33 answers

Anyone Heard of "Cradle Cap" on a 19 Month Old??

So my daughter had cradle cap as an infant that took forever to go away but it did I think! Now I noticed when I pull her hair back she has a patch of it. I am wondering if I havent been getting shampoo off that part good enough when she gets bathed. I cant find much on internet for that age.. Should I take her to doc or just try to use oil,scrubbing,etc.. thanks!

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Thank you all for the great advise.. You are great!!

Featured Answers

Try using Selsun Blue shampoo on her hair. It works on my son, who's 2 now, and has just recently finally stopped having it!
Good luck!

My three year old had it this winter. His doctor said to use a little baby oil, let it sit for a few minutes and use a hair brush to get it out. It did the trick for the most part. It came back again but not as bad. This time I switched to a kids shampoo instead of a baby shampoo and that did the trick. Good Luck!

My youngest son fought that stuff till he was in kingergarden. I would put baby oil on his head about 5 minutes before he would shower then use a dandruff shampoo on his head. The Paul Mitchell's "Tea Tree" was the best. (I think that is the name of it)
Good luck!


More Answers

My son still had cradle cap when he was 2. The doctor told us to put hydrocortisone cream on once a day. It made his hair greasy, and I'm sure the other parents thought we never bathed our kid, but it really worked. In a couple of weeks it was all gone.

My son has had it off and on for his first 4 years of life. The doctor says it's dandruff. Treat it with a dandruff shampoo. I also use Paul Mitchell Tea Tree conditioner once a week, and it seems to keep it under control.

My 3 1/2 yr old still gets patches of cradle cap we just wash and use a soft bristle brush and use conditioner at least once a week to keep his scalp from drying out

My daughter had it when she was younger, we used vaseline and brushed it in with a baby brush, She hasn't had it since... I hope that works.... Let us know!

Hi A., I'm a pharmacist and my son is 7 and just started having similar issues with his scalp. It is probably seborrheic dermatitis (which is basically what cradle cap is). I did the oil with some scrubbing and then washed his hair with t-gel shampoo(I let it sit for about 5 min). I have only done it once so far but it seemed to help. It is thought to be fungal in nature, so you could also try Nizoral shampoo (1% is now over the counter), or you could try some of the other dandruff type shampoos such as selsun blue, or head and shoulders. You are looking for anything with selenium sulfide, tar, ketoconazole, or zinc pyrithione in the label. I just realized how young your daughter is...it may be a little bit more difficult for you to wash her hair with some of these shampoos b/c they are not "no tears", so you may want to just do the oil/scrubbing first and see how that works. Good luck...I would probably try that before going to the doctor.


Try using Selsun Blue shampoo on her hair. It works on my son, who's 2 now, and has just recently finally stopped having it!
Good luck!

YES! Even on my 4 year old!!! We had a tough time with a patch of it on top of her head. I knew that I was scrubbing adequately enough, had tried rubbing in a little oil,etc. Her doctor had even given us a prescription for Nizoral shampoo(which I didn't buy), but the best thing seemed to be using a very fine-toothed comb and just getting under it, lifting it out right after a bath. This was not pleasant for her because it made her scalp pink from me trying to scrape under the stuff. We also usually brought out several hairs with it, but now her hair looks great and has gotten somewhat thicker all over.

My son who is now 21 months STILL has small spots on his head that have cradle cap.Course he has alot of hair so it's not noticable unless I actually look or it.But it doesn't bother him, it's not from shampoo and it will eventually go away on it's on without doing anything at all.I never done any of the tricks to get rid of it on either of my children.I just let it go away on it's on.

Same thing with my Daughter. She never even got it the first time until she was about 6 months old. Then it went away when she was a little over 1. THEN a few months later I noticed it again, only not as much this time. She had it until she was almost 2. (She just turned 2 in January) I don't know if you have tried this, but I went to a pharmacy and picked up a nit comb. You know the ones that come in the lice treatment boxes? You can buy just the comb by itself. It works REALLY well. I would use it while she was eating in her highchair, so she was more distracted. I would just scrape off all of the oily, flaky stuff (it didn't hurt her at all) and then it just didn't come back. Good luck!

I wouldn't take her in to the Dr. until you have tried a dandruff shampoo and scrubbing. All 3 of my boys had this at different ages. My now 2 yr. old just had a patch on the very top and he has very fine hair so I know we get all the suds out of his hair... he hardly has enough to wash. Try scrubbing this daily and keeping it moisturized and remove the excess that will come off. At this age you can use Head & Shoulders dandruff shampoo as well. Good Luck... this can be frustrating if it keeps coming back then talk to your Dr. about a prescription cream. Mom of 3 boys!

