Cradle Cap in Babies – Why and how to treat it naturally

What is cradle cap?

Is cradle cap harmful?

How can I treat cradle cap in my baby?

Remedies for baby cradle cap

What is Cradle Cap and Why does it occur?

Cradle cap is infantile or neonatal seborrhoeic dermatitis, also known as crusta lactea, milk crust, honeycomb disease

Cradle cap is flaky, dry skin on baby’s head. It is believed to be due to hormones that baby receives from mother, which over-stimulates baby’s sebaceous glands. It looks like a severe dandruff, thick, yellowish patches on head, behind the ears or eyebrows. It usually appears in younger babies below 6 months, but can also make an appearance in older babies or toddlers.

 cradle cap


Is Cradle Cap Harmful / Infectious?cradle cap treatment

You may feel upset when you see your beautiful baby coming down with cradle cap but don’t worry. Cradle cap is not infectious. This is a harmless condition and present in most babies. It will get better on it’s own within the first year. It is also believed to go away after mundan (tonsuring).



Treatment of cradle cap

There is no proven treatment for cradle cap. At best, you may try and keep your baby’s scalp clean. Since this condition is due to over-activity of sebaceous gland. it usually corrects itself once the glands settle down to normal activity.

Many parents try anti-dandruff shampoos but using adult shampoos on baby is not recommended as they can be harsh on baby’s delicate skin. If the condition bothers you too much, try washing your baby’s hair more frequently and use a soft brush to brush away the flakes.

Do not try to pick or peel away the flakes.

Some simple home remedies to treat cradle cap

These remedies may or may not work, but many swear by them.


Like everything else, breastmilk can be used to treat cradle cap in babies too. Many parents swear by it. Apply extracted breastmilk

Coconut oil

Massage baby’s scalp with coconut oil leave on for a few hours and then gently brush the scalp.

Mustard oil

Try massaging with warm mustard oil and then wash with a gentle shampoo. Mustard oil has antibacterial and anti fungal properties.

Olive oil

Try massaging baby’s scalp with extra-virgin olive oil and let it sit for some time. Then brush the scalp gently.

Almond oil

Many parents swear by almond oil massage on baby’s head to get rid of cradle cap.

Control over-washing

Try not to over-wash baby’s head and over-washing can cause glands to produce more oil, thus aggravating the problem.

Mundan/ Tonsuring

It is customary to get baby’s head tonsured in many cultures. It believed that cradle cap may go away after tonsuring.

Above all remember that cradle cap goes away on its own as baby grows up to be a toddler, so if nothing works, take heart in that.


When to see the doctor about cradle cap?

If you feel the condition is worsening, becoming red and itchy or it is getting spread to face and ears and is causing discomfort to baby,it may indicate a fungal infection. Consult your paediatrician whether an anti-fungal treatment is required.


Did your child have cradle cap? What did you doubt it?

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