When my first baby was born I learned so much more about babies that I didn’t know beforehand and I honestly don’t think that there was any good way to prepare for it. No matter how many times I read What to Expect When Expecting, things still came up that either weren’t in the book, or required further explanation. Meanwhile, all these new things are happening and you’re trying to figure it (and them) all out.
You start to question everything… What if I’m doing something wrong? What does that cry REALLY mean?
The first few months are trying, but as with everything else in life, with time comes experience. Your child doesn’t come with a personalized set of directions and every child is different. The more you delve into the world of parenting (and Google), the more you learn.
Two things that I remember scaring me with my first born were Mongolian Spots/Marks and Cradle Cap. Before becoming a mother, I don’t remember ever hearing about either of the two and my initial reaction to both was one of alarm. I’m so thankful for my patient pediatrician and nurse friend who held my hand (through repeated visits) and helped me learn about these (and other) issues that freaked me out! If I can save you some time (so you can get some rest instead) I’d love to, so here’s:
The Easiest Natural Solution for Cradle Cap and Ear Crud
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Before we get into natural solutions for cradle cap, I just wanted to touch on Mongolian Spots/Marks- to ease any anxiety new parents might have when they see them. (You couldn’t even imagine my reaction when I first saw them!)
Mongolian Marks (congenital dermal melanocytosis) are dark blue/gray blotches or birthmarks found on a baby’s back or bum sometime within 2 months after birth. They are hereditary, cause no harm, and are merely a birthmark- but at first sight, they are horrifying to a new parent. They disappear during childhood and don’t require any treatment.
When I first noticed them, it looked like my daughter had sustained multiple fist-size bruises on her back. I immediately thought it was an internal issue, so I rushed her to the pediatrician. Turns out it’s totally normal and with time they disappear. Crisis avoided. If you suspect your child has these, it’s definitely worth a visit to the doctor, though- just to make sure. 😉
Cradle Cap was difficult for me. I kept my baby clean and didn’t understand why she was getting it. What was I doing wrong?! A Google search led me to believe that if I didn’t take care of it sooner than later, she would suffer hair loss and bald spots that could effect her scalp for the rest of her life. YIKES!
A Nurse Practitioner at my pediatrician’s office told me that it was totally normal (not a result of poor hugiene), and was just a build up of oils on the baby’s head. She recommended Neutrogena T-Gel to get rid of it. Not knowing anything as a new parent, I took her advice and used that on my poor baby. It smelled awful and was wayyyyy too harsh for her little head and hair. This dandruff treatment might work well for adults, but I do not recommend it for babies! I turned to a nurse friend of mine who told me that she had a natural and easy way to get rid of it… olive oil.
There are five reasons olive oil is the best natural cradle cap solution for your baby:
- It’s natural
- It’s inexpensive and chances are, you already have some on hand.
- It turns the flakes yellow- making it TONS easier to see them.
- It lifts the flakes for you, making removal SO EASY.
- It can be done during bath time- so there’s no mess or stains and baby is relaxed while you’re doing it.
How to Remove Cradle Cap Naturally
1) Place baby in the bath in a lying position or bath chair. You want them to be comfortable, but you also need to have access to and a good view of their whole head.
2) Apply a decent amount of olive oil on your baby’s head, avoiding their eyes. What do I mean by decent? Well, enough that it will soak in well, but not too much that it will drip into their eyes (another reason they need to be in a laid-back position.
3) Let it soak in for 10 minutes, while you enjoy relaxing bath time with the baby. The longer you wait, the more the olive oil does most of the work by lifting the flakes for easy removal.
4) Using a soft-bristle toothbrush or baby brush, gently lift out the yellow flakes. The olive oil turns those hard-to-see-when-they’re-wet cradle cap flakes yellow, so you can see them and gently lift them out with a toothbrush.
5) When you don’t see any more flakes, you’re done! You can go ahead and wash baby’s head as normal. (I found this Organic Baby Shampoo for Cradle Cap that you might want to look into to keep the flakes away.)
I only remember doing this on 2 or 3 occassions, as it was so effective. I love that you could see the flakes so easily and get them off just as easy with the olive oil.
With my boys (for some reason this has never happened with my daughter), I notice that from time to time, they develop this dry skin or what I like to call “crud” behind or in their ears. At first, I’d attack the “crud” with a washcloth, soap, and force. This wasn’t very comfortable for them (it hurt) and wasn’t effective at all.
I got to thinking about it and decided to try the same method that gets cradle cap off and sure enough- it worked! The only difference is that with the ear crud, it’s very visible (normally a brownish crud) so I don’t need to turn it yellow to see it. So I actually use fractionated coconut oil to get it off. I also don’t have to wait the 10 minutes because it’s instantly effective. BAM!
Learning As We ALL Grow
One thing I can thank my first born for is giving me experience. We (as parents) go through everything with our first-borns and growing with them is a way of developing your parenting skills. As I mentioned before, with time comes experience. Asking for help or advice is never a bad thing when it comes to caring for your baby because there are so many parents out there that can offer great advice!
For more New Mom tips and tricks, check out: 10 Ways to Get Your Newborn on a Sleep Schedule and 7 Tips to Survive the First Month with a Newborn. If you need some recommendations on baby products, also check out 10 Smart Baby Buys.Check out this easy and natural way to combat Cradle Cap! #momlife Click To Tweet
What new situation were you introduced to by your baby? What other natural remedies for common ailments can you suggest?