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  • East Coast Baby Co.

The A to Z’s of Motherhood: C is for Cradle Cap

Updated: May 2, 2022

Are you struggling to get rid of your baby’s cradle cap?  It’s time to ditch those hats and show off your baby’s locks.  Read on to find out our tried and true method!

Before you rush the baby off to the pediatrician let the experts at East Coast Baby Co. give you the 411 on what it is, how to treat it and when it’s time to call the doctor. Cradle cap (aka seborrheic dermatitis) is basically baby dandruff.  It is not dangerous or contagious and is actually very common. A frequent misconception is that it’s a result of poor hygiene. Wrong! It is simply a reaction to their body adjusting to life outside the womb along with higher levels of hormones and usually goes away by their first year.  That being said, there are some things you can do to help speed up the process. With the right treatment it will usually resolve within a week or two.

First let’s determine if it is indeed cradle cap.

It typically presents itself on the top of the head, forehead, eyelids or behind the ears and appears as crusty or flaking skin. The easiest way to tell the difference between cradle cap and other skin conditions such as eczema or dry skin is that cradle cap typically does not brush off easily. Additionally eczema and dry skin usually appear on other parts of the body as well.  It typically appears between one and three months of age although it can pop up anytime in their first year.  As tempting as it is, try not to pick at the flakes since it can aggravate their sensitive skin.  Instead try this…

Our “Magic Potion”:

  1. Apply a small amount of coconut or baby oil to baby’s head and massage well with your fingers.  Let sit for at least 20 minutes.

  2.  Rinse off oil and use a good baby shampoo and cradle cap comb.  Our favorites are Mustela Cradle Cap Foam Shampoo and the Baby Frida Cradle Cap Comb.

  3. Before bed apply a medium to thick-ish layer of Tubby Todd’s All Over Ointment to baby’s head.  (Side note:  this stuff is AMAZING and needs to be in everybody’s baby arsenal!)  It does tend to be thick and doesn’t always rub in all the way which is why I recommend doing this at bedtime.

  4. Repeat daily.

When should you talk to your doctor?

If it begins to spread to other parts of the body or you have treated it at home without success, you may want to mention it at your next appointment.  In severe cases your pediatrician may prescribe a medicated shampoo. 

To read other topics in our “A to Z’s of Motherhood” series visit our blog.


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