Dylan occasionally has a flaky scalp — the dreaded cradle cap that repulsifies a perfectly cute baby the way a monstrous booger or an eye-watering diaper will — and over the last few days it worsened into Ally-Sheedy-in-The-Breakfast-Club proportions. I tried moisturizing his head with some baby oil, but I couldn’t get it rinsed clean so he looked even worse afterwards, his hair greasy and slicked into weird swirls like a particularly seedy used-car salesman, the dry skin clinging tenaciously to his Exxon-head in gross yellowy flakes.

I had a vague memory of some recommendation to use a pure, natural oil, and BabyCenter confirmed the advice, so this afternoon right before his nap I thoroughly basted the top of his head with a massive amount of extra virgin olive oil. I didn’t mean to use quite so much but when I poured it into my palm it came out in a startling glug-glug-glug and I issued a little shriek of surprise and immediately turned to him and rubbed it in, the whole dripping slimy handful of it, my brain apparently unable to think of any other course of action (let it drip in the sink? Blot with a paper towel? No, let’s just wipe it on the nearest infant).

He was as slippery as a Crisco-coated otter and smelling like something that should be consumed with a loaf of french bread and some balsamic vinegar, and since he was getting tired and perhaps justifiably cranky I figured I’d let it soak in and deal with the mess later, but something told me to re-check that web page and sure enough the next paragraph after “some parents find an oil remedy helpful” was this: “the last thing you want to do is leave oil on his head, which could clog the pores and cause the flakes to stick“.

So I had to take him in the bath with me and shampoo his head about six hundred and fifty million times because wow, a gallon or two of olive oil is a bitch to get out of someone’s hair, and it looks like it maybe did the trick but he still smells like salad dressing and now my bathtub has a ring of some sort of . . . organic oil-and-baby-schmutz substance.

Next time, I’m just doing this:



67 Responses to “Crusty”

  1. Carrie on September 15th, 2008 2:05 pm

    Perhaps you could try a nicer smelling oil? Like Almond Oil? He’ll still smell like food, but more like dessert rather than the appetizer.

  2. H on September 15th, 2008 3:09 pm

    Generally, feet repulse me, but his chubby little baby feet are so damn cute!

  3. Amanda on September 15th, 2008 4:18 pm

    I second the Aquaphor suggestion. I put it on overnight and scrubbed it out with a baby comb the next day. It was gross, but rewarding!

  4. Maria on September 15th, 2008 4:44 pm

    You crack me up!

    Our nurse practitioner recommended we use Selson Blue, which I promptly discarded as an option because I was certain she had to be out of her mind to recommend that sort of thing to a newborn. But, having seen so many posts about using it, I am leaning more towards I was being a neurotic mom instead.

    We used baby oil and a cradle cap brush, which did the trick after a few attempts.

  5. Karen on September 15th, 2008 5:46 pm

    I don’t know if someone has already suggested this (and not that you were asking for suggestions, but we tried the ol’ EVOO too…) but the Mustela Cradle cap foaming shampoo worked like a charm for us. No more cradle crap around here!

  6. lisa on September 15th, 2008 6:03 pm

    My son had cradle cap and we just used regular J&J baby shampoo and scrubbed his little head with a soft baby brush every time – worked like a champ! Good luck!

  7. Swistle on September 15th, 2008 6:08 pm

    Oh, will you LOOK at that “come hither and pick me up and snuggle me and enjoy my olive-oil scent” BABY!

  8. Dawna on September 15th, 2008 6:17 pm

    I felt the need to add my suggestion to the huge list: organic virgin coconut oil.

    I’ve used it on my own head for the uh… ‘adult’ version of cradle cap, seborrhoeic dermatitis (which is, indeed, just as gross), and it worked wonders. Though, it is just as difficult to wash out.

  9. Marcie on September 15th, 2008 8:27 pm

    I didn’t read the other comments so I apologize if this has already been suggested…

    I have a three month old. The best way I’ve found to reduce and get rid of it is to use a soft baby’s hair brush. You know the one with the thick, soft bristles? Put regular baby shampoo on it and brush it on his head in circular motions. My son LOVES it and in three nights it’s exfoliated his head and gotten rid of it.

  10. Allison on September 15th, 2008 8:30 pm

    We didn’t have a big problem with our little guy, but I just used a small amount of baby oil (a dab and rubbed it into my hands, then wiped on the hair) and then brushed his hair. I think the brushing helped more than the oil. Your boys are so adorable, I can’t wait to have another, and I’ll say it, I WANT it to be a boy!! It looks like so much fun with two. Crazy, but fun.

  11. Eric's Mommy on September 16th, 2008 4:49 am

    I love that picture, Dylan’s all “What’s up ladies?”

  12. Amy on September 16th, 2008 8:34 am

    I HATE the oily head after-effects of getting rid of cradle cap. I could NOT get the oil out of my daughter’s hair and vowed never to do that again.
    This time around, we’ve been using Aquaphor, which is still a little difficult to get out, but only makes his hair look a little greasy for a day instead of a solid week, like the cradle cap kids.

  13. dorrie on September 16th, 2008 8:50 am

    OKAY off topic here, but just, dammit girl, I found myself ordering 30 day shred this morning and it’s all because of you and your freakin’ hard bod. I am scared, but excited. I think you should be getting a kick back from madame jillian at this point for all the ladies you are inspiring…wish me luck!

    p.s. Dylan’s pink cheeks just kill me
    p.p.s ped egg=WANT

  14. Angie on September 16th, 2008 9:55 am

    Buy a bottle of Paul Michell “Baby Don’t Cry Shampoo.” I don’t why, but it works on craddle cap awesome!

  15. Claudia on September 16th, 2008 11:06 am

    I give you the Arte y Pico Award: http://freshhell.wordpress.com/2008/09/16/freshhell-award-ceremony/

    It’s the least I can do.

  16. Lori O on September 16th, 2008 1:40 pm

    we used baby oil, left it on overnite, and it worked! I did it about once every couple days for a week or two (messy, yes!) but it worked! I know this is gross but once the oil was soaked in, I used my finger nail to lightly scrape off the flakes. But I also love peeling sunburns, so this may have been more for my benefit than my daughter’s…

  17. 1 on June 13th, 2012 7:32 am


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