How to deal with Cradle Cap

Shantelle - posted on 04/26/2009 ( 79 moms have responded )

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I've heard numerous times about applying baby oil, my question is do u leave it on or leave it for a few minutes and wash it off? I was also told once recently to apply normal cooking oil?? Sounds strange - anyone done this?

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[deleted account]

i just put the oli on then comb it and my daughter as never had any since it does come a bit ov hair out i dont mean loads but now her hair is realy long

[deleted account]

Hi Shantelle...My mom told me about something she used (some 40 years ago) and believe it or not, I found it online at one of the drugstores. It's called Baby Nestles Hair Lotion...You put it on after washing the hair with a cotton ball and then just brush hair. It smells great and takes care of the flaky skin. It takes a few days of doing this to get the best results, but I continued using it for a long time because it helped make my daughter's hair very easy to style and keep looking good. Hope you can find it!

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User - posted on 07/25/2009

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I have a true story...my oldest (now 5) had it pretty bad. The nurse said to wash his hair and then apply a little (3-5 drops or so) of olive oil. Rub it in and leave it...although the hair is greasy looking. She laughed when she added, "Don't use too much or he'll smell like a salad." Part 2...they also recommended using Selsun Blue dandruff shampoo. Just use a drop and wash off quickly since it has a tingling effect. Both worked well.

[deleted account]

olive oil is actually better for their skin than baby oil. Use it the same way - apply, leave and wash/brush.

Lori - posted on 04/30/2009

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I tried the baby oil...It did't work, then I bought cradle cap cream by Gentle Natures. I put it on my sons head then after about an hour used a soft brush to get rid of some flakes, then a bath. After 2 applications never saw the cradle cap again.Good Luck!!!

Kim - posted on 04/30/2009

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Our pediatrician sent me off with a prescription for some medicaded shampoo. I used it on him every other day for 2 weeks and it was gone and hasn't come back.

Lizette - posted on 04/29/2009

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I agree with Lailani. I also used baby oil gel and combed it out. it is a little messy but you can give your child a bath afterwords. And then after the bath apply a more baby oil to moisten the scout.

Pamela - posted on 04/29/2009

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I used baby oil. let it set for a few minutes and then carefully combed her hair. Don't fret, it will go away.

Katherine - posted on 04/28/2009

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How old is the child? We battled with this until our daughter was two at which point I was able to begin using Head and Shoulders. That cleared it right up. Until then we used the hydrocortisone that the others have mentioned. It only kept it at bay but never really cleared it up. Luckily my daughter did not have a lot of hair at that time. Good luck!

Elaine - posted on 04/28/2009

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We used sweet almond oil. You can leave it in, it's edible and therefore not harmful and smells great. Burts Bees has a great massage oil that's perfect. Oil, rub lightly, then brush.

Alanna - posted on 04/28/2009

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My 4 month old son is sensitive to EVERYTHING basically, so after reading all these and knowing I cannot use baby oil on him (weird I know, but he broke out in hives when I tried to use it to soften his dry skin) But I decided to try the one thing that he could use, Aveeno lotion..its the thick stuff (works on eczema it says). I rubbed a whole bunch on his head, used a comb and just combed it back gently, he liked it. and it got about 95% of the cradle cap off on the first try!! I gave him a bath after i brushed it out and his hair was soooooo soft after. So just thought I would let you guys know, my experience worked!! :)

Kathryn - posted on 04/28/2009

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Actually cradle cap is excess oil. so the more oil you put on the harder it is to get out. Lightly brushing the area a couple times a day helps. Or if it is really bad you can use some Nioxin Shampoo that will really help. Good luck

Christina - posted on 04/28/2009

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Softly dab on the babby oil. Let set until soaked up. It may take a few times or hours but eventual if you do it daily, the craddle cap will rubb right off easy.

Shawna - posted on 04/28/2009

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This is going to sound really weird but it works... BREAST MILK! It's like this magical solution that fixes a ton of the little "problems" our munchkins get. Rashes, the yellow gunk in their eyes, cradle cap. I tried the whole oil (olive, mineral, baby) and none of them worked. I then listened to my grandmother (mother of 5) and sprayed his head down several times. Within a week it was gone & never returned!

