Dealing with cradle cap

Jocelyn - posted on 04/15/2013 ( 64 moms have responded )

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My 3 month old son has yellow and white crust underneath his hair. I have been told this is called cradle cap. How am I suppost to help him get rid of it? It's very itchy and discomforting for him. I have heard that if you put baby oil on it, it will help. How often should I be doing that? Thanks

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Elfrieda - posted on 04/15/2013

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If it's itchy, I wonder if it's cradle cap at all? Both my children had mild cradle cap and it never bothered them.

Truepulse - posted on 04/19/2013

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Hi jocelyn, try coconut oil 1 tsp 1 tsp appe cider vinegar... Mix it i a bowl... Apply overnight ...if you want can make her wear cap to avoid getting oil over her pillow... Next morning apply again... Gently comb her scalp making sure to scrub the dandruff. Give her a bath... Try using very mild shampoo... Or prescribed shampoo.. But keep the shampoo to minimum use only... While shampooing scrub the scalp gently. Wash offf... After nicely patt drying her hair... Apply the oil again.. Be persistent apply 3-4 times a day.. It will clear by a week completely. Hope it helps.

Olga - posted on 04/19/2013

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Hi Kim, this may interest you. I am the kind that does search on anything and everything, very particular kinda gal; I do actually like to TALK to doctors and confirm things. Anyways, take a look. All info that I have shared here today is confirmed and carefully researched. Whether or not one will use it would be totally their choice. :-)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cradle_cap

Danielle Rae - posted on 04/19/2013

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I have heard not to use Baby Oil. I have a 3 mo old who had a good case of Cradle Cap. I used Coconut Oil. (Organic, unrefined to be exact). During bath time, I used the warmth of my hands and melted it in my palms then put it on my sons scalp like I would a shampoo. Leave it on for the length of the bath. When you are ready to rinse out, use a baby brush or a washcloth to loosen up the scales. Then use a fine tooth baby comb to comb them out. Next, use a mild baby shampoo (I use Bert's Bees) to wash it out. You may have to wash the hair twice to get all the oil out. The first time I did this, I had to comb more of the scales out afterwards. I only had to do this once. But a month later, I noticed he had some more on the very top of his head. Repeated the process and it was gone.
I noticed he seemed to have a little in and around his eyebrows as well which seem to be a little itchy. He always seems to want to rub his eyes/eyebrows. I tried the same thing for his brows, being very careful not to get any oil or soap into his eyes. Worked like a charm.
Good luck!

Briana - posted on 04/19/2013

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Noon Kim it is not usually an allergy or eczema! I have talked to drs and pediatricians as well as a dermatologist. It is an excess of hormones built up in the baby leftover from birth. It eventually goes away on its own. However! If it is itchy and uncomfortable then it is an allergy/eczema! Cradle cap isn't generally itchy or uncomfortable. So in this mothers case it may well be allergies/eczema, but normal cradle cap is not. I too worked in childcare and we were always taught cradle cap is no big deal unless it is discolored, itchy, uncomfortable, or smelly. As a mother I feel true cradle cap is just an inconvenience.

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Christina - posted on 05/01/2013

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I fought the issue of this when my oldest daughter was a baby, I used baby oil as well as advice from family, however I found baby oil a mess, as it left the kids hair all oily and icky. Then I decided to try something different, I stopped using Johnson and Johnson baby bath products. I used regular shampoo on her hair and it went away. I don't know if this influenced anything or not, but it could be worth a try for you.

Kimberly - posted on 05/01/2013

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I used coconut oil on my daughter's hair early on. She's now 9 months and didn't experience cradle cap at all. I hope it gets better for your son.

Courtney - posted on 05/01/2013

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My son is 7 months and still suffers from cradle cap. His pediatrician instructed me to rub in some baby oil 30 min before his bath time and let it sit and just wash it out while I am bathing him. After 2 times of doing this his head was nice and clear :). I use Johnson and Johnson's baby oil with shea and coconut oil :)

Wanita Van - posted on 04/30/2013

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if you are breastfeeding, apply breast milk at every feed. sounds weird I know but it works.

