Do you have a baby with cradle cap? As this yellowish with greasy patches or crusts more often bothers newborns, there is less chance that you know how to treat cradle cap. It is also very common for many new parents to confuse cradle cap with baby eczema or dandruff.
The cradle cap is much less itchy and irritated compared to baby eczema. It usually develops on the scalp, sides of the nose, the back, the eyebrows, behind and around the ears, whereas baby eczema is most common on an infant’s cheeks, forehead, and scalp. Here is a picture to help you diagnose the cradle cap better.
Studies found that cradle cap happens due to a hormonal imbalance that transfers from mother to baby. Thankfully, the issue is not very much distressing. Most of the time, the cradle cap vanishes automatically after the first few months. But if you notice that it doesn’t disappear even after a few months, you should take some actions to minimize them.
Regularly washing and brushing the scalp may stop cradle caps from returning. To clean and treat them properly, you need a cradle cap shampoo that is gentle on the baby’s skin and effective enough to loosen the patches. Fortunately, our experts have found some of the best baby shampoos that are specially formulated to treat the cradle cap in babies.
How can you treat the cradle cap on your baby’s head?
The good news is you can follow some practical tips to control and manage the cradle cap at home.
- Get the best cradle cap shampoo for your baby
- Use specially made cradle cap brushes to remove the flakes
- Apply a pure plant oil or baby oil once a day to keep the scalp hydrated
- Give essential oils a try only after consulting your doctor
What is the difference between cradle crap and eczema?
According to WebMD, there are some key differences between baby eczema and cradle cap.
Baby eczema signs:
- Red patches or dry skin
- Always itchy and rough skin
- Shows up anywhere on their body
Cradle cap signs:
- Less red and scaly
- Usually appears on the scalp
If your baby is suffering from eczema, check out these best baby shampoos for eczema.
Does baby shampoo help cradle cap?
Pediatricians very often recommend gentle baby shampoos for treating the cradle cap. For faster results, you can also use Aquaphor ointment after a bath at night. However, you should talk to your doctor before trying medicated cradle cap shampoos.
Best Baby Shampoo for Cradle Cap
Our Top 3 Picks
Mustela Cradle Cap Foam Shampoo for Newborn
BELLA B NATURALS Bee Gone Cradle Cap Baby Shampoo
The 3-Step Cradle Cap System by Fridababy
Best Shampoo for Cradle Cap in Infants: Mustela Cradle Cap Foam Shampoo for Newborn
The Mustela Cradle Cap Foam Shampoo for Newborns has been a lifesaver for new parents who are new to this cradle cap thing. Its plant-based formula comes from 99% natural ingredients with no paraben, phthalate, or phenoxyethanol. This soap-free shampoo works gently on your baby’s skin to help prevent and reduce cradle cap. You don’t have to worry about safety since it is dermatologists and pediatricians-tested safe baby shampoo.
Mustela has utilized its patented natural ingredient, avocado perseose, to formulate this powerful cradle cap shampoo carefully. It is a natural yet safe and effective ingredient that will nourish your newborn’s scalp and skin. Many new moms testified that the formula could clear off most of the cradle cap in one application. However, you need to use this shampoo for a certain period to clean them thoroughly and prevent the development of the cradle cap in the future.
Most importantly, the formula is unscented and tear-free. These two features are crucial for baby skincare products. Besides, the formula produces light, airy white foam to make your baby’s bath time more pleasant. Using this shampoo is effortless because it comes with an easy-to-use pump mechanism. Unfortunately, it’s not the kind of baby shampoo that works for dandruff or dry skin.
Hair Type: All | Key ingredients: Avocado Perseose | Tear-Free: Yes | Sulfate-Free: Yes | Scent: Unscented
Best Shampoo for Cradle Cap in Older Babies: BELLA B NATURALS Bee Gone Cradle Cap Baby Shampoo
Bella B is well-known for serving its consumers natural and organic skincare products. BELLA B NATURALS Bee Baby Shampoo is a better choice for growing children with the cradle cap.
To treat your baby’s cradle cap, you no longer have to rely on harsh chemical-filled baby shampoos. With this natural baby shampoo, you will notice a difference from the very first application, thanks to the natural and organic ingredients: tea tree oil, oatmeal, shea butter, vitamin E, and aloe vera.
The shampoo not only gently cleanses your baby’s scalp thoroughly but also rinses off quickly with water, leaving your baby’s hair soft and shiny. Even better, it gets the job done without toxins such as parabens, phthalates, flame retardants, formaldehyde, and sulfates. Therefore, this cradle cap shampoo is safe even on the most sensitive baby skin.
