How to Clean a Baby's Cradle Cap Dandruff Painlessly

By Kimbry Parker
Cradle cap is most prevalent in the first three months.

Cradle cap is a common and harmless condition in babies. White, dandruff-like scales appear on your baby’s scalp, and although the problem usually clears up on its own during the first year of life, you likely want it gone when it first appears. There are some things you can do at home to loosen the flakes and scales and painlessly clean the baby’s scalp to rid the skin of cradle cap, but this is an ongoing process that needs to be done on a regular basis to keep those flakes at bay.

Moisten a soft washcloth with warm water. Rub your baby’s scalp gently with the washcloth to loosen the flakes.

Wash your baby’s head once a day. Brush the scalp gently with a soft baby hairbrush, then wash her head with mild baby shampoo. Brush her scalp gently again while shampooing the hair. Rinse your baby's scalp well to remove any loosened flakes.

Put a few drops of mineral or baby oil onto your baby’s scalp. Rub it in gently with your fingertips for a minute or two to loosen the scales. Let the oil sit on the baby’s scalp for five minutes, then shampoo your baby’s hair as usual. Do this once a day to remove the flakes.

Wash your baby’s hair with a mild antidandruff shampoo, if the cradle cap isn’t affected by the above treatment. But be sure to contact your baby’s pediatrician before using antidandruff shampoo. Take care not to get antidandruff shampoo in your baby’s eyes because, unlike baby shampoo, antidandruff shampoo is meant for adults and can sting and irritate the eyes.

Warning

Consult your baby’s pediatrician if the cradle cap begins to spread to the face, neck or body.

Be gentle when washing or massaging your baby’s scalp. Babies have soft spots -- also called "fontanels" -- that are gaps between the infant’s skull and bones, and these areas are especially delicate.