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Nearly all newborns will encounter cradle cap (aka dandruff). It is little more than an eyesore on their cute little head but left unchecked, it likely won’t go away on its own.
Of course, everyone’s lifestyle is different: maybe you’re ridiculously busy and free time is hard to come by or perhaps you like to live leisurely. As always, please do what YOU this is best for you and your family! No mom shaming here.
I choose to avoid using any type of conventional products or chemicals with my kids. Babies have very thin skin and a higher surface area to volume ratio than adults. This means that their skin absorbs whatever you put on it in higher amounts than an adult would. Many chemicals are already linked to toxicities and bodily disruptions. I fear for what other information has yet to be unveiled, so I try to err on the side of utmost caution in these situations and use totally natural products.
If you would rather use a product on baby’s scalp, please check the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep database or the Think Dirty app to check whether the product is made of clean ingredients. Ideally, you would want a product that is less than a 3 (out of 10, 10 being the “dirtiest” with harmful ingredients), though it really boils down to personal preference.
In this particular situation, the solution is right in your pantry! The safest and most basic means of relieving cradle cap is simply to do an oil soak and gently agitate the scalp to remove it. Sure, this takes more time and a little elbow grease but it is the purest and most direct way.
The oil can be either coconut oil or olive oil. Due to how often olive oil is adulterated, I would stick with coconut oil. You’ll want to let the oil sit on babe’s scalp for at least a few minutes prior to gently washing it off. Honestly, you can also skip the oil and go straight to the cleanser.
Cleanser (a must!)
The best product for cleansing the oil off would be Aleavia’s body wash/cleanser. You can use it as a shampoo, though be very careful to keep it out of baby’s eyes! It is not tear free and it is irritating to the eyes (speaking from first hand experience). Aleavia will help to stop the dandruff in its tracks because of its prebiotic content, which will help to balance the “good” and “bad” bacteria on the skin. When there is more bad bacteria on the skin–or a complete lack of bacteria–the skin becomes prone to issues.
BONUS: The Aleavia body wash is also fantastic for cleaning between baby’s fat rolls! I used it on my second born, who was a chunky baby, and the raw skin healed within a day or two after using Aleavia.
Using a soft bristle or silicone baby brush, gentle brush baby’s scalp to remove the cradle cap. You may need to repeat this whole process a few times to get it all without irritating baby’s scalp too much in one go.
This is the method that I used for my second born. I used the Aleavia and brushed her scalp until the majority of the cradle cap was lifted. There was still some remaining around her crown but after checking her scalp a week later, it was all gone! I think the Aleavia played a major role in that.
Please share in the comments if you have another tried and true, all-natural method of removing cradle cap! I’d love to see what other methods have worked.