The formula has a clear gel-like texture and a light, fresh smell. Finally, the shampoo not only works wonders for cradle cap, but it also works great for dandruff and dry scalp. Since the baby shampoo also comes at a fair price, it’s worth giving a try.
Hair Type: Dry | Key ingredients: Tea tree oil, Oatmeal, Shea butter, Vitamin E, and Aloe vera | Tear-Free: No | Sulfate-Free: Yes | Scent: Fresh
Best Cradle Cap Tool: The 3-Step Cradle Cap System by Fridababy
If you are struggling to get rid of the stubborn cradle cap of your baby even after using different cradle cap shampoos, it’s most probably because you aren’t using the right grooming kit for your baby. A baby grooming or first-aid kit is a must-have for new parents. Even if you don’t want to buy a complete kit, get this all-in-one cradle cap solution. It is a magic brush designed for babies with seborrheic dermatitis, also known as cradle cap.
Good Baby Shampoo for Cradle Cap
Rated Highly by Parents and Experts
Aquaphor Baby Wash and Shampoo
Cetaphil Baby Wash & Shampoo
Happy Cappy Dr. Eddie’s Medicated Shampoo
Mustela Baby Cradle Cap Bundle
Aquaphor Baby Wash and Shampoo
From diaper rash cream to baby cradle cap treatment products, Aquaphor has been a go-to brand for new parents over the years. If you have tried different cradle cap treatments to no avail, go for this Aquaphor Baby Wash and Shampoo. This 2-in-1 solution is suitable for washing the whole body aside from cleaning the hair.
The shampoo is made with chamomile essence and provitamin B5; the combination works excellent to effectively clean the baby’s scalp. The pump dispenser makes using this product trouble-free. When applied, the formula produces a light lather and rinses off easily without leaving any residue.
The shampoo has a fragrance-free formula, keeping in mind the baby’s sensitive skin. So, it is suitable for even the most delicate skin. Besides, it is tear-free and works well for adults as well.
Hair Type: Dry | Key ingredients: Chamomile essence and provitamin B5 | Tear-Free: No | Sulfate-Free: No | Scent: Unscented
Cetaphil Baby Wash & Shampoo with Organic Calendula
If you are looking for a versatile baby shampoo that works well for sensitive skin and cradle cap, then what could be better than this Cetaphil Baby Wash & Shampoo? The 2-in-1 solution has a safe and effective hypoallergenic formula to help improve the cradle cap noticeably within a few days. What matters most? The formula is dermatologist-tested and 100% safe, even for the most sensitive baby skin.
Aside from helping with the cradle cap, it is suitable for your baby’s dry, flaky, itchy scalp, dandruff, and dermatitis. So, you can continue using the product as regular baby shampoo and wash. Using this product regularly will also help improve skin barrier function to prevent the return of cradle cap in the future.
Moreover, it has a pleasant and calming lavender scent. For best results, apply a few shampoo drops to the affected areas, massage smoothly, make it sit for 5 minutes, and wash them thoroughly. However, some users have reported that it’s not entirely tear-free. So make sure it doesn’t reach your baby’s eyes.
Hair Type: Dry, Normal | Key ingredients: Natural Calendula | Tear-Free: No | Sulfate-Free: No | Scent: Lavender
Dr. Eddie’s Happy Cappy Medicated Shampoo
Now, take a look at Dr. Eddie’s Happy Cappy Medicated Shampoo for Children. The name itself implies that it is a pediatrician-backed solution for the cradle cap. The product is not only effective for cradle cap but also helps with scalp irritation, dandruff, scaling, flaking, and redness. It is no wonder why many pediatricians recommend this medicated shampoo to treat different scalp issues in babies.
This shampoo is highly rated by parents because it is effective yet free from harsh ingredients. Specially made for children, it is gentle enough not to cause any skin irritation for sensitive skin. Most importantly, the shampoo is free from synthetic fragrances, dyes, parabens, sulfates, and BPA to make it safe for newborn babies.
Using the solution is hassle-free. You need to apply the shampoo to your child’s scalp and massage it gently for 1-2 minutes. Then wash the scalp thoroughly with water. You are most likely to notice significant improvements within one or two weeks.
Hair Type: Oily, Dry, Normal | Key ingredients: Pyrithione Zinc | Tear-Free: No | Sulfate-Free: Yes | Scent: Unscented
Weleda Calendula Baby 2-in-1 Gentle Shampoo
Not all shampoos are made carefully for the baby’s delicate skin. But here is one from Weleda. The plant-based formula of Weleda Calendula Baby Shampoo and Body Wash is prepared with dermatologist-recommended safe ingredients to ensure high-quality standards.
