Cradle Cap

Seborrheic dermatitis, or cradle cap as it is more commonly known, is like a dandruff that occurs in infants and children up to three years old.  Signs of cradle cap can include, “patchy scaling or thick crusts on the scalp; greasy skin covered with flaky white or yellow scales; skin flakes; possibly mild redness” (Cradle Cap, 2012).  It can also be found on the ears, eyelids, nose and groin. 

Should your child or toddler be affected by cradle cap, know that you did nothing for it to occur; it is not a sign of neglect or mistreatment.  There is little evidence to support what exactly causes it, but the thought is that there are hormones that remain after birth in a child’s body which cause cradle cap to occur later.  There is also speculation that if a family has a history of eczema, the child could develop cradle cap. 

A natural remedy to heal cradle cap is with the use of virgin coconut oil.  Coconut oil moisturizes, heals, it contains antioxidants and vitamin E, as well as being antiviral and antifungal.  Be sure to avoid food grade coconut oil as those are often heat processed, which removes many of its natural properties.  Look for words like virgin, cold processed or raw; virgin notates that the coconut oil has not been refined. 

Cradle Cap Relief Recipe

  • 1-2 Teaspoons of virgin coconut oil
  • Soft baby brush
  • Towel
  • Baby shampoo


  • Begin with 1 teaspoon of coconut oil and gently massage into baby’s scalp (Coconut oil can be hard out of the container; roll it around in your hands until it becomes soft enough to apply.)
  • Lay baby onto a towel and let the oil sit for about 15 minutes (This is to keep the oil from baby’s eyes and to avoid stains.)
  • Gently brush baby’s hair to remove the flakes (Never pick out the flakes as they could still be attached which would hurt.)
  • Thoroughly wash baby’s hair with the shampoo to remove the flakes and coconut oil (Repeat process daily until the cradle cap is gone.)

Though your baby can’t exactly thank you for taking care of their scalp, they will be sure to enjoy the love and care you are providing them. 

Cradle Cap - Symptoms. (2012, November 13). Mayo Clinic. Retrieved from

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