Simple Recipe for Quick and Safe Cradle Cap Removal

Both of my children had cradle cap. My son was born with just a little bit of it. You could barely see it and I did not do much except wash his hair and comb the yellow scales off of it as they naturally came off. My daughter’s case of cradle cap was much more severe. She had a plaque covering the entire top of her head. It was too big to remove in one swoop. That would have certainly hurt her scalp. The cradle cap was so thick that I did not dare remove even small patches for fear that I would scrape her skin. But it was not good looking at all and I was itching to get rid of it.

There was another reason why getting rid of the cradle cap was a very good idea: babies often develop eczema or a form of atopic dermatitis – in other words, dry skin that can get red, rough and super itchy – which can actually develop UNDER the cradle cap (from the pediatrician’s mouth!).

CAUTION: always check with your pediatrician before using any home remedy on your child. What worked for my child may be dangerous for yours, who might have allergies or sensitivities to certain products or ingredients. My method is presented for informational purposes and is not meant as medical advice.

Before I tell you what I did, I have to tell you WHEN I did it: because the skin of a newborn is much more fragile than the skin of a three month old. As babies grow, they get stronger – including their skin. Also, just in case there is a lesion on their scalp after the removal of the cradle cap, the baby might need to be treated for a possible infection. That did not happen with my daughter, but it could have. For that reason, I did not even attempt to remove the cradle cap in her first three months. I did two (very gentle) attempts between her third and sixth month but the real treatment was done at around seven months of age. By then she was strong enough – and so was her skin.

For Quick and Safe Cradle Cap Removal

First of all, I am a big fan of natural solutions to whatever health issues we have in the family. If I can treat something with olive oil and garlic, sprinkled with cinnamon and cloves, I’ll do it in a heartbeat, before choosing pharmacy-sold drugs or creams or medications.

Of course, I have nothing against modern medicine but I just prefer natural remedies as much as possible.

So after researching possible solutions for cradle cap and talking to our pediatrician, here is what I did to get rid of my daughter’s serious case of cradle cap.

cradle cap quick natural method how toOVERVIEW OF THE NATURAL METHOD FOR REMOVING CRADLE CAP

I needed some sort of moisturizer that would soften the yellow flakes and help them come off. I tried olive oil but that did not work very well. What did work was coconut oil! I also tried sweet almond oil (very popular here in Belgium) and that was okay too.

But there is a trick: you have to leave the oil in for long periods of time before washing AND you need to apply new layers before washing off.

For example, for one round of treatment for my daughter I would put in a generous scoop of coconut oil and leave it in overnight. I would apply another layer in the morning, another in the afternoon and THEN wash her head in the evening. So she would get 24 hours of treatment for her cradle cap. But then the yellow plaque would become so soft that it would come off super easily after the bath. I would gently comb her hair with a baby comb (they have very fine teeth) and voila!

CAUTION: Do not scrub your baby’s head! You do not want to hurt the delicate skin on the head of your child.

You may need to do several rounds of treatment before you get rid of all the cradle cap. I recommend waiting at least a couple of days before repeating the procedure, to allow the skin to recover properly.

The skin under the cradle cap is more fragile. You can see that it is a brighter shade of pink than the rest – which is entirely natural. After a few hours it will go back to normal. I never liked the idea of irritating it so I always gave it a few days between treatments.

Using this method I managed to remove all the cradle cap on my daughter’s head in 4-5 sessions! It was amazing because she had quite a bit. But after the first 2 treatments, it started to come off in bigger and bigger chunks.

She had no side-effects. There was no skin irritation of any kind. She did not scratch afterwards and was not bothered by it in any way, shape or form.

You will need to change the bed sheets after a leave-in treatment but coconut oil (and sweet almond oil too) does not stain so it does not matter if a little bit rubs on the sheets.

Also, you may think that putting in layer after layer of oil can get pretty messy. Surprisingly, it is not! The scaly cradle cap absorbs so much of it that you will wonder why you did not put more. Also, coconut (and sweet almond) oil are very thin oils that do not drip and are easily absorbed.

The one time I tried olive oil, I did have a big mess that did not smell very good I might add. It also was not very efficient. I do not know if that was because I did not leave it in long enough… perhaps. But I would much rather use coconut or sweet almond, which have a very pleasant smell, are thin, easily absorbed and do not stain.


  1. Put in a thick layer of coconut or sweet almond oil on the cradle cap.
  2. Leave in the oil overnight (or for a few good hours).
  3. Put one to three more layers of oil on the same area, without rubbing or scrubbing in, every 2-3 hours.
  4. Give your baby a regular bath. Wash your baby’s hair with some gentle shampoo and gently pat dry with a towel. Do not scrub!
  5. Very gently remove any yellow scales that are ready to come off with a fine-toothed baby comb.
  6. Repeat the treatment after at least 3 days until the cradle cap is completely gone.


Categories: Kids Health

Maria Ellis

Maria Ellis writes and illustrates books for children of all ages. She has a boy and a girl who keep her busy, inspired and incredibly happy. A former English teacher, she now writes, illustrates and runs Choupicos Press, whenever her kids are a) asleep, b) at school, c) otherwise occupied. She blogs about parenting, education and being a mom over 40.

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