My youngest son fought that stuff till he was in kingergarden. I would put baby oil on his head about 5 minutes before he would shower then use a dandruff shampoo on his head. The Paul Mitchell's "Tea Tree" was the best. (I think that is the name of it)
Good luck!


My daughter had it for several months. It will go away. How often do you wash the baby's head? What do you use?
I used "Selsun Blue" I believe that is the dandruff product that my doctor recommended. It is that I believe I am spelling it incorrectly. Selsum or selsom blue.Anyways, it does work you only use it 3 times a week and you'll see an improvement.

Good Luck


Hi i had the same issue . I used Burts Bees apricot oil, put it on the scalp let it sit over night. wash her hair in the am. if you have a soft bristle brush comb against the growth of hair. I did this treatment twice. haven't seen it since.

good luck.

oh it has nothing to do with the shampoo. although baby shampoo is horribly drying. it is like adult dandruff more so than excess product on the hair.

My oldest daughter had cradle cap until she was three. I asked the doctor about it and she told me to use Selsun Blue shampoo and to really rub it in and kind of aggravate the flakes. It worked after three or four shampoos. Her scalp looks much better. Hope that helps!


Hi A.,

There are several things you can put on it but it is a form of ezcema and it will not completely go away until his nutrition is balanced. Ezcema is systemic and is caused primarily from diet and stress. Hopefully there is no stress, lol!

All the dandruff shampoos are too harsh for an 19 month old and even the baby shampoos out there are dangerous. Johnson and Johnson baby shampoo and even Gerber's Grins and Giggles has Quaternium-15 (Q-15) in them (along with other JandJ and Gerber products) which is a known cancer causing agent.

I can tell you about a natural baby shampoo that will not only clean the hair but heal the scalp if you are interested. It's called Koala Pals and it's inexpensive. You can look for an alternative at the health food store or the organic section in Publix, but be prepared for a high priced item.

Like I said above, nutrition is the key. Hope I helped some!



I have 5 kids & yes I've heard of it. It's just dandruff, but can be in big patches with children. My 6 year old still has trouble with this just because he tends to have dry skin everywhere. Be sure not to use too much shampoo, just enough to clean her hair & thoroughly rinse. Always leave a good conditioner on baby's hair/scalp too, just like you might, for a couple minutes. Dove works good for my child. After baby is out of the bath take some lotion and apply to the scalp. (You will have to wash baby's hair again, but this works) You can even do this without the 1st bath. Just apply lotion directly to the scalp and massage it into the scalp. After it has soaked in a little take a fine tooth comb & very gently scrape baby's head. It takes a little time, but it works. If the scalp is really bright red then you are scraping a little too hard. Try not to wash until later or the next day. I usually do it at night & let the lotion stay on the scalp overnight. You will notice a HUGE difference the next day or after doing this "treatment". Be sure you use a lotion without any fragrances, waterbase. Aveeno for baby, exema, works great for mine, or cetaphil, anything like this.

I think that this is probably not so unusual. I would try using a shampoo specifically designed to help with cradle cap. I have ALWAYS (mom of four--aunt of 16!) had great luck with a prduct from "Gentle Naturals" called "Cradle Cap Care"---works for us in one or two uses. I would try it, it cannot hurt! It is easily found, the Winnie the Pooh characters are on the front of green bottles. Look in the baby aisle or the Baby Superstore. Hope that helps!

Hi A.,

My daughter had this and I have a natural baby wash that works very well! It doesn't have chemicals/dyes/fragrances and it is very gentle but effective. You can buy it directly from me, or I can send you a sample. I would be careful using products that may be harsh on your little one. Anything you put on your skin is absorbed into your body, especially on the head, so make sure you read labels. There has been a lot of information recently on baby products and phalates which are linked to lots of health issues. California is banning it from their products. Anyways, you would never think shampoo would be a big deal, but it is scary what chemicals are in there, even the ones that say gentle. You can google the recent study done on chemicals found in baby products. Some of the no tears use antiseptic, that what makes it no tears.

Let me know if I can help.

My seven year old has really dry scalp and still continues to get something similar to cradle cap (he gets that from dh). Whenever we find patches of it, we usually massage the area with baby oil, then comb it out with a fine-toothed comb (the oil helps loosen it). Then we just wash his hair. Usually it will get it all out in one treatment.

