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Home » Cradle Cap in Babies | Natural Ways to Get Rid of it

Cradle Cap in Babies | Natural Ways to Get Rid of it


If you have a newborn baby, chances are you’ve noticed the crusty, yellow patches of skin on their scalp. That’s called cradle cap, and it’s surprisingly quite common. In fact, cradle cap affects around 40 to 50% of babies.

My elder daughter had it and it looked little alarming, when we asked her paediatrician he said “cradle cap is usually harmless, painless and clears up on its own within a few months“. But I was not keen on waiting around for nature to take its course, So I researched and tried a few things you can do to get rid of cradle cap faster which I will be sharing in this article.


What Causes Cradle Cap in Babies?

The jury is still out on what exactly causes cradle cap. However, experts believe that it’s likely due to an overproduction of oil in the sebaceous glands. This excess oil can then lead to a buildup of dead skin cells, which can block the pores and cause irritation. Another theory is that cradle cap is caused by hormones passed from mother to child during pregnancy. These hormones stimulate the sebaceous glands and can cause cradle cap after birth.


Treatment : How to Get Rid of Cradle Cap

There are a few different ways to get rid of cradle cap, but not all of them are suitable for babies. For example, petroleum jelly or mineral oil can help soften the crusty patches so they’re easier to remove—but they can also clog your baby’s pores and lead to more pimples and blackheads later on. So instead of using those products, we recommend sticking with one (or a combination) of the following methods:

1. Brush

Gently brush your baby’s scalp with a soft-bristled brush. This will help loosen the crusty patches so they can be removed more easily. Just be sure not to brush too hard—you don’t want to hurt your little one!

2. Baking Soda

Create a paste out of 1 part baking soda and 2 parts water. Apply this paste to your baby’s scalp and let it sit for 15 minutes before rinsing thoroughly with warm water.

3. Apple cider vinegar & Coconut oil

Make a mixture of 2 tablespoons each of coconut oil and apple cider vinegar. Apply it to your baby’s scalp and let it sit for 20 minutes before rinsing with warm water.

4. Baby shampoo

Use a mild baby shampoo or soap. Wet your baby’s hair and apply the shampoo or soap directly to their scalp. Gently massage it in circles for a minute or two before rinsing thoroughly with warm water. Repeat this process once per day until the cradle cap clears up completely.

5. Tea tree oil

Apply 100% pure tea tree oil directly to the affected areas using a cotton swab or cotton ball. Leave it on for 10 minutes before rinsing with warm water—and be sure not to use too much! A little goes a long way with tea tree oil—using too much can lead to irritation and even chemical burns.

6. Breastmilk

Breastmilk contains natural oils and antioxidants that can help moisturise and soothe the affected area. Simply apply a few drops of breastmilk onto your baby’s scalp and massage it in gently. Let it sit for a few minutes before rinsing it off.

Can I Prevent Cradle Cap?


unfortunately, there’s no guaranteed way to prevent your little one from getting cradle cap. Since the cause of this condition is still a mystery, there’s not much we can do to keep their scalp completely clear.

However, sweating can make cradle cap worse in babies, so it’s worth trying to keep the scalp cool and dry.

If your baby does end up with cradle cap, don’t worry! There are treatments you can try to help manage the symptoms. Just keep a close eye on the condition, and if things start to change or get worse, definitely give your pediatrician a call for guidance.

When to see a doctor about cradle cap?

Probably not. However, it’s always good to be cautious and keep an eye on things. Here are some reasons to take your little one to the doctor:

  • The cradle cap doesn’t improve after two weeks with the natural treatment.
  • The skin underneath or around the crustiness is inflamed or weeping.
  • Your baby has a spreading rash in the affected areas.
  • Your baby seems irritated by the cradle cap or is scratching it a lot.

Also important: if you’re not sure if it’s cradle cap or if your baby seems generally unwell (fever, poor feeding, just all-around not feeling great), go ahead and make an appointment.

All that said, most cases of cradle cap can be treated at home with a little TLC. So take a deep breath and let’s tackle this together.



  • Cradle cap won’t bother your baby because it isn’t itchy or painful.
  • Cradle cap isn’t contagious, dangerous or serious.
  • Your baby’s hair might get a bit matted because of cradle cap, but this condition won’t cause baldness or long-term hair loss.
  • If the rash is itchy and doesn’t go away, it might be eczema.

Do you have any other tips for getting rid of cradle cap? Share them in the comments below!



1. What is cradle cap?

Cradle cap is a common skin condition also referred to as seborrheic dermatitis, which usually appears during the first few months of a baby’s life. It is characterised by yellowish or brownish patches or scales on the scalp that can be itchy, dry and scaly.

2. What causes cradle cap?

The exact cause of cradle cap is unknown but it is believed to be linked to an overproduction of oil from the baby’s sebaceous glands, an immature immune system, or an overabundance of yeast on the skin.

3. Are there any risk factors for developing cradle cap?

While scientists have not identified any specific risk factors for developing cradle cap, some experts believe that genetics may play a role in predisposing certain babies to this skin condition. Additionally, if a mother had severe cases of eczema during pregnancy, some researchers believe this could potentially increase the chances that her baby will develop cradle cap.

4. Is cradle cap contagious?

No, cradle cap is not contagious and cannot be passed from one person to another; however, other forms of seborrheic dermatitis can sometimes be spread through contact with another person who has the condition.

5. Can you prevent your baby from getting cradle cap?

Unfortunately there is no sure way to prevent your baby from developing cradle cap since its exact cause remains unknown; however, keeping your baby’s scalp clean and moisturised can help reduce symptoms and discomfort associated with this skin condition.

6. How do you treat cradle cap?

Treatment typically involves gentle cleansing and moisturising of the affected area as well as medicated shampoos that contain zinc pyrithione and tar-based shampoos which can help soothe irritation and reduce the amount of oil secreted from the sebaceous glands on your baby’s head. In rare cases where there are large patches or severe scaling present, steroid creams or ointments may be prescribed by your child’s paediatrician or doctor in order to help clear up the rash more quickly.

7. Is it safe for my child if I use home remedies for treating their cradle cap?

Although there are many home remedies that claim to offer relief from symptoms associated with cradle cap such as olive oil or coconut oil massages, it is important talk to your doctor before trying these treatments since they may worsen rather than improve your child’s symptoms if done incorrectly or without medical supervision/guidance.

8. Does my infant need to see a doctor if they have cradle cap?

If your infant’s case of cradle cap does not resolve after four weeks despite home treatment measures such as properly cleaning and moisturising your baby’s scalp then you should schedule an appointment with his/her paediatrician in order to get professional medical advice and help in managing this skin condition more effectively/efficiently going forward in time.

9 . How long does it take for an infant’s case of cradle cap to resolve on its own ?

It typically takes about two weeks for an infant’s case of mild-moderate cradle cap to resolve on its own without any additional treatment measures; however if left untreated ,severe cases may last longer than four weeks . In such instances ,it would be best advised that you seek professional medical assistance from a qualified healthcare provider .

10 . Are there any long term effects associated with having had childhood cases of cradle cap ?

No ,there are no known long term effects associated with having had childhood cases of cradle cap nor will having had this skin condition leave any permanent marks/discolourations on a person ‘s scalp once resolved .

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