Have you ever seen what looks like dandruff on your baby’s head? It may look similar but is actually Cradle Cap, also referred to as Seborrheic dermatitis. Do not be alarmed; this is a very common skin condition. Let’s take a deeper dive into what it is and how to care for it.
What is Cradle Cap?
Cradle cap is a common, harmless skin condition that mainly affects newborns and young babies. It is characterized by patches of scaly, crusty skin on the scalp and believed to be caused by an overproduction of oil and the overgrowth of a naturally-occurring fungus called Malassezia. Occasionally it can also be found around the eyebrows or behind the ears.
How long does it last?
Cradle Cap usually clears up on its own within a few months. It usually only lasts until the baby is between 3 and 12 months old. If it persists beyond 12 months, it’s recommended to see a doctor or dermatologist for a diagnosis and treatment. It is important to note that Cradle Cap is not contagious and does not cause any harm or irritation to the baby.
How do I care for Cradle Cap?
First off, it is important that you do not pick at your baby’s scalp. you could accidentally scrape their head which could lead to an infection if it is not kept clean. To care for Seborrheic dermatitis, use a soft brush to gently remove the scales during bath time. You can also use an oil-based shampoo or cream to help soften and loosen the scales. Avoid using harsh shampoos or soaps.
Remembering that Cradle Cap is normal for infants and not harmful, it can be removed. Coconut oil is safe for babies and can be used to treat cradle cap. It’s important to make sure that you’re using a pure, organic coconut oil that is free from additives. Before bath gently massage coconut oil on baby’s scalp to loosen up the flaky dead skin that is trapped under the skin’s natural oils. This helps lift the scaly patches making it easier to brush away with FridaBaby’s gentle silicone brush.
In conclusion, Cradle Cap is a harmless condition that is common in newborns and young infants. Remember to always contact your pediatrician if you have any concerns about your baby’s health or well-being. For more Newborn Care Tips reach out to invite a Postpartum Doula or Newborn Care Expert into your home. Boston Baby Nurse & Nanny is here to support you from birth and beyond.
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About The Author
Carole K. Arsenault is the founder and CEO of Boston Baby Nurse & Nanny. She has years of experience working with newborns as a lactation consultant, sleep coach, and of course an RN specializing in Obstetrics and Maternal Health. In addition, she is the award winning author of Newborn 101. She has three grown children and loves to share mindfulness tips to friends and parents.