Don't use the stuff in the store for cradle cap in the kids shampoo section. It is horrible! I just use T-Gel then use the kids shampoo after. I let the t-gel sit for a minute and rub her scalp really well, then wash with her kids shampoo. Just be sure to keep the t-gel out of her eyes. Hope this helps! BTW, my daughter is much older and still has some of it. I haven't gotten it all off because she hates for me to scrub her head!

I think I would at least call and talk to the nurse at your doctor's office. Maybe she can give you advice over the phone.

It is possible but, my nephew has Psoriasis and it looks like that on his scalp. Might wanna check with the Dr.

My three year old had it this winter. His doctor said to use a little baby oil, let it sit for a few minutes and use a hair brush to get it out. It did the trick for the most part. It came back again but not as bad. This time I switched to a kids shampoo instead of a baby shampoo and that did the trick. Good Luck!

Yes, my son had it at toddle ages too.Never could figure out why but it finally went away.

My daughter had cradle cap when she was young then had it come back a little after a year, same as yours. We just used some baby oil and gentle brushed it out. It was around for a month or so then cleared up and we havn't seen it since.

My daughter had it as a toddler. Our doctor told us to use dandruff shampoo and that worked (just be careful, it will sting if it gets in their eyes).

I don't think you really have anything to worry about . Our pediatrician back in Michigan advised us to put baby oil on a q-tip on a daily basis and this does wonders. My children are now 6 and 9, so this was a few years back but it worked for us . good luck to you .

I wouldn't worry about it so much. My son had these patches at the top of his head until he was four. I just took it one little spot at a time, rubbed it with vaseline it will slough off after a while. Not too much vaseline or they will get a greasy looking head. I think a lot of kids have it and it is nothing abnormal.

My 9 year old has had some cradle cap within the last year. The Dr can prescribe some shampoo for you that'll help it.

Seborrheic eczema (http://www.medicinenet.com/eczema/page2.htm)

Seborrheic eczema (seborrheic dermatitis) is a form of skin inflammation of unknown cause. The signs and symptoms of seborrheic eczema include yellowish, oily, scaly patches of skin on the scalp, face, and occasionally other parts of the body. Dandruff and "cradle cap" in infants are examples of seborrheic eczema. It is commonplace for seborrheic dermatitis to inflame the face at the creases of the cheeks and/or the nasal folds. Seborrheic dermatitis is not necessarily associated with itching. This condition tends to run in families. Emotional stress, oily skin, infrequent shampooing, and weather conditions may all increase a person's risk of developing seborrheic eczema.

I've had this off and on for years (actually, technically I've always had it, it's just whether or not I'm experiencing symptons). My mom has eczema and the dermatologist told me it's very heriditary; he was actually surprised I didn't have it anywhere else. I also have allergies and so does my mom so if allergies run in your family, this may be culprit. Anyway, I tend to develop patches in the same place (at the front & base of my scalp) and outbreaks tend to coincide with the weather changes and high allergy seasons.

Not trying to say what this is or isn't but the best treatment I've found, and what the dermatologist prescribed is Nizoral. It's a shampoo with Ketoconazole as the active ingredient. I've used T-gel off and on for years but the coal tar smells terrible and may irritate your daughter's eyes. They make an over-the counter Nizoral (1% Ketokonazole vs. 2% prescription strength) that is sold just about everywhere in the dandruff shampoo section (it's about $14 at Target). I would check to make sure it's Ok to use on toddlers but it works great. Even with bad outbreaks I only use it once or twice the first week and then once a week after that for a few weeks. I can use T-gel every time I shampoo and while it may stop the itchiness, it doesn't really make the patches go away and the odor is so strong that even after using regular "smelly good shampoo" as we say in our house, you can still smell the underlying odor of the coal tar. You might want to try something milder first (Selsun Blue is mild but weak, but it may work on your daughter). I'm just suggesting Nizoral if it doesn't go away with the other stuff since that most likely what the dermatologist will tell you to use.

Try Neutrogena T-Gel for three days. Apply it once a day and use a baby brush to scrub it before washing the hair. This should help take care of it!!

My daughter had it when she was younger and is now three and just had it again. Just make sure you scrub her hair good when you are bathing her and rinse it extra. I also used a really fine tooth comb to get all the dead skin out and that worked out really well.

My daughter is 17 months and still has cradle cap. It never went away since she was born. We didn't want to treat it since she has a full head of hair and didn't want to smear oil all over her head. Our doctor is aware of it and isn't concerned at all.

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