Natural Remedies For Cradle CapBabies typically have naturally soft and very smooth skin as infants. However, some develop rough and scaly patches on their scalp called cradle cap. First-time parents can be quite alarmed when they see it for the first time, but cradle cap is not a serious problem. It is merely a form of dandruff that appears on babies.

What Causes Cradle Cap?

Doctors are still debating as to what causes cradle cap. Most doctors agree that the rough and scaly patches crop up when the oil glands are producing more oil than normal. This can be due to left-over hormones from mother, a fungal infection, or both. In any event, there is an overproduction of sebum [1].

Among the symptoms of cradle cap are yellow, white, or dark-colored scales or patches on your baby’s scalp. These scales typically become flakes that will fall off. The skin may also become a bit red. Cradle cap is not itchy or painful. There are instances when hair will fall out because of this skin problem, but it will eventually grow back. Never pull the oily patches off. A natural cradle cap treatment may be just the thing to alleviate the condition.


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Natural Remedies For Cradle CapTreatment For Cradle Cap

Though cradle cap will eventually resolve itself, many parents opt for treatment. If you want to try to speed up the process, you can use mild organic baby shampoo to wash your baby’s hair and scalp. For heavy scaly skin, apply organic baby lotion on the scalp a few hours before bathing your baby. Wash the hair regularly,  then use a soft brush to help loosen the scales and flakes. By using a mild shampoo that is organic and made for baby’s delicate skin, parents can ensure that no harsh chemicals come in contact with the scalp or risk being absorbed into the skin.

However, if you’re shampooing your baby’s hair and scalp with little to no improvement, your doctor may recommend the use of a low dose hydrocortisone cream or a medicated shampoo that contains 2% of antifungal ketoconazole medication for treating cradle cap. Stay away from dandruff shampoos that have salicylic acid because they are not safe for your little one’s delicate skin.

What Are The Natural Ways to Get Rid of Cradle CapWhat Are The Natural Ways To Get Rid Of Cradle Cap?

Another word for cradle cap is seborrheic dermatitis. It affects babies, causing thick and flaky skin to appear on the scalp, forehead, eyebrows, ears, and bridge of the nose. It typically occurs in newborns to those three months of age, but children up to a year have been known to develop it. Several steps can be done to help control or alleviate this type of seborrheic dermatitis [2].

Here are some natural remedies for cradle cap instead of using a dandruff shampoo or antifungal creams. A natural cradle cap treatment is an excellent way to soothe both baby and parent.


Installing a humidifier in the nursery is an excellent way to try a natural cure for cradle cap. It helps add more moisture in the air, which can help prevent dryness of your baby’s skin.

Oil treatment

The use of oils on your little one’s scalp is another natural cradle cap treatment. Use organic coconut, almond, or olive oil to help treat seborrheic dermatitis.  Take a small amount of the oil and rub it gently on the scalp. Keep the oil away from the eyes, as it can irritate them. Leave the oil in the hair for about 15 minutes or longer if possible. Use a  baby brush to comb out loose flakes from their scalp. Once you have removed all the flakes and scales, you can wash your baby’s hair and scalp thoroughly. Use mild baby shampoo for this. Please note that if an essential oil is used on a baby, it must be diluted.

Baking soda

Another cradle cap natural treatment involves the use of a common household ingredient. Baking soda is a kitchen staple and makes an excellent cradle cap natural treatment. Baking soda is often used to treat various skin conditions, including cradle cap. Create a paste by mixing equal portions of water and baking soda. Spread it evenly on your baby’s scalp and leave it on for a minute. Do this treatment before bathing your baby to save time. Baking soda can easily clean the hair and scalp while removing the flakes. Follow this treatment with washing your baby’s hair with a mild, organic shampoo, taking care not to irritate your baby’s scalp.


Always moisturize your baby’s scalp after a bath to help lock in the moisture. If you are dealing with a lot of dandruff flakes, moisturizing can help prevent dryness, which can prevent irritation.

Apple cider vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is another example of natural remedies for cradle cap. You can combine 2 parts of apple cider vinegar with one part water to dilute it. Apply it on your baby’s scalp and let it sit for about 15 minutes. Wash it off using warm water. This treatment should be implemented at least twice a week.

Breast milk

Breast milk contains antibodies as well as nutrients. But did you know that you can also use your breast milk as a natural cradle cap treatment? A small amount of your breast milk can be applied on the scalp may help soothe the skin. It is an entirely safe natural cure for cradle cap.

Aloe vera

Another example of a cradle cap natural treatment is aloe vera. The gel has numerous benefits – from healing wounds to soothing inflammation. Put a small amount of the gel on your baby’s scalp. Leave it for a few minutes to help ease inflammation before washing your baby’s hair with a mild organic shampoo.


This herb comes with antifungal as well as antibacterial properties. It is a natural cure for cradle cap that can be used in the most severe cases. You can use this as an herbal solution for your baby’s cradle cap. Sometimes, this cream can be a bit expensive.

Avocado oil

You can also take advantage of organic avocado oil if you are looking for cradle cap remedies. This oil, which is extracted from the fruit, is packed with fatty acids, as well as essential chemicals that can help kill off fungal infections. Dab a few drops of avocado oil directly onto your baby’s head. Gently rub it in and let sit for a few minutes before washing it out of your hair. Make sure that no oil gets in the eyes of your baby.
Additional Tips for Dealing with Cradle Cap.

Brush their scalp

Gently brushing your baby’s scalp can help remove the flakes that form on your baby’s head, but make sure you do not scrape them off. You can also purchase a special cradle cap brush to brush your baby’s head.

Wash your baby’s hair

A mild shampoo can help clean your baby’s hair and loosen up the scales and flakes for easy brushing. If you are considering using an anti-dandruff shampoo, it must be approved by your doctor, due to the possibility of harsh chemicals. Don’t wash your baby’s hair and scalp too often as this can lead to a dry scalp which can exacerbate seborrhoeic dermatitis.


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Natural Remedies For Cradle CapIn Conclusion: Natural Remedies For Cradle Cap

Now you know the several natural cradle cap remedies. If you want to treat your baby’s seborrheic dermatitis without using any medications, these are worth a try. What’s great about these treatments is that they are generally safe to use.

However, parents should remember that even though there are natural ways to get rid of cradle cap, they still need to be diligent about the oils they use. For example, tree tea oil is a stronger oil and can be harsh on the skin. And as noted earlier, any essential oil must be properly diluted [3].

Treating the cradle cap is easy, as long as it does not originate from a fungal infection.  Most parents opt for natural ways to get rid of cradle cap. However, there are instances when your doctor will recommend some prescription creams to treat this type of dermatitis. Cradle cap treatments may include hydrocortisone, antifungal, or zinc cream. Always follow the instructions as recommended by your doctor.

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Natural Remedies For Cradle Cap Resources:

[1]   Medical News Today; All You Need to Know About Cradle Cap, Mike Paddock, January 19, 2018.
[2]   U.S. National Library of Medicine; Cradle Cap, July 31, 2019.
[3]   Mayo Clinic; Dandruff.

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