Cradle Cap

Cradle Cap, otherwise known as Cradle Crap in my house, is annoying dry skin on a baby’s head. I could go into all of the medical business on this, but I will leave that to the professionals. If you are looking for something that starts like this…” Cradle cap, the common term for infantile seborrheic dermatitis…” go here to the MAYO CLINIC.  If you are looking for the basic information and cure, keep reading my friend!

When the Cradle Crap first showed up I thought it was just dandruff. My sister said, “No, I think it’s cradle cap.” It sounded scary and not having a clue what it was, I freaked out and immediately consulted Dr. Google.  As always when consulting good ol’ Dr. Google I was completely horrified by what I learned.  I read about how it was possibly a fungus, or a hormonal imbalance passed on from me to him before birth, blah, blah, scary, gross, blah… Then of course because I was not disgusted and freaked out enough I looked at the google images for it.  VOMIT!  Oh my goodness those photos were too much.  So gross.  If you have not looked, DON’T!

I was so embarrassed at first that Ollie had it.  I thought it was because either I or he or both of us were dirty. Which, I AM NOT DIRTY!   I wanted to fix it and fast! I called our doctor the next day, freaked out from all I learned. My doctor told me first of all to stop looking at google images and in the future don’t believe everything I read.  Basically Cradle Cap is dry skin.  There is no 100% accurate idea of the cause, and there are multiple ways to “cure” it. The baby has no idea what’s going on, the only person it bothers is the parents and goes away on it’s own.

My doctor went on to say, if I really wanted to attack it I could wash his hair with a medicated dandruff shampoo, but he really stressed not letting it get into his eyes.  The idea of burning Ollie’s eyes has kept me from trying this remedy. He told me otherwise not to worry and that it would go away in a few months to possibly a year and in some cases longer. If it got worse I needed to call him and that was the end of it.

I read online and had a trusted mommy friend tell me to try massaging olive oil into his cradle cap, wait a few minutes then brush the dry skin scales out with a soft brush or tooth brush. She said to do this two nights in a row.  It worked!  She also said to shampoo regularly and brush his hair daily.  I did this religiously and it kept the cradle cap at bay.  This really worked very well and has kept his head soft and sweet for nearly two months. 

Recently the dry skin came back.  I have to admit I did not brush his hair every night after a bath and apparently that is key.  Anyways… I just repeated the olive oil remedy and voila, soft baby head again.  My doctor said once it’s cured it usually does not come back.  I just cannot bring myself to try the medicated shampoo because with my luck I will get it in his eyes and mine too.  Don’t ask how, but trust me if it can be done I will pull it off!  If it doesn’t bother him to have cradle crap why bother him with a strong medicated shampoo? Plus I think he likes the head massage every couple of months.

Bottom line: Cradle Cap is nothing bad, no one knows how it happens--only that it has NOTHING to do with being dirty.  It can be cured with medicated shampoo but easily and gently treated with an olive oil head massage, followed by a soft brush then a thorough shampooing.  The only person it bothers is the one looking at it. It is annoying but by no means worth freaking out like I did.  Unless you want to try the medicated shampoo, patience is a virtue on this one.

If anyone has a proven remedy or experience please share!

Two confused parents=One amused baby Hopelessly we are trying raise a baby who is clearly smarter than both of us. April is an award-winning writer and blogger. Her work has been published in over ten countries and four languages. From books to newspapers, to print/online magazines and everything in between, you can find her work. For more on April, Visit