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My son had cradle cap and eczema when he was a baby. What I did was put a little baby oil in the water used to rinse his shampoo out and then comb out any loose flakes and then Vaseline his scalp every night. It didn't look great with the Vaseline, so you have to make sure to not put too much on, but it did get rid of his cradle cap

Angela - posted on 04/30/2013

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I use Mustela cradle crab solution (can be found at baby stores). One or two uses and the funk is gone. I apply after bedtime bath and leave it. but natural remedies are great as well.

Elizabeth - posted on 04/26/2013

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Use a soft bristled surgeon's scrub brush from the hospital where you had your son or maybe his pediatrician can provide you one. They're great, I used it on my daughter until her hair was thick enough for a regular brush.

Anyway, I used this type of very soft bristled plastic brush on my daughter's head every time i bathed her and she never ever got cradle cap. The nurses told me this type of brush helps to treat and prevent any irritating dryness a baby may experience.

[deleted account]

Don't use baby oil it just closes the pores. For my baby girls I used a baby comb when I had the tearless baby shampoo in their hair and by combing it it slowly went away. It takes a little time but it does go away. The more you comb the hair it losens on its own and doesn't hurt the baby.

Tonya - posted on 04/25/2013

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My daughter had the same thing. Baby oil does help after given the baby a bath put some baby oil on the "crust" then take a baby comb and brush against it, don't force it off though. If it doesn't come all the way off it will eventually after doing it a couple times. I did it everyday for about a week then about once a week. After about a month it didn't come back.

SAHM1495 - posted on 04/24/2013

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Don't try and pick it off it can get infected and get worse. Bathe in gentle, organic wash solution and I agree with olive oil, it will help naturally loosen and should leave the hair in place. Best Wishes.

Diane - posted on 04/24/2013

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Chris, It sounds like, since the eczema went away post stopping breast feeding, that she may be lactose intolerant as well. Lactose intolerance takes more forms than just the 3 or four things you may hear at the doctor's office. My grandson was lactose intolerant, but, because he was colicky and had acid reflux, we assumed those were separate issues and would go away with time, and we also treated him with Colic Calm. They spoke of diarrhea, but not of constipation, which he repeatedly had. When we finally decided to put him on a particular formula just to see if he would get relief, he did! All that time he'd been lactose intolerant! Now, as an 18 month old, he drinks Lactaid whole milk and does beautifully.

Donna - posted on 04/23/2013

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As a Grandma of 1 grandson (with eczema) and mother of 3 grown sons, one of whom had cradle cap as an infant, I agree with other mommy posts. Dove and Aveeno ( Great for kids in general) are both great products that I have used for my grandson on his eczema. I too used baby oil for cradle cap and it worked wonderfully. I agree if it appears anywhere else than the scalp than more likely than not you are looking at eczema. Talk to your pediatrician.

June A - posted on 04/22/2013

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My son had pretty bad cradle cap when he was born. I used 'dentinox cradle cap shampoo' and baby oil at night when he's sleeping. It cleared up within 2 months. But cradle cap should not be itchy, if you son is feeling discomfort/itchiness, i would think its probably eczema.

Brandy - posted on 04/22/2013

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If it's itchy, dry, and flakey then it's probably eczema. My 2nd baby was covered head to toe in eczema and we had to get a prescription cream for her. My 3rd baby started showing signs of having eczema when she was 2 weeks old. I had done research on the prescription I used for num 2 and decided I would use it as a last didtch effert only. I had ask a nutritionist what he recommends and he said evening primrose oil ingested daily (it's water soluble). So I tried it and it was cleared up by that ening. I've also discovered that eczema is typically a sign of an allergy, dairy and wheat are the 2 main culperates. Since I'm breastfeeding I just cut most dairy out of my diet and that seems to keep it at bay. Sometimes she still has flare ups and l'll give her the primrose oil for a few days, then she's good for a while.My first ended up with cradle cap (didn't bother him) and I would use aveeno colloidal oatmeal shampoo for babies and use a flea comb to brush it out (I worked at a pet shop at the time and got it specificity for the cradle cap).
Good luck with it!

