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We’ve all been there. You bring your beautiful newborn baby home from the hospital, surely convinced that you’ve just birthed the most gorgeous baby of all time. You beam with pride at this stunningly perfect little creature. And then it happens. Flakes and scales start popping up on your perfect child’s scalp, occasionally spreading to your baby’s face, clustering around the eyebrows.
This cannot be! It looks itchy and uncomfortable, and yet you don’t want to damage your baby’s delicate skin by scraping it off. Your pediatrician may recommend slathering your infant with baby oil, and gently loosening the flakes. But do you really know what baby oil is made of (hint: it’s not babies)?
Baby oil is a mineral oil, which is a petroleum byproduct. Yes, petroleum, as in, where your car’s gasoline comes from. Mineral oils may be contaminated with polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), which are known carcinogens. These oils also cause skin to age prematurely, and have been linked to hormonal disruptions and immune system damage.
So, for all those reasons, baby oil is definitely not our choice baby product here at DailyMom! We’ve put together our three favorite natural remedies for cradle cap, so you can steer clear of the baby oil, and get your baby back in tip-top shape in no time!
Many natural, plant-based oils can work wonders on your baby’s cradle cap. Try massaging coconut, olive, almond, or grapeseed oil onto your child’s scalp, then gently scrape away the flakes. The oils will help loosen the flakes so that they are easily removed, as well as moisturize your baby’s skin.
Calendula is a plant that has anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties, both of which will help ease your child’s cradle cap symptoms. Look for calendula cream – it will contain the healing properties of the calendula, in an easy-to-apply, moisturizing cream.
Blend one part apple cider vinegar with two parts water, and gently massage it onto your baby’s problem areas, prior to bathtime. Let it sit for about 10 minutes, then rinse off in the bath.
The vinegar will help prevent buildup of dead skin, which is what makes up the flakes/scales on your baby’s scalp.
We wish you a happy, flake-free future with your beautiful baby!