I have been asked this question severally and more so this week. Cradle cap. How to wash it, how to prevent it, should I go to hospital, etc. the question keep coming.
To be honest, I had never thought about it but the frequency in which I have received the question in the past few days has made me realize that mothers need to hear about it.
This is the definition of a cradle cap according to Wikipedia: Cradle cap is a yellowish, patchy, greasy, scaly and crusty skin rash that occurs on the scalp of recently born babies. It is usually not itchy and does not bother the baby. Cradle cap most commonly begins sometime in the first 3 months.
It’s thought that cradle cap happens because of hormones left in your baby’s body from pregnancy. These stimulate secretions from the oil glands in the skin, making the skin cells on your baby’s head stick to the scalp. These secretions reduce in the weeks and months after birth, which is why cradle cap tends to clear up on its own.
Now that we have the technical bit out of the way, how did I care for my son’s cradle cap?
- Hair brush
- Baby comb
- Liquid oil- olive oil, Johnson’s, Cussons, Almond oil, coconut oil (you get the drift)
- Wash cloth
- Warm water
How to clean it
- This can be done during bath time.
- Wash the baby’s head with warm water, use the comb to bring up any flakes that are not attached to the skin, use the brush to remove any flakes that pass through the comb.
- Dry the baby’s head
- Apply a generous amount of the oil; make sure that it gets to the scalp.
- Leave it to ‘soak’ over night
- In the morning, use the comb to bring up and flakes, do not wet the hair – make sure that you do not scrub the scalp with the comb and cause irritation. Do not force the flakes out.
- Use the brush to brush off excess flakes.
- Do this continuously until it clears, this may take a week or two depending on how much cradle cap the baby had.
Do not be tempted to pull off the flakes – just comb them out.
Read more articles about Parenting and Baby care from Faith Mwaura’s blog
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