Diane - posted on 04/22/2013

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If cradle cap were a form of eczema, then you would see eczema in months, even years, down the road on the child, which we have with our grand son. Most cases of cradle cap do not ever show up on the body, ever again, regardless of whatever you are using on the baby. With eczema, you see patches of red, dry skin on other body parts, the body reacting to any number of things. We have kept it at bay by using what is now recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics, Dr. Sears site, and many others, which is Dove non perfumed soap, every day, leaving as much of the water on as possible for hydration, and then rubbing in a generous amount of whatever creme works for us, being generic eucerin, aveeno, or lubriderm. We have had two outbreaks that were so severe, and so uncomfortable for him, that even this didn't work, and we have prescription ointment for those cases, and only those cases. His sister has it as well, and we aren't sure if there is a genetic component, but we assume so, since his mother had it as a child as well. Don't assume cradle cap is the next step up of a disease, because it isn't usually a disease.

Jennifer - posted on 04/21/2013

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I used baby oil when my daughter had it. I massaged it in for about 15 minutes then used a soft brush to remove the dead skin. I also thoroughly washed her head afterwards to remove all the oil. I only had to do this a couple of times, and it never came back.

Chris - posted on 04/21/2013

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My daughter had cradle cap so bad, at one point it spread to the side of her face. It was horrible! I used unrefined organic coconut oil I purchased at Whole Foods, and massaged a small amount in the areas she had it, and would massage it in, letting it sit for about 15 minutes. Then, I used a super soft baby brush to remove the dried skin. I started bathing her every other day, and used Babyganics mild baby shampoo. I wouldn't recommend Johnson's products-everything from the wash to the lotions made the cradle cap and eczema she had worse! One thing I did notice: once I stopped breast feeding her at 6 months, it disappeared. With all these great tips (wish I found this site when I first had my girl), you should be able to find a good remedy. Good luck!

Brandi - posted on 04/19/2013

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My daughter had it and when put baby oil on the spots twice a day and now it's gone

Mel - posted on 04/19/2013

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Cradle cap is actually caused by a ph imbalance of the scalp. Both my girls have had it and its very persistent. I cleared it up first time with something called egozite then after it had come back again i just used baby oil. I use a head lice comb to comb the flakes out. My mums friend also had a good tip as her son was prone to it until he was aabout 7. After you finally get on top of the cradle cap. After washing their hair rinse it with apple cider vinegar. It corrects the ph balance of the scalp.

I do have to agree with some of the other ladies that said if its itchy then it may not be cradle cap. Cradle cap never bugged my girls.

Tina - posted on 04/19/2013

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Massage baby oil 3 - 4 times a week onto the scalp then gently wash with a baby shampoo then with a baby brush lightly massage the scalp in a circular motion xx

Kehinde - posted on 04/19/2013

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Don't worry my daughter had the same thing when she was only 2 months. I felt so guilty that I was doing something wrong I prayed to God, washed her hair only 1-2 times in a week At a point in time I only put water on her soft spot and oiled it daily, be careful not to put to much oil. When she was 4 months the whole cradle cap was gone, no more blisters on her scalp and yellowing crust. All glory to God. Don't worry Jocelyn its temporary, it will be gone before u know it.

Alyn - posted on 04/19/2013

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I tried it all with my kiddos. Head and Shoulders for a week or two is what worked for us.

Marybeth - posted on 04/19/2013

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I have heard that baby oil works but when my son had it the doctor prescribed a shampoo to use like 2times a weeks. The shampoo took care of it right away.

Diane - posted on 04/19/2013

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The post from the day care worker was interesting, because after we healed up our grandson with Head and Shoulders, lo and behold, we found out a month later that he did indeed have eczema. Rarely has outbreaks, but we use generic skin creme, or, I have found Lubriderm for itchy skin to be helpful when he gets small outbreaks on his face and scratches himself. I think this disorder, as well as cradle cap, can have a plethora of treatments, just depending on the baby, and the parents pocketbook.

Briana - posted on 04/19/2013

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Breast milk and a soft brush or comb with my daughter. With my son it was olive oil and a soft toothbrush. Both work beautifully.

Kim - posted on 04/19/2013

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Sorry Olga but it actually is an allergy - ALL forms of eczema are as a result of an allergy and cradle cap is a severe form of eczema which is generally caused by artificial perfume and colouring. Go do some research on the subject. Some people are just more sensitive to certain things than other people.

