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What is Cradle Cap?

Cradle Cap

You look at your baby and she’s just perfect! Those tiny hands and soft baby skin…she’s such a miracle. But wait, what is that scaly stuff on her scalp. It looks like wax ,it’s thick and yellow and not pretty.  Did you use the wrong shampoo, is she sick? Should you call the pediatrician?

Sounds like your baby has cradle cap and it’s very common.  It usually rears it’s ugly head  those first few months of life. It’s not contagious and should clear up on it’s own in six to twelve months. The scalp may look dry and flaky or it can have thick oily yellow or brown patches.  You don’t need to call the doctor unless it becomes inflamed.

Here are what some moms from the Berkeley Parents Network did to get rid of cradle cap.

  • Use the Paul Mitchell Tea Tree shampoo and conditioner. Make sure it doesn’t go in the eyes as it’s not a “baby shampoo” but it worked. We use it every so often to prevent it from coming back. Sara
  • Rub olive oil on the baby’s scalp so it softens the cradle cap. Then use  a comb to gently scrape the scales away. Shampoo as usual. It took two or three times for the scales to be completely gone.       Cathy
  • At bath-time, rub baby’s scalp with oil. Brush the scalp in a circular motion as this seems to loosen the flakes. Then use a comb to get out the little flakes. I used baby oil and did not shampoo afterward. Seemed to work better letting it soak in and moisturize the scalp. Eve
  • My nurse friend said to use a little Head and Shoulders shampoo. It worked like a charm! Be careful not to get it into the baby’s eyes. Elaine
  • My hairdresser told me to rub baby oil or jojoba oil on the scalp to loosen the cradle cap. Then shampoo. It worked perfectly and never came back. But it wasn’t easy to get the oil out.
  • Try using a soft toothbrush and mineral oil. Susie
  •  If your baby is still nursing, take a couple of tables of Brewers Yeast for a few days. This is an old remedy for cradle cap. Peg

The consensus is to use some type of oil on the scalp and gently comb or brush out the flakes. Don’t forget, a little cradle cap doesn’t take anything away from this beautiful miracle you’ve created….your baby!

Blythe Lipman is the president of Baby Instructions. She is passionate about babies, toddlers and their parents. After working in the field for over twenty-five years, she wrote her third award-winning book, HELP! MY BABY CAME WITHOUT INSTRUCTIONS which is available at, and all major bookstores . You can hear Blythe’s weekly radio show on Wednesdays, 11am EST @  Blythe is available for in-home, video and telephone consultations. Become her Fan on Facebook and Twitter at Baby Instructions.

©Blythe Lipman 2011



Pediatrician Dr. Alan Greene says: Cradle cap is a crusting and scaling rash found on the scalps of many healthy babies. The sebaceous glands in their skin are hyperactivated often because of mom’s hormones that crossed the placenta just before birth. These glands pump out a greasy substance that keeps the old skin cells attached as it dries.

About Me:

Hello and welcome! I am a 40 something year old mom of two boys, living in Scottsdale, AZ with my husband Al. I started My Baby Pajamas in 2007 and have watched it grow and mature. I love to blog but am not much of a writer per say. I am a avid runner and love to compete in races. I like my yoga HOT and love to hike with my family and our pit bull mix dog, Chance. My favorite time is hanging with my family and cooking homemade dinners and hearing about everyone's day while my husband and I enjoy a glass of wine.

My Baby Pajamas

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