BABY VS MUMMA I Natural Cradle Cap Treatments


Cradle cap is a very common, and harmless yet unsightly, condition of baby's scalp. Both of my babies have suffered mildly with this.

So, what are the reasons and the solution?

The Cause:

According to the NHS website: "The cause of cradle cap is not clear, but may be linked to overactive sebaceous glands. These are glands in the skin that produce an oily substance called sebum.Some babies are thought to retain some of their mother's hormones in their bodies for several weeks or months after the birth. These hormones may make the baby's glands more active and produce more sebum. The excess sebum causes old skin cells to stick to the scalp, instead of drying up and falling off as they would normally do. Cradle cap is not contagious and not caused by a lack of cleanliness. If a baby has cradle cap, it does not mean they have an infection or that they are not being looked after properly. It is thought that a child with cradle cap may be more likely to have other types of seborrhoeic dermatitis, such as dandruff, when they are older." (See:

The Solution:

With my first baby, my daughter, I tried a traditional prescription Cradle Cap shampoo made by Dentinox. It helped a little but I wasn't keen to keep using a medicine regularly, so stopped it after a few washes. (My co-writer LN also tried it to no avail). Eventually after about 6 months the condition naturally disappeared anyway.

With my son, I was keen to try some more natural solutions to see if they would help get rid of it more quickly. I contacted some of my favourite natural, organic, baby skincare brands to see if they had any suggestions. Here are my reviews of each:

Green People Organic Babies Soothing Baby Oil - Scent Free 
£10.95 from

As pure as can be, this lovely light and colourless oil contains Organic Evening Primrose, Rosehip, Elderflower & Pomegranate Seed oils. It is made without any nasties such as parabens, lanolin, methylisothiazolinone, methylchloroisothiazolinone, phthalates, artificial perfumes, petrochemicals and colourants. 

This was the first treatment I tried and after 2 days of use after the bath, a layer of the cradle cap suddenly lifted. A brush over with a very soft baby brush helped to remove the flakes from the hair. However, it wasn't all of it, and despite a further week's use I didn't manage to lift any more during that test period. After the first shedding though, I am sure that with continued use it might have lifted another layer.

This comes in a decent size bottle with useful lockable pump which is really useful. I also like how light and easily absorbed it is, leaving skin feeling non - greasy, and can be used over the whole of baby's body (and for Mum too!!)


Another 100% organic, fragrance-free baby oil blend made from Jojoba oil, Borage seed oil and Olive fruit oil. This oil has a slightly stronger scent, more earthy, and a darker colour more like olive oil. It is also a bit thicker in consistency so it leaves skin feeling a little more oily than the Green People version, but not unpleasantly so. In fact it makes it feel luxuriously smooth. Again it can be used all over baby, and Mum too if in a rush!

I tried this on the cradle cap after the bath for several weeks and I did get some lifting when combined with brushing with the Tomee Tipee soft baby brush. However, the cradle cap didn't magically disappear. I
imagine it takes prolonged use, but unfortunately I spilled half the bottle as I was rushing and didn't screw the cap back properly, oops! I was very upset to waste such gorgeous baby oil. Perhaps the bottle could be a tad more mummy friendly, although it fits with the beautiful Neal's Yard style. 

B-Organic Baby and Kids Lavender Body Wash

The B-organic range was created by Mum Aycin whose daughter had eczema which was aggravated by chemicals in traditional treatments. All products are therefore completely natural and organic and kind to baby's skin.

For the cradle cap she suggested her Lavender shampoo and body wash, suitable from 1 month old. It contains soothing Lavender oil and aloe vera leaf juice.

Use of this alone for a week did seem to loosen the flaky patches a little, but they didn't drop straight off. It was use of the shampoo over a few weeks in combo with softening oil that really started to lift the flakes. I would definitely recommend using this in combination with any of the baby oils detailed here, and then lightly brushing with a baby brush after the bath.

Shea Mooti Baby’s Rub-a-Bye Body and Scalp Oil 

Although created for the scalp, this oil can also be used for your baby's body. It feels lovely and silky and has a soft, gentle, warm scent. Use of this in combination with the shampoo for a few weeks ended up lifting the last of the scales, although I did gently scrape the last ones off with a nail once they had softened enough not to hurt baby.

The company that makes this scalp and body oil is called ‘Shea Mooti’ because every product contains the purest, natural form of ‘Shea’ Butter, ethically sourced from AfriKids’ Daughters, a multi-cooperative in northern Ghana. ‘Mooti’ comes from ‘Muti’ meaning ‘tree’ in Shona – the language of the founder's native Zimbabwe. The range contains all pure, completely natural products for mothers and babies made with the highest quality ingredients. Shea butter is a fabulous moisturiser. It also smells delicious.

The organic Amaranth Seed Oil CO2 Extract has anti-inflammatory effects for treating the dry, itchy skin (this can also be used for eczema and psoriasis). The high amount of tocopherols, tocotrienols and linoleic acid (essential fatty acid) improve the health and appearance of skin tissue and restore smoothness and moisture of the skin.

It also contains Borage Seed Oil, also known as Star Flower Oil, as the Neal's Yard oil does- which contains gamma linolenic acid (GLA), an essential fatty acid which improves the health and appearance of skin tissue. It has been shown to be a very effective agent in treating the redness, inflammation, and moisture loss associated with dry skin. 

Finally Melon Seed Oil is cold pressed and refined from the seeds of the Watermelon. It is extremely nourishing for the skin and rich in Omega 6 and 9 essential fatty acids, which help maintain a healthy skin. It is a very light, gentle, noncomedogenic (non-pore blocking) oil that is easily absorbed by the skin. 



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