Olga - posted on 04/19/2013

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Cradle cup is not an allergy reaction on hygiene products. There are a few causes but most common is mother's hormons still in the baby. My suggestion is to have a conversation with your doctor to get more info on a cradle cup that its specific for your case. :)

Kim - posted on 04/19/2013

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Change your baby shampoo. Cradle Cap is a form of eczema which is essentially, an allergy which is generally caused by perfume and / or colouring in the shampoo. I don't know what products you have available but try change to something that does not have perfume or colouring in it. I find that Head and Shoulders burns my scalp to bits so I would be really hesitant to use that on a baby's head. I had the same problem with both my children and I couldn't use any Johnson's baby product. I, myself cannot use any Johnson's baby products because I find that they have too much perfume and colouring. Something that does work to take it away is the old 4711 perfume but I doubt you can still find it anywhere.

Olga - posted on 04/19/2013

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Our doctor recommended "Spectro kids"- intense moisturizing cream. This cream does wonders. It helped my son to heal cradle cup in no time. Cream is fantastic for eczema as well. Oils and Vaseline are not recommended in treatment of a cradle cup, as they clog skin. Taking it off with a brash can scar baby's skin. I hope this info helps. :)
All the best to you!
Olga

Diane - posted on 04/19/2013

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Okay, I ask forgiveness for the harsh words of ridiculous. In my middle years I tend to be too opinionated, and certainly if someone has good results with a natural solution such as baby oil, that should be considered first. But, if you have trouble even after using the baby oil, like we did, Head and Shoulders for two or three days knocks it out, and isn't toxic to the skin.

Diane - posted on 04/19/2013

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Okay, I ask forgiveness for the harsh words of ridiculous. In my middle years I tend to be too opinionated, and certainly if someone has good results with a natural solution such as baby oil, that should be considered first. But, if you have trouble even after using the baby oil, like we did, Head and Shoulders for two or three days knocks it out, and isn't toxic to the skin.

Deanna - posted on 04/19/2013

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Baby oil can make the problem worse if it is itchy. Try using olive oil. Apply with a cotton ball and rub in circles. Try about 3 times a day for a week and that should clear it up. Also, it does go away after awhile on its own, usually.

Lizzie - posted on 04/18/2013

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Brown sugar and oil, HONESTLY this works! Make it into a paste, apply to scalp and massage it in, best to do it outside (I did it while she was on the toilet) cos it can get a little messy. Leave it for a few minutes and then wash out like you would wash their hair normally. It does leave their hair looking a little oily for a couple of days but wash their hair a couple of times and it looks fresh again. You may need to comb out some big bits if they get stuck but you don't have to go digging.

Lizzie - posted on 04/18/2013

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Brown sugar and oil, HONESTLY this works! Make it into a paste, apply to scalp and massage it in, best to do it outside (I did it while she was on the toilet) cos it can get a little messy. Leave it for a few minutes and then wash out like you would wash their hair normally. It does leave their hair looking a little oily for a couple of days but wash their hair a couple of times and it looks fresh again. You may need to comb out some big bits if they get stuck but you don't have to go digging.

Delilah - posted on 04/18/2013

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There is no need to use anything I literally just combed my sons scalp with a soft brush and it all came off it took about an hour but he likes having his scalp brushed now

Delilah - posted on 04/18/2013

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There is no need to use anything I literally just combed my sons scalp with a soft brush and it all came off it took about an hour but he likes having his scalp brushed now

Rose - posted on 04/18/2013

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Use baby oil after bath and shampoo, then gently comb hair taking off excess skin, which is what cradle cap is. Also my son tells me they make a head 'n' shoulders shampoo for babies.

Cathie - posted on 04/18/2013

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That would work too !!
Coconut oil is the "new", and I know it worked....but whatever works and is the least expensive.

Darnisha - posted on 04/18/2013

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I tried the baby oil but it seemed to make it worst my daughters hair began to fall out so my pediatrician recommended nutragena T-zone shampoo it cleared up within two weeks.

