Newborn Care: Treating Cradle Cap

You've recently had your baby, and one day while snuggling her close you see something strange. You smooth her hair over, and notice that she's got some whitish scaling on her scalp. The flakes seem to brush off easily, but you also notice a touch of redness below. You begin to wonder if she's developed an allergy to her shampoo or if this cause for concern. Odds are, these dry patches are baby dandruff, also know as cradle cap and are treatable at home.

Cradle cap presents as dry, flaky or reddish oily patches on the head and neck.

Typically this is found on the scalp, but it is possible for the symptom to also be found on the body and diaper area. While unsightly, cradle cap does not cause itchiness or discomfort for your baby. Cradle cap is not a sign of poor hygiene or of an allergy, and generally resolves within a matter of weeks. 

What causes cradle cap, you ask?

There is speculation in the pediatric community that hormonal changes in the mother during pregnancy stimulate the baby's infant glands causing this condition. Anecdotal evidence might suggest that the dry, flaky variety is influenced by the baby's climate conditions. While the exact cause is unknown, it is very easy to treat cradle cap at home

Check out our infographic below for instructions on in home cradle cap treatment!

It's important to note that while cradle cap is not a condition that is cause for concern, it is possible for yeast to grow within the crevices that cradle cap create. If you notice inflammation or if your baby shows signs of discomfort, then it's prudent to reach out to your child's pediatrician. Your care provider may prescribe a cream or ointment to aid with these symptoms. 

Do you have any tricks for treating cradle cap at home?

Sources: American Academy of Pediatrics

xo, Chelsea