WHAT IS CRADLE CAP
Cradle cap is basically dandruff for babies. The difference is that it usually appears to be a lot thicker and in a cluster, rather than ‘flaky. It’s not dangerous and doesn’t cause discomfort to the baby. It’s just not cute to look at.
And understandably, a lot of mommies they want to get rid of it as a soon as possible.
Both my babies had cradle cap. And in both instances, it appeared at around the 2/3 months mark and it sure ain’t pretty!
The cause of it is not fully known, but it is understood by some experts that the hormones a baby receives from the mother at the end of pregnancy overstimulate the baby’s oil-producing (seborrheic) glands, resulting in cradle cap.
However, there’s no concrete proof of this. Regardless of the cause, there will come a time, when you’ll definitely want to get rid of it as soon as possible.
HOW TO GET RID OF IT CRADLE CAP
If left untreated, it will usually clear away on its own. It can take around 6 to 12 months to completely clear away.
However, it is possible to clear it away a lot sooner by using some remedies.
It’s advisable to seek medical advice before you try and get rid of your baby’s cradle cap. It’s always good to have an expert opinion – especially with something concerning your newborn baby.
The tips listed below will usually take a week or two to completely get rid of it. However, every baby is different and the severity of the cradle cap will also play a part in how long it takes to completely clear up.
MASSAGE A NATURAL OIL ON YOUR BABY’S SCALP
To start treating the cradle cap, you will need to use something that will soften it first to make it easier to lift off.
Massage the oil into your baby’s scalp 15 – 20 minute before giving your baby a bath.
You don’t want to use artificial oils like manufactured baby oils as these do not soak very well into the scalp to soften or break up the cradle cap.
LEAVE THE OIL TO SOAK INTO BABY’S SCALP FOR 15 – 20 MINUTES
You will want to leave the leave the oil to soak into your baby’s scalp for 20 minutes. This will allow it time to soften and break up the cradle cap which will make it easier for you to then remove it later on.
MASSAGE THE SCALP A BRUSH
You will want to turn the brush in a clockwise manner, then switching to anti-clockwise. I found this to be the best way to remove the cradle cap without having to ‘comb’ it out – which you should NEVER do anyway.
You will want to take extra care when you are at the baby’s soft spot right at the top of your baby’s head. You will know this spot because you’ll see it pulsating. This spot on your baby’s head is particularly sensitive. So, be very careful.
PLACE A SHOWER CAP ON YOUR BABY’S HEAD
Once you’ve massaged your baby’s scalp with the cradle cap brush, place a baby shampoo protector on your baby’s head and take them over to the bathroom to shampoo their hair.
MASSAGE CRADLE CAP SHAMPOO ONTO THE SCALP
Before putting any cradle cap shampoo on your baby’s scalp, rinse off any excess oil and any loose cradle cap on your baby’s scalp – you don’t need to remove it all.
Once you’ve done that, go ahead and massage some shampoo into your babies scalp.
Be aware that most shampoos have a very rigid texture once they are applied to the baby’s scalp.
You will notice your baby’s hair and scalp get really dry but have a very (for lack of better description) squeaky clean feel to the touch. This is because the shampoos are designed to break down and dissolve the cradle cap.
This is one of the reasons why they remove cradle cap far better and quicker than ordinary shampoos.
One of my favourites was, and still is, this one by Bella B. It worked really well.
USE THE COMB END TO COMB OUT THE CRADLE CAP THAT HAS ALREADY LIFTED
Whilst the shampoo is still on your baby’s scalp, use the comb end of the brush to remove any loose cradle cap out of the hair.
|Mommy Tip: This step solely depends on how bad the cradle cap is and if your baby has any hair.
If you baby has hardly any hair, do not use the comb side, just stick to massaging the scalp using the brush end. And if your baby’s cradle cap is not as bad or it’s more flaky than matted then, again, the comb is not necessary. Just using the brush side will suffice.
RINSE WELL AND DRY
You will want to make sure you rinse your baby’s scalp thoroughly and remove any shampoo residue.
This important because any shampoo residue left in your baby’s hair could accidentally trickle down your baby’s face and into the eyes – you want to avoid that at all cost.
It’s a good idea to condition your baby’s hair to stop it from becoming extremely brittle. Especially if your baby is blessed with hair. That way, you’re putting back some of the oils that were taken out.
APPLY AND MASSAGE A LITTLE BIT OF BALM ON BABY’S SCALP
If your baby was born with a head full of hair, this will replenish any oils that were stripped away during the shampooing.
Gently rub some baby balm onto the scalp. This one by Elizabeth Parker Naturals works well as it will continue to soften and dissolve the cradle cap.
Style baby’s hair and you’re ready t go.
REPEAT AS NECESSARY
The cradle cap will not, unfortunately, go away on the first wash. You will need to repeat these steps as necessary.
At times, you may want to leave out the shampoo and just use the natural oil, or alternatively, you could just use a bit of the shampoo on its own.
Like I mentioned before, every baby is different and the severity of the cradle cap differs. So you, mama are going to have to be the judge of how much and how often your baby’s cradle cap will need treating.
Don’t over massage or over brush your baby’s scalp. It’s still very delicate and very tender. Be gentle at all times.
Do not at any time try to scrub or lift the cradle cap from the scalp – especially if your baby has hair – ouch!
If the cradle cap persists, or you just feel it in your bones that something is not right contact your doctor immediately.
I am not a qualified doctor, so please, do not replace your doctor’s advice with the advice given in this post.
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