Emma - posted on 04/28/2009

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Any kind of oil, but don't just leave it, pick it off. I know that sounds pretty horrible, but how else is it going to disappear. Pick it off bit by bit, you don't have to be rough, just get your nail under it, it comes really easily, otherwise the poor kid may have it for years. My daughter had it, I got rid of it and it never came back. Try it, what do you have to lose?

Dianna - posted on 04/28/2009

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Baby oil worked good for me. . . . .i just rubbed it on my sons head and let it sit for a few then brushed it. . . .probly have to do it a couple times. . . .

ATHENA - posted on 04/28/2009

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Our pediatrician recommended putting Olive Oil or Baby Oil on the scalp. I am an esthetician so I went with Jojoba Oil instead. It comes from the jojoba plant and the fat content is the closest to what our own skin produces. It has worked well for us to hurry up and speed the process for healing. I apply the oil to my daughter’s scalp twice a day and leave it on. I also brush her scalp with a baby soft bristle brush (in between oil sessions) to loosen up the scales, then wash with baby shampoo. It has helped A LOT and she is on the road to recovery!

Sue - posted on 04/28/2009

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i have 7 kids and i used baby oil on all of mine. if u rub it in and leave it on for about 20 mins and then u rub gently either with ur fingers or a dry flannel, u can reappky the oil if needed and leave it on overnight. its basically dry skin so if u keep it moisturised it will go away! hope this helps!

Hucky - posted on 04/28/2009

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I tried the olive oil twice already and its not working... but it is better, I guess is eventually just gonna go away, I have tried the the baby oil too and its still there. It doesnt bother me, and my baby hates when I do the oil treatment, so am just gonna leave it alone and see what happens. If its still there in a few weeks then I will let the pediatrician know.

My son had it too and it just went away in a few mnths, by the time he was 6 mnths it was gone.

User - posted on 04/28/2009

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My youngest child had cradle cap and contact dermatitis so I had to be very caeful about what products to use. I found Gentle Naturals "cradle cap treatment" made by Baby Orajel. I would use it according to directions then follow up with Baby Phisoderm. The two in tandem got rid of the cradle cap and helped to keep his scalp in balance so there were fewer outbreaks. I tried the olive oil it helped his contact dermatitis, but wasn't as useful on cradle cap.

Marie - posted on 04/28/2009

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Hello! My son had cradle cap pretty bad when he was born. I googled it and found an easy way to get rid of it. Rub a little bit of olive oil on the scalp and let it sit for 15 min before bath. Once your baby is in the bath, comb the hair with a soft brissel brush like they give out at the hospital. It will come right off. I only had to do it once, and it all went away.

Shantel - posted on 04/28/2009

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Buy Paul mithcell baby shampoo this really works. you have to scrub kind of hard to make sure you get it all out. it don't take alot.

Shayne - posted on 04/28/2009

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Just speaking with my Mum tonight about that. She reckons baby oil feeds the cradle cap and suggested I make a paste of bi-carp & water and try that (I am the youngest of 7 so mum has some experience). Am going to give it a go tomorrow night before the bath.

Charmaine - posted on 04/27/2009

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My son had terrible cradle cap, so our clinic lady told me that if you buy rose oil from the pharmacy and mix a few drops into a tub of aqueous cream and put that on, it'll take it away. It really worked wonders, you could see the difference in about 2 days time already! You might want to try that.

Jacob - posted on 04/27/2009

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My doctor told me to use head and shoulders shampoo, but you have to be super careful not to get it in the eyes. I left it on for a little bit 30 sec. to 1 min. Rinsed carefully. It worked good for us! Yu may have to do it a couple of times. Once a week or so.

Sara - posted on 04/27/2009

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My son had cradle cap pretty bad when he was younger. I would bathe him, massaging his head with baby oil after his bath and then comb his hair with a lice comb. The baby oil loosened the dry skin and the lice comb was the only comb I found to have brissels close enough together to pick up the loosened dry skin. And yes, finally the hydrocortizone cream as a leave in. Which ever one did the trick, it was gone in a matter of a few weeks.