It has a unique natural formula, including calendula flower extract, sweet almond oil, and chamomile. All the effective ingredients work together to offer unparalleled comforting and soothing benefits to sensitive, dry skin, eczema-prone skin, and the cradle cap. Also, the shampoo has a clean, sweet scent that is suitable for most skin types.
You will be happy to know that Weleda is certified natural by NATRUE. As expected, their gentle formula doesn’t contain parabens, phthalates, synthetic preservatives, or fragrances. And most of their products come at an affordable price. All of these features have made it a popular brand among new parents.
Hair Type: All | Key ingredients: Calendula flower extract, Sweet almond oil, and Chamomile | Tear-Free: Yes | Sulfate-Free: Yes | Scent: Calendula
Other Recommended Baby Shampoo for Cradle Cap
Puracy Natural Baby Shampoo & Body Wash
Puracy is a trustworthy brand among households. It has a popular baby care product line. Puracy Natural Shampoo & Body Wash is an award-winning baby shampoo of this product line.
The shampoo is suitable for both newborns and toddlers as it is made of plant-based ingredients. With around 99.5% natural ingredients, the formula is gentle, even on highly sensitive skin. The shampoo is effective enough to get rid of the cradle cap in babies. However, don’t expect quick results. As it is a natural shampoo, it takes some time to heal the itchy, flaky scalp.
The shampoo lathers really well and leaves your baby’s skin soft and smooth. In addition, it leaves a pleasant citrus scent without being overpowering. You can continue using it even when the cradle cap is completely gone because it naturally nourishes your little one’s hair and scalp.
Hair Type: All | Key ingredients: Coconut | Tear-Free: Yes | Sulfate-Free: Yes | Scent: Citrus Grove
Babo Botanicals Moisturizing Baby 2-in-1 Shampoo
Here is an excellent moisturizing baby shampoo from Babo Botanicals.
Suitable for eczema-prone or sensitive skin, this ultra-nourishing shampoo has a plant-based formula that is 100% safe for your little one. The cleanse is specially made from oat milk and calendula oil; the combination removes excess oil from the scalp and restores the natural balance. Plus, the formula is effective for fighting against the cradle cap since it has anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory properties. However, the lightly scented formula might cause irritation to highly sensitive baby skin.
Its moisturizing capability will exceed your expectations. Moreover, it is a USA-made B Corp-certified product. Use gently on the baby’s scalp by massaging it for a few minutes. Be careful so that the shampoo doesn’t reach the eyes, as a few users reported it’s not completely tear-free.
Hair Type: Dry | Key ingredients: Oat & Calendula | Tear-Free: No | Sulfate-Free: Yes | Scent: Lightly fragrant
Mustela Cradle Cap Bundle Natural Baby Shampoo
To clear the cradle cap completely and for lasting protection, you need to use a cradle cap cream along with a shampoo. Instead of buying them separately, we recommend getting this Mustela Baby Cradle Cap Bundle.
The unit comes with a foam shampoo and a cradle cap cream. Both products are safe for newborn babies because they are prepared using more than 95% plant-based ingredients. The main ingredient is avocado perseose, which helps improve the skin barrier function. In addition, the shampoo is unscented and tear-free.
Both products are free from paraben, phthalate, and phenoxyethanol. With this clean and effective cradle cap set, you can achieve a complete cradle cap-free scalp for your baby within a few weeks.
Hair Type: All | Key ingredients: Avocado Perseose | Tear-Free: Yes | Sulfate-Free: Yes | Scent: Avocado
Paul Mitchell Baby Shampoo
Paul Mitchell Baby Don’t Cry is another good option you can consider to treat cradle cap. As reported by users, the shampoo makes a noticeable difference to a baby’s cradle cap with just a couple of applications. The shampoo also works well to clean and condition the thick and curly hair of toddlers.
The shampoo has a pH-neutral formula that gently removes dirt from the scalp and skin. Plus, the tear-free formula gently cleanses the scalp and hair without irritating the eyes. However, it has a pleasant smell that doesn’t seem to bother sensitive skin.
Since made with mostly naturally derived ingredients, this baby shampoo is suitable for most skin types. Paraben-free, gluten-free, and vegan-friendly ingredients make it a safe choice for conscious parents. As the formula is effective, a little goes a long way. A single bottle will last several months, even after using it daily.
Hair Type: Normal | Key ingredients: Caprylyl Glycol, Benzyl Benzoate | Tear-Free: Yes | Sulfate-Free: Yes | Scent: Powdery scent with soft floral and vanilla
There’s no way you can prevent the cradle cap in your baby. However, using the right baby shampoo and brush might keep the cradle cap away. If you are planning for regular use, make sure you are choosing a mild and tear-free shampoo.
All the shampoos mentioned earlier have different levels of effectiveness. Based on your child’s age and skin condition, you can surely get one.