Sometimes babies get what appears to be dandruff on their scalps. If it's not dandruff, though, what is it? Cradle cap, as it is called, is made up of dead skin cells that don't slough off on their own.
Doctor's don't know exactly why babies get cradle cap, but treating it is relatively simple. To be honest, no treatment is actually necessary, but if the appearance bothers you, you can use one of these 6 home remedies to gently remove the excess dead skin cells.
1. Almond oil. Natural oils are some of the best ways to soften the cradle cap so it can be removed. Baby center recommends putting a few drops of almond oil on the scalp and rubbing it in. Let it sit for 15 minutes before using a fine-tooth comb or a soft brush to remove some of the cradle cap. Be sure to wash the baby's hair with a gentle shampoo afterwards.
2. Coconut oil. Another natural oil that has an anti-fungal property is coconut oil. Parenting healthy babies says to rub the coconut oil on the scalp at night and let it sit all night. The next day, gently brush the scalp to remove the cradle cap and wash the hair with a gentle shampoo.
3. Massage. Sometimes all that is needed is a massage, says WebMD. Increasing the blood flow by rubbing the scalp can help the body slough off the extra skin cells. You can do the massage with your fingers or a soft brush. Always be sure to be gentle as you don't want to break the tender skin open on your little one's scalp.
4. Apple cider vinegar. Dr. Marie Jhin tells CNN that apple cider vinegar does appear to help with dandruff. Although cradle cap isn't dandruff per se, this might work as the vinegar may help slough off the extra, dead skin cells. Parenting healthy babies reminds parents to never use undiluted vinegar. Mix 2 parts water with 1 part apple cider vinegar. Apply the solution and let it sit for 15 minutes before washing it off with a gentle shampoo. Do this twice a week.
5. Petroleum jelly. Parenting healthy babies also recommends putting a small layer of petroleum jelly on the baby's scalp and leaving it overnight. In the morning, brush the scalp gently and then use a gentle shampoo.
6. Olive oil. For another natural oil, WebMD says you can use olive oil. Rub a few drops into the baby's scalp and let it sit for 15 minutes. Gently brush the cradle cap off and then shampoo with a gentle shampoo.
With a little love and tender care, cradle cap can be gotten rid of. Although many may find it a pain, just view it as a good excuse to spend some extra time with your little one!