Cathie - posted on 04/18/2013

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My daughter used coconut oil on her son's cradle cap....rubbed it in gently, then combed it through.....it was recommended to her by a pharmacist. Worked great !! You can probably get it in a pharmacy also, or they can order it in.

Cathie - posted on 04/18/2013

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My daughter used coconut oil on her son's cradle cap....rubbed it in gently, then combed it through.....it was recommended to her by a pharmacist. Worked great !! You can probably get it in a pharmacy also, or they can order it in.

Dove - posted on 04/18/2013

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I'm curious about it itching and bothering him... cuz I didn't think cradle cap did that. At least it never bothered my son. I tried the baby oil thing once or twice. Didn't work very well and was a slimy, nasty, pain in the butt.... so I just waited until his hair grew over it. He's had a variety of skin issues since being a baby and none of them have NEEDED treatment. It just is what it is.

Alicia - posted on 04/18/2013

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well the first thing that i did when my oldest had cradle cap i changed from washing her hair with johnsons head to toe to johnsons shampoo and that helped my oldest. my middle child still had cradle cap and i just cant get rid of it no matter what i even have special cream from the doctor and its not helping either. i have heard of the baby oil but if your breast feeding try puting some breast milk on it that works to. cradle cap is a type of fungus according to my doc so im not sure how the oil works but i was told to put it on twice a day and rub it in

hope this helps

Alicia - posted on 04/18/2013

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well the first thing that i did when my oldest had cradle cap i changed from washing her hair with johnsons head to toe to johnsons shampoo and that helped my oldest. my middle child still had cradle cap and i just cant get rid of it no matter what i even have special cream from the doctor and its not helping either. i have heard of the baby oil but if your breast feeding try puting some breast milk on it that works to. cradle cap is a type of fungus according to my doc so im not sure how the oil works but i was told to put it on twice a day and rub it in

hope this helps

Patricia Ann - posted on 04/18/2013

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Well I disagree with the person below saying the oil treatment was ridiculous, because I had it as a child and a very young adult and my son also had it. I am now 61 yrs. old and remember how easy it was to get rid of when my son had it. I would just put baby oil all over his head and let it soak in(even overnight). Then gently take a very fine baby comb and comb it out and then wash thouroughly. It really does work if you do it right. If it doesn't come off easily with the comb, it hasn't sunk in enough. I would shampoo with baby shampoo of course. I don't know what my mom did as I was a baby. : ) I know this is what I remember her telling me what she tried. Hope this helps.

Patricia Ann - posted on 04/18/2013

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Well I disagree with the person below saying the oil treatment was ridiculous, because I had it as a child and a very young adult and my son also had it. I am now 61 yrs. old and remember how easy it was to get rid of when my son had it. I would just put baby oil all over his head and let it soak in(even overnight). Then gently take a very fine baby comb and comb it out and then wash thouroughly. It really does work if you do it right. If it doesn't come off easily with the comb, it hasn't sunk in enough. I would shampoo with baby shampoo of course. I don't know what my mom did as I was a baby. : ) I know this is what I remember her telling me what she tried. Hope this helps.

Diane - posted on 04/18/2013

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We did the oil thing for my grandson, and found it ridiculous. When I spoke with my internist, who's also a pediatrician, she recommended "Head and Shoulders" shampoo. It cleared up within days.

Diane - posted on 04/18/2013

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We did the oil thing for my grandson, and found it ridiculous. When I spoke with my internist, who's also a pediatrician, she recommended "Head and Shoulders" shampoo. It cleared up within days.

Miranda - posted on 04/18/2013

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I used baby oil at every bath. Massaged it in, used a soft baby brush, then washed it out with shampoo. It was gone in no time.

Sabina - posted on 04/17/2013

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Use the petroleum gel (or Vaseline without added perfume), it works best! it's the pediatrician at the A&E that recommended it for our son and 3 days later it was all gone :) His cradal cap was VERY severe, he looked like if he had a tortoise shell on his head...
the petroleum gel stinks (like petrol) for a few hours, but is natural and does NOT affect the baby anyway. it works miracles and all previous attempts with our little boy failed (other gels, oils, creams, shampoos... lots of expensive rubbish!). Good luck! xx

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