So, you are settling back at home cradling your newborn, when suddenly … you see some dry, scaly bits on your newborn’s scalp starting to form.

But there’s no need to stress …

What you are seeing is the effects of something called cradle cap – harmless non-contagious skin patches that can suddenly appear underneath your baby’s crown, behind their ears, on their forehead, in those yummy-looking skin folds, or even in their eyebrows!

Ok … I know your first instinct may be to think - eww, how do I get rid of it! But let’s just hit pause for a second, and first explore what cradle cap is, why it occurs, and how to treat it with care.


baby using nourish for cradle cap

newborn baby: how to ease cradle cap


what is cradle cap


Cradle cap is the name given to the crusty, oily, yellowy scaly patches that appear on the scalp of a newborn in the first few months of life in the big wide world - that usually last only for a few weeks. Medically, it’s termed ‘infantile seborrheic dermatitis’. But again, don’t worry - it’s a common and harmless condition that isn’t itchy nor painful to your precious bub.

It can, however, look a bit unpleasant … scaly, thick, and yellowy. In truth, it can actually be quite stubborn to remove from your baby’s scalp. If it is not going away, your local maternal and health nurse may suggest a natural head and hair washing remedy, as baby’s skin is still super-sensitive.

Cradle cap isn't contagious. In fact, washing your baby's head and air every few days can help prevent it. So, you can stick with a mild baby wash, or …

you can now try our new body nourish bath + body oil!


about nourish


nourish bath+ body massage oil aims to improve the skin’s elasticity by softening, nourishing, and reconditioning without stripping away the skin’s moisture. Enriched with a deeply hydrating and moisture intensive oil base, nourish bath oil not only gently leaves baby’s scalp feeling hydrated, silky smooth and smelling beautiful, but it is made from botanical elements of coconut, sunflower, and jojoba all known to help hydrate the skin, and replenish the skin’s natural barrier. Plus the essential oils of mandarin and chamomile to offer nourishing properties to sensitive skins prone to dryness or irritation.

Simply warm a small amount of nourish in your hands and then gently massage into to baby’s scalp at night to soften the patchy scales. In the morning, using a soft baby brush or cloth, you can gently remove any loose particles, and then wash the hair with our all-over body gel, cleanse.

In time, the crusts will soften and should lift off easily with a cotton bud or soft baby brush.



Here are the how-to-steps to treating cradle cap with nourish …


step 1 nourish


Before washing your baby’s scalp, apply nourish bath + body oil in small amounts directly onto baby’s scalp to help break down the scaly bits. Ensure that nourish is fully massaged in throughout. Then leave it on the scalp for as long as possible to soften the flakes, so the scales will come off more easily.

- apply a thin layer of nourish to the scalp

- gently massage nourish in for about a minute. If your baby still has a soft spot on their head, use extra caution around this area.

- leave nourish to soak in for about 15 minutes or overnight.


step 2 cleanse


Then when you feel it’s time, use a gentle shampoo like cleanse, hair + body foaming gel, to wash and massage baby’s scalp. Because stress may be a trigger for flare-ups, keeping your infant calm + relaxed by massaging their scalp, (which is equally as important as the end-result!) and will help to break up the patches so they fall off naturally. But be patient not to rub or scratch them too hard, as cradle cap doesn’t cause itchiness to bub.


step 3 rinse


After washing, rinse the scalp thoroughly to keep clean and clear, baby’s skin is very sensitive. This helps to prevent further irritation of the scalp during cradle cap treatment.


step 4 brush out the flakes


Brushing your infant’s scalp gently after a bath is a great way to break down the scales and get them to fall off easily. A standard soft brush, a rubber cradle cap brush, or a fine-toothed comb are three opti-mum! tools to gently removing those hard-to-get-rid-of cradle cap patches, as they can intricately catch the small broken-down flakes that linger in the hair.

Remember, a daily hair-washing routine is the best way to soften and loosen those cradle cap scales for good!


step 5 keep bubs calm


As stress may be a trigger for ongoing cradle cap, try engaging in calming activities, like lots of cuddles, baby massage, daily fresh air, and playtime. In short, being attentive to your baby’s needs can help them feel relaxed, comfortable, and secure.


 coconut oil


Want to know why nourish formulation is an ideal all-natural product for your baby’s cradle cap?

