Cradle Cap

by Danielle (Vail, CO)

My 2 month old has terrible cradle cap all over the top of his head and down his forehead. We live at a high altitude (7000 ft), so it is very dry, especially in the winter.

Every time I try to put anything on it, it just seems to irritate his skin. I have tried everything I can think of. We have humidifiers throughout the house, but nothing seems to help.

Is it best to just leave it alone or is there something you know of that can help? THANK YOU!


Hi Danielle,

A couple of my babies have gotten cradle cap, too. We lived down in the humid SE US, so I’m not sure how much dry climates have to do with it 😉

This is what I always did:

I would take an oil (I used olive oil) and literally rub it all over my baby’s head. Then I put a little cap over the oil. I used a cap I didn’t mind getting ruined, and I put the cap on to try and keep the oil from getting everywhere.

Then I let the baby sit with the oiled head (lol!) for a little while – 20 to 30 minutes if possible.

After that time I’d spread a towel across my lap and lay my baby down on the towel. I’d gently comb the scales out with a comb. The olive oil softened the cradle cap up enough that it just combed out.

Once that was finished I’d shampoo their hair. It usually took a couple of shampoos to get all the olive oil out.

You could use a light oil like sunflower seed oil, too. I think coconut oil would be good in the summer time, but in the cold months it’s solid most places in the USA – so that won’t work! Weleda makes a Baby Calendula Oil that’s really, really gentle. I use Weleda baby products and have been very pleased with them.

You can test any oils you consider on a small part of your baby’s skin to see if there is any reaction. In general, I’ve found that olive oil and calendula oil seem to agree with most babies.

I really only had to do that routine once or twice with my little ones – I’m not sure if they outgrew the cradle cap or what. Occasionally I’d see small patches of cradle cap here in there in my toddlers, but nothing like the older babies.

There are commercial cradle cap kits out there – I don’t know if you’ve tried any. I haven’t, so I can’t give feedback, but you could look into that. I think a gentle oil and a comb, then some baby shampoo works very well.

About the author 


Kristen is a pregnancy coach, student midwife, and a mama to 8 - all born naturally! I've spent nearly two decades helping mamas have healthy babies, give birth naturally, and enjoy the adventure of motherhood. Does complete support for a sacred birth and beautiful beginning for your baby resonate with you? Contact me today to chat about how powerful guidance and coaching can transform your pregnancy, birth, and mothering journey <3

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