Cradle Cap in Babies: Everything A New Mom Needs To Know

Cradle Cap in Babies

When my son was just around 5 months old, I remember waking up one day and being scared because I saw a small dry skin patch on his scalp. Before I could fathom what it was, it started spreading rapidly. Now I have a really bad dry skin and I thought the poor little thing has inherited that from me. (Although I later realized he actually did a bit). I remember calling my sister frantically but she calmed me down saying it happens to almost all babies and I shouldn’t worry. And honestly away it went, albeit after 2-3 months.

Later I realized its called cradle cap (cradle – because it happens when the baby is