Mom-tested cradle cap remedies
Both my daughters had cradle cap when they were born. At about 2-3 weeks, my first started to smell quite unpleasant. Like the musty kind of smell. At first, I couldn't work out where the smell was coming from until I noticed it was coming from her head.
Her head had flaky patches of yellow scaly skin, some redness, and accompanied with oily scalp She even had scaly patches spread to the forehead, eyebrows, and face. She looked like she had a severe case of dandruff. This is also known as cradle cap (seborrheic dermatitis) which can be quite common among newborns.
Cradle cap is mostly caused by mom's hormones still circulating in the baby's bloodstream after birth. It isn’t contagious, dangerous, or serious.
We went to the GP after ignoring it for weeks fearing that she had some fungal infection which was the reason for the strong odour. Our GP advised that it was fine and we could use a light moisturising cream, but if it got worse, she could prescribe anti-fungal cream. Anti-fungal cream sounded like a harsh treatment, and we didn't want to use it on our newborn. We did, however, try a few natural and gentle home remedies:
Vaseline helps in maintaining the moisture of the skin and prevents it from becoming dry. Every morning/afternoon, massage vaseline into the crusts to loosen them before bathing your baby. Use gentle baby shampoo to wash this out (and make sure you wash out all the soap). You can then use a baby comb to softly brush over the scalp. Do not force the crusts.
We didn't get a special comb marketed for cradle cap. A normal baby comb on the right (as pictured) worked for us.
2. QV Moisturising Cream
We use this light moisturising cream as advised by our GP on baby's face and head. It didn't produce immediate results, but I think it worked better than the other treatments we tried.
3. Olive oil
Similar to the first method, we also tried using olive oil on our baby scalp before bathing to loosen the crust. Olive oil is one of the best oils, especially for the skin. The vitamin E in olive oil nurtures the skin and protects it from infections. I know this has worked for quite a few mums I talked to.
We're all aware that breastmilk is filled with nutrients and millions of antibodies. Who knows it can also be used to treat cradle cap. Apply some breastmilk on baby's head to soothe and calm sensitive skin.
In my personal experience, ignoring cradle cap made it worse and caused it to spread. So, when our second daughter had it, we did what worked for us the first time round and hoped it would go away sooner. xx