Bringing home your newborn baby is always an exciting but stressful time. It can sometimes feel like you don’t know what your baby needs or wants. In between learning the difference between a hungry cry and a fussy one, you’ll probably find yourself worried about your baby’s health even in the best of cases. If you happen to see dry and discolored patches on your baby’s scalp, it’s normal to be nervous. But cradle cap affects up to 70% of kids under one year. It’s not dangerous, but it is unsightly. Fortunately, it’s also very common, and fairly easy to treat.
Causes of Cradle Cap
Cradle cap is essentially just baby dandruff. It’s usually caused by overactive subcutaneous glands in your baby’s scalp. If it shows up in kids who are over one year, it’s dandruff, and completely harmless. Cradle cap usually shows up around 3 months, but you can see it any time in the first year.
It’s important to remember that cradle cap, though it’s not exactly cute, it’s not usually something to be worried about. It’s not caused by bacteria, germ exposure, unsanitary conditions, or bad parenting. It’s simply overactive glands in your baby’s scalp which causes brown or yellow patches of dry skin. They shouldn’t cause irritation to the baby. They aren’t itchy or sore. However tempted you are to pick the crusty skin patches, you should not. This will cause irritation and discomfort for your baby. You should see the cradle cap fading as your child approaches their first birthday. In the meantime, there are simple treatment options to help heal your baby’s skin.
Treatment For Cradle Cap
Do not over bathe your baby: It might be tempting to bath your baby more, but a baby’s skin is extremely sensitive. Do not bathe a newborn more than once a day to protect they’re delicate skin.
Do not use harsh shampoo: Though technically, cradle cap is a kind of dandruff, you should never use harsh shampoos on your baby’s skin. Stick to something soft and gentle to shampoo your baby’s hair. Check with a pharmacist for suitable shampoos that can help treat cradle cap.
Try a softer hair brush: Baby brushes are designed to be gentle. And while cradle cap is not usually dangerous, the dry skin might get irritating, and certainly has an effect on your baby’s appearance. Fortunately, there are specialized hair brushes for infants with cradle cap. Try Babyrad’s Cradle Cap Brush.
Babyrad cradle cap brush is 100% antibacterial, with extra soft rubber brush bristles. That makes it strong enough to remove flakes of skin, but soft on your baby’s head. It’s a lot safer and healthier than trying to peel the flakes yourself, and much less chance of infection too! It’s also been tested for safety and durability, so it’s bound to last through your baby’s infancy. It’s also great for other skin-sensitive conditions, like eczema. Because it’s silicon, it’s easy to clean, as long as you remember to wash it in between uses.
How To Properly Brush Cradle Cap
Many parents worry about brushing a baby’s hair when they see patches of cradle cap. With Babyrad’s cradle cap brush, you can be sure brushing your baby’s hair will be a gentle experience. Follow the following instructions to avoid irritating your baby’s skin.
1. Slide Babyrad cradle cap brush between your fingers.
2. Add oil or shampoo directly to the silicon brush.
3. Gently brush your baby’s scalp in a circular motion.
4. Rinse your baby’s head gently, and repeat if necessary.
5. Remember to wash the brush between uses.
6. Never pick or scratch at your baby’s cradle cap. This can cause infection.
7. Do not shampoo more than twice a week. This will help your baby’s natural oils from building up, without drying out the skin or spreading the problem.
When to be concerned
Most of the time, cradle cap is harmless. However, you should let a doctor know if:
– You see patches of rash where your baby has no hair
– You see the rash getting bigger
– The rash begins to cause hair loss or becomes itchy
– The rash is warm to the touch, feels firm, or is red instead of brown or yellow. These are all signs of infection.
If your baby is not gaining weight, or has a weakened immune system, cradle cap and cradle rash may point to a more serious condition. Otherwise though, it is easy to treat with careful brushing and gentle shampoo.