Caren - posted on 04/27/2009

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Oil didn't work for my son either, my pediatrician suggested anti-dandrif shampoo once a week !

User - posted on 04/27/2009

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My pedi told me to get Selsun Blue and you wet their hair, put a dime size or less on and using a soft tooth brush or baby brush scrub it around a little...let it sit while you bathe the rest of the baby. DO NOT LET IT GET IN THE EYES....burns like a mutha! Rinse and if the cradle cap is heavy you might have to do it another day or two...but we only had to use it TWICE on each kid...EVER! Works like a charm. My pedi is full of good tips like that. Baby oil is hard to get out.
I also shampoo'd with the good smelling baby stuff after just to lighten the Selsun smell(make sure it's the BLUE one and not one of the others).

Virginia - posted on 04/27/2009

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The best thing to do about cradle cap is to buy a baby brush and simply brush their hair several times daily. Their dead skin cells are building up faster then they can get them off. The first time you do it, put a towel under their heads. I never had any of my children or grandchildren get any build up, since I started the brushing from day one. No matter how bad it is it will clear up quickly with light, frequent brushing.

[deleted account]

my son is 4 and still has cradle cap i tried oils & bicarb none worked so talk to the health nurse and she suggested anti dandruff shampoo for him and my 2yr old daughter its worked really well

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Oil actually made it worse on my son; it helps get it and then comes right back worse it seemed. The two things that worked a bit were head and shoulders and green tea shampoo (there are actually some formulated for babies now). I am not sure if they worked that well or if I just gave up on it and realized that it wasn't bothering the baby, it was just bothering me :)

Kristen - posted on 04/27/2009

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Head N Shoulders, used it for all three of my kids. A little bit will go a long way, get a good lather, let it sit while your washing baby and then rinse. I don't remember how often I did it, the kids are 9, 11 & 14 now. Good Luck

[deleted account]

my son had it really bad...i used baby oil and then a comb to pick it out...it didn't seem to bother him at all. hope that helps!

Pamela - posted on 04/27/2009

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you rub Baby oil on the scalp then you use a Baby comb and gently comb out,you can use a Baby brush to loosen it up,using circular motions

[deleted account]

At bed time, I uses to leave baby lotion on my kids scalp. In the morning would wash it off. It worked for use

Laurie - posted on 04/27/2009

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I suggested to a friend when her son had cradle cap real bad, for her to use baby oil gel. just apply the baby oil gel to your babies head and then use one of those little fine tooth baby combs and comb it out. you will be able to see the scalp after that. if you keep on doing this whenever it comes back it will eventually stay away.

User - posted on 04/27/2009

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with my son i just let it go and it all came off on its own..i wouldnt pick at it though because then it makes it really red underneath..

Kelliann - posted on 04/27/2009

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Quoting Shantelle:

How to deal with Cradle Cap

I've heard numerous times about applying baby oil, my question is do u leave it on or leave it for a few minutes and wash it off? I was also told once recently to apply normal cooking oil?? Sounds strange - anyone done this?


Take any oil, almond or baby,  apply to areaor areas then with a small tooth comb ,comb thru and kind of pick gently until you see it  off the scalp and in the hair, You might not get it all the first time, then wash the hair good.

Kelliann - posted on 04/27/2009

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Quoting Shantelle:

How to deal with Cradle Cap

I've heard numerous times about applying baby oil, my question is do u leave it on or leave it for a few minutes and wash it off? I was also told once recently to apply normal cooking oil?? Sounds strange - anyone done this?


Take any oil, almond or baby,  apply to areaor areas then with a small tooth comb ,comb thru and kind of pick gently until you see it  off the scalp and in the hair, You might not get it all the first time, then wash the hair good.

Marianna - posted on 04/27/2009

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Head & Shoulders is the best thing ever for this problem. I have two kids 10 and 6 years old. When my son was born, his doctor who was old and wise told me about it. He said use a small amount and let sit and comb out the cradle cap. Used the same thing on my daughter.

