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Home >  Information A-ZAll Kids Information Articles Cradle Cap

Cradle Cap:

Many babies will develop what is known as "cradle cap." This is where, similar to dandruff, their scalp begins to look flaky. Since babies obviously can't use shampoos that are intended for this problem, because the chemicals in those shampoos are too harsh, you will have to come up with some other ways to make it better more quickly.

• Moisture—since you can tell that it is very dry on any baby's scalp that has this problem, it makes sense to put moisture into the scalp. You can do this by using lotion or baby oil. Baby oil is one of the better products to use, because it can also help loosen the flakes.

• Brush it—brushing baby's hair more often can help loosen the flakes on their scalp so that they can come off easier. This works really well in conjunction with baby oil. You can cover baby's head in the oil, and then use a baby brush to brush their hair. You can push slightly harder while brushing than you normally would, but not much. Baby's scalps are sensitive, so you will not want to put much pressure at all while brushing. When you are brushing their hair, you will want to brush it in all directions before you brush it to look cute. Brush against the hair's directional growth, sideways, and then with the growth. This can help loosen up the cradle cap, too.

• Wash it often—when you wash your baby's hair, you will want to wash their scalp just as well. Every time you rub on the scalp in different directions, it can help with their cradle cap. As soon as you get them out of the bath, you should put the baby oil or lotion on their hair, and brush it for as long as they will let you. This may not be long, because it may be irritating to them, but do it for as long as it doesn't bother them.

• Massage baby's scalp—this really won't help in eliminating, reducing, or preventing cradle cap, but it can help your baby feel better. Since adults know that dandruff is itchy, and babies can't tell their parents what it feels like, it is best to assume that it might be. This is what the scalp massage is for—to help it feel better in case it is itchy or bothersome. A baby's scalp is so sensitive, though, you will not want to actually scratch it. Instead, you should just lightly rub it in circles with the pads of your fingers. If your child acts irritated when you do this, you should stop, but if they seem to enjoy it, you may want to continue for a while.

• Dandruff shampoos—sometimes, no matter how you try to prevent cradle cap, or what you do to prevent it, it just won't go away. If this is the case, by the time your child is 2 or 3, if they still have this problem, you should ask their doctor if they can prescribe something or if it's okay to use a dandruff shampoo on their scalp. Your doctor may be able to prescribe something, or they may recommend a good one that can help. If your doctor says not to use anything yet, you should wait until the child is older. Then, if they still have the problem, you can begin to use these kinds of shampoos when they say it is alright.

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