Sunday, January 24, 2010

Cradle Cap

My daughter was born chubby, bald, and beautiful. It doesn’t look like she’ll have a full head of hair anytime soon. I didn’t see any reason we’d need one of those cute baby brushes for quite awhile, although we received a few as gifts.

As I was lying next to her one lazy afternoon, I thought about how I love having my hair brushed. It always relaxes me and feels so good. I decided brushing my daughter’s “hair” with a soft brush might feel good to her too. I got one out, and started softly brushing her head. She seemed to love it, appeared very relaxed, and was lying very still.

Suddenly, I noticed little white flakes floating in the air after each brush stroke. Having grown up with taking care of babies, I knew exactly what this was – cradle cap.

I continued brushing until the flakes stopped coming off. Then, I got on my computer to do a little research. (I have to admit, I go a little crazy with my computer research when it comes to my baby.) From everything I read, it seemed that no one really knows what causes cradle cap, and that, although it might not be pretty, it isn’t harmful to the baby. Satisfied that the cradle cap wasn’t a result of me being a bad mother who had a dirty baby, I decided to keep an eye on it and relax.

I recalled my mother telling me that when one of my siblings had cradle cap, a well-meaning friend told her, “Just leave it alone. It will go away on its own.” My mother cringes as she remembers how it indeed did not go away on its own. Instead, it got out of control, and thick. Yuck! I wasn’t letting that happen.

After doing a little trial and error with cradle cap control, I figured out a system that works very well for me. First, I wash my baby’s head gently with a washcloth each morning. I don’t put any shampoo or soap on it; I just use warm water. About once a week, I put a little baby lotion on her head (we use Aveeno Baby Daily Moisture Lotion) and brush it for about five minutes. I make sure to wash the brush with soap and water after I’m done.

This has completely taken care of the problem. Every now and then I see some yellowish patches on the top of her head, which I promptly take care of, but other than that, the cradle cap is a thing of the past.

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