Cradle cap is very common. If your baby’s scalp has flaky, dry skin that looks like dandruff, or even a yellowish or brown crusting, it’s most likely cradle cap.

Cradle cap isn’t cute, but it is harmless. Most often, it shows up in the first few months of life, and it usually clears up on its own in about six to 12 months.

The main cause of cradle cap is not known. Some experts believe that the hormones a baby receives from his mother at the end of pregnancy over stimulates the baby’s sweat (oil-producing) glands, resulting in cradle cap.

To Treat Cradle Cap

Try gently brushing your baby’s scalp with a soft brush. For stubborn cases, some parents find an oil remedy helpful. Rub just a small amount of a pure, natural oil — such as almond or olive oil — on to your baby’s scalp and leave it on for approximately 15 minutes.

Then, gently comb out the flakes with a fine-toothed comb or brush them out with a soft brush.

Follow this by washing your baby’s scalp with a gentle baby shampoo.