Home Remedies For Cradle Cap

(Last Updated On: January 9, 2018)

Even if you’re not a new parent, there are tons of things any parent is always on the lookout for. One child may not have any issues, but the next may have a problem that’s a little less well-known. Home remedies are great for infants, and home remedies for cradle cap should help your cutie heal up perfectly.

What is Cradle Cap?

New parents especially may be wondering what cradle cap is. Cradle cap is a common condition that causes crusty or oily kinds of scaly patches on your baby’s scalp, or even eyelids, eyebrows, ears, the nose, neck, diaper area, or armpits. These thick yellow or white scales are hard to remove, but mild shampoo can help loosen the cap to get rid of the scales. No matter what you do, you shouldn’t scratch it, but in the worst case, a doctor can always suggest possible medicated shampoos.

What Causes it?

Your perfect little bundle of love suddenly has these strange patches and you’re understandably scared. Not to worry however, because cradle cap is actually pretty common and won’t cause any real discomfort. There’s not even any itching, so what’s really causing it?


There aren’t many definitive causes, but hormones that pass from the mother to baby may have an impact. These hormones may cause an overproduction of oil in hair follicles and lead to the patches.


Those skin changes you see might also be a part of the inflammatory response to the common organism, Malassezia yeast. The yeast grows in sebum oil with bacteria, but it’s so common, it’s usually part of dandruff.

Fungal Infection

If the mother took antibiotics just before birth, cradle cap can be caused by a fungal infection. The antibiotics given to the child in the hospital may also cause it, and while antibiotics are good, too much can cause a resistance. A resistance can lead to an overgrowth of yeast, causing the fungal issues.

Skin Reactions

Certain baby shampoos or lotions may cause problems if they have alcohol or other harsh ingredients. These are tough on a baby’s delicate skin, although allergies may also be at fault too.

Home Remedies for Cradle Cap

Usually you don’t even have to worry about treatment. Cradle cap tends to disappear within a few months, but if you want to speed up healing, it’s best to go natural! Your baby is a delicate cutie after all, but there are still home remedies you can try.

Humidifier Power

Dry, sensitive skin is pretty common for some babies, especially those with cradle cap. A humidifier can add moisture to the air if you use a lot of air conditioning or heating in your home.

Brush Regularly

Maybe you can’t get rid of the flakes right away, but you can decrease them. Massage and brush your baby’s scalp gently with your fingers and a soft brush to loosen up those scales before sweeping them away.

Use Oils

Pure oils like mineral, olive, coconut, and almond oil work wonders both for your baby! Just put a coin-sized amount in your hand, warm it slightly, and rub it in. As long as it stays out of the eyes, keep it on for 15 minutes before using a soft comb. Finally, just wash with shampoo to be sure you’ve removed extra pore clogging oils. You can leave olive oil on overnight, and can mix almond and tea tree oil, as long as you always rinse and dry when you wash the scalp.

Baby Shampoos

Natural and gentle shampoos can dramatically clear up the dry spots without the extra chemicals. Just dip your baby’s scalp into warm water before gently massaging the shampoo in and brushing softly. (Try this organic baby scrub formulated just for cradle cap and eczema)

Don’t Over-wash!

Doctors may say you should wash every day, and as a parent, you’ll want to follow their advice! Try to resist though, because too much washing can actually increase oils that lead to cradle cap. 2-3 days between washing will be just fine.


Once you’ve shampooed, just apply a tiny bit of moisturizer. This’ll keep the moisture in the skin and stop the scalp from drying out. Make sure to use a lotion just for babies though. (Try this certified organic healing balm/moisturizer for cradle cap)

Possible Allergies?

Take a look at your baby’s diet to be sure that they don’t have any allergies caused by their formula. If this is the case, you may also see red patches on the face and diarrhea, so be on the lookout.

Baking Soda fixes Everything

It’s true: baking soda is really amazing. If you mix equal parts of baking soda and water you can apply the paste right to the scalp. Then just rinse it off and you’re done!

Breast Milk

Breast milk is not only nutritious, but thanks to the medicinal properties, it can be used as treatment too. Squirt just a little into a bowl before rubbing it into the scalp overnight. Just like with other treatments, you can brush off the flakes in the morning.

Other Common Fixes

Petroleum jelly is a common fix thanks to its moisture, and most of us have a random jar of Vaseline sitting around. Just before bath time, a liberal scalp massage and a gentle brush can really make a difference. Shea butter is also common. You can leave it on for 20 minutes before brushing away flakes. Finally, consider apple cider vinegar. One part of the vinegar and two parts water and a good rinse can clear things right up.


Cradle cap is a really common problem, despite how frightened you might be when you see it. Home remedies are a perfect way to fix simple problems like this without harming your baby even more and without running all the way to the doctor. Soon your little bundle of joy will be looking their best again!

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