Kelliann - posted on 04/27/2009

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Quoting Shantelle:

How to deal with Cradle Cap

I've heard numerous times about applying baby oil, my question is do u leave it on or leave it for a few minutes and wash it off? I was also told once recently to apply normal cooking oil?? Sounds strange - anyone done this?


Take any oil, almond or baby,  apply to areaor areas then with a small tooth comb ,comb thru and kind of pick gently until you see it  off the scalp and in the hair, You might not get it all the first time, then wash the hair good.

Arlene - posted on 04/27/2009

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Hi Shantelle Ive had 3 kids and tried the baby oil thing many times, never worked! With my 3rd child I finally got it right. Here in South Africa we've got bicarbonate of soda in the powder form (can be used for baking, relieves bad odours, and so many other domestic purposes). Mix that with water to form a thickish paste and smear that on babys head just before bathtime. Complete the bath routine and leave the head wash til last, shampoo the paste off as in a nomal wash and then comb some baby oil through the hair. I promise you my baby had truly disgusting cradle cap and nothing worked before this. Within say 2 weeks it was visibly clearer. Good luck and pls let me know if it works for you. Arlene

Sarah - posted on 04/27/2009

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try warming a bit of olive oil and gently massaging into the scalp, leave overnight and wash off with usual baby shampoo in the morning. most of the cradle cap should then come away with very gentle scraping

User - posted on 04/27/2009

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what I do is apply olive oil before the bath, then during the bath I put the baby shampoo through the hair and use a baby brush and work in circles. It doesn't leave the hair greasy at all. The longer you leave the oil in the better it works.

Jeri - posted on 04/27/2009

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I have used the baby oil method for cradle cap with all 5 of my kids, also on my grandson! It does work, but you do need to do it repeatedly and GENTLY. Let the baby oil sit on the scalp for about 5 minutes and then take a baby brush and gently scrub the scalp with it. If you scrub too hard, the baby's fine hair can be "scrubbed" off. Keep working with it and it will eventually come off and comb out of the hair. Keep in mind that you are not doing anything wrong and you are a good mom :) Cradle cap happens to most babies at one point or another...

User - posted on 04/27/2009

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hey shantelle! well 2 be honest with my 2 i trusted the old wifes tale nd i can confirm its the best!!! coconut oil...put bottle in hot water til it bcums liquid rub on head leave ova nite nd take damp cotton wool and wipe head off then comb hair lightly nd it dissapears..i done that bout 4 times nd neva battled again.

Wana - posted on 04/26/2009

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my daughter was born in fiji, where coconut oil is in abundance...old remedy is to just keep applying coconut oil to baby's head all over before and after baths, i found this extremely helpful with my daughter's cradle cap and eventually it just turned into flakes that could easily be brushed off with a soft brush.

Joy - posted on 04/26/2009

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Rember to use the scrub brush you were given from the hospital. Really scrub their heads. Use the baby oil and leave it on after bathing. Or, If you use the olive oil, really massage it into your childs hair/scalp. Only use a little, remember that a little goes a long way. You may have to use the baby soap several times to get it out. I'd use the olive oil treatment once a week, and on the days you don't... really wash your baby well from head to toe and moisturize with their baby lotion from head to toe.

Shannon - posted on 04/26/2009

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Our daughter had cradle cap. We tried the baby oil. We left it on...we tried washing it out. It never worked for her. We used Selson Blue (yes, the shampoo for adults with dandruf). Our dr. recommended both techiniques. The shampoo worked the best for our daughter.

Jennifer - posted on 04/26/2009

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Oh, yea... When the comb would fill up slightly, i would wipe it with a paper towel.then i took a dry washcloth and wiped it off their scalp.

Jennifer - posted on 04/26/2009

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They have baby oil in gel form now. I found regular baby oil was too thin and runny, this gel sits on the head and soaks into the cradle cap making it WAY EASIER to remove. Let it sit a few minutes then take a baby comb (with teeth that are close together and slowly comb te scalp. My sons would sleep on my chest and I did it then. Their heads would get slightly red, but i would do it one day and then do it the next day. So, i wouldn't make their heads sore. It TOTALLY worked!! I only had to do ita few times for each son. Good luck...(I know they have it at Wal-mart. Parents choice and Johnson's)

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