap, spread a small amount on baby’s scalp and let sit for about 20 to 30 minutes. You can then lather baby’s head in the bath with some water added to a wash mitt. Gently rub the mitt or a fine-toothed comb along the scalp to remove cradle cap.
Humidify the Air
One of the main causes for cradle cap is dry scalp. When your baby’s skin gets dry, her oil glands go into overdrive to produce enough oil to keep the skin lubricated. Therefore, keeping baby’s scalp moisturized and hydrated can help prevent cradle cap.
Use a cool mist humidifier in baby’s nursery, or the room she’s in the most. Not only will this help keep baby’s skin hydrated, but it can also promote healthy respiration. Especially if you use air conditioning and heat in your home, a humidifier is even more important in combating the dry air they cause.
Cradle cap may look unsightly, but it causes no harm to your baby. It’s usually the result of overactive oil glands trying to make up for dry skin. The most important things you can do to prevent cradle cap is lessen the number of baths you give baby each week and keep her skin hydrated with a humidifier.
To get rid of cradle cap on baby’s scalp, use natural remedies, like coconut oil, apple cider vinegar, baking soda paste, shea butter, or a natural baby shampoo. With the help of a gentle wash mitt or fine-toothed comb, you can remove cradle cap during your baby’s bath.