Here’s some information about its key ingredients: coconut oil, jojoba oil, and kakadu plum!



coconut oil


why it’s naturally good for you:

Coconut is an oily liquid. It is made from the white, fleshy inner part of naturally grown coconuts. It is made of natural extracts and has a lovely, nutty, tropical smell! Plus - it doesn’t contain added chemicals or perfumes!


why it’s great for babies:

Coconut oil is safe for dry and flaky skin, that babies can often have after coming home from hospital. It can even help to protect and thicken their delicate skin. Ultimately, coconut oil helps moisturise and loosen cradle cap flakes and nourish the skin on your baby’s delicate scalp.


what are the benefits of coconut oil?

- coconut oil is known to keep in moisture and helps to hydrate newborn skin

- it helps protect baby’s skin by creating a barrier, protects skin from nasties, and other toxic things that baby can come face-to-face with every day

- over time, coconut oil can help to improve the texture of baby’s skin

- it soaks deeply into baby’s skin

- it can aid in calming the redness of the skin

- it contains antioxidants that may help to combat skin dryness

- it’s highly absorbent, directing immediate hydration to baby’s skin

- it can be used on all skin types


Jojoba oil


why it’s naturally good for you:

Jojoba oil is antibacterial and highly absorbent, helping to replenish the skin’s natural safety barrier. And its likening to the body’s natural oils, makes it more appealing for those who are averse to greasy, oily lotions and potions.


why it’s great for babies:

Jojoba oil is optimal for baby massage because it has great moisturising elements for baby’s delicate skin. It can nourish your baby’s fine hair and fine scalp with its immersive properties. It also has the power to strengthen your baby's skin barrier and help to keep it hydrated and absorbed for longer, while feeding the deeper skin layers to promote healing. Jojoba oil can help with a myriad of skin sensitivities: including cradle cap. It’s also hypo-allergenic – helping to dissolve the dry, rough flakes on baby’s scalp and moisturise the skin from undergoing further dryness.


what are the benefits of Jojoba oil?

- naturally high in Vitamins A, D and E

- known to help with skin inflammation

- it contains essential fatty acids.

- it is a great ingredient to soothe

- it is full of antioxidants

- it may help to reduce the chance of infection

- it can be used on all skin types.


Kakadu plum


why it’s naturally good for you:

Kakadu plum is known as an innovative, all-natural superpowered ingredient! It is a nourishing skincare ingredient with an enriched source of Vitamin C that may help to revive

and rejuvenate damaged skin. Oh! And it also happens to be known as a great beauty ingredient for improving the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles - to aid the skin in slowing down the ageing process. Nothing to say grown-ups can’t use a little nourish too!


why it’s great for babies:

High in concentrated Vitamin C for skin growth and repair, Kakadu plum is known to contain anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that can help keep your baby’s skin healthy. It’s also a great nutrient-rich ingredient for babies because it can be effective at preventing leftover marks from appearing after picking at a flare-up on our skin.


what are the benefits of Kakadu plum?

- it contains a high natural source of vitamin C.

- it’s high in omega-6 fatty acids which can help to promote healing to irritated skin.

- it can be used on all skin types.


so, there you have it, folks!

Cradle cap is not a serious condition. You can try a step-by-step treatment to help it clear up otherwise it may very well take its course and clear up on its own in weeks or months.

As always, if you’re concerned about your baby’s symptoms or see no improvement, reach out to your doctor, or your local child health nurse for more help and caring advice.


by Antonette Golikidis

Award-winning skincare expert, mum, and formulations queen behind body - the new all-natural, baby and family skincare collection from Antonette holds a Diploma in Health Science and Personal Care Formulation, and a Certificate IV in Aromatherapy and brings more than 15 years’ experience in cosmetic product development, alternative therapies, scent science and baby massage to the team. Her in-depth research and study of skin care and cosmetics ignited her passion for working with natural ingredients to create unique, quality products that not only smell delicious, but capture the therapeutic benefits of those ingredients. Antonette lives by her everyday mantra: ‘Let the beauty of what you love, be what you do...’ and is inspired by her family and gorgeous boys – where her skin care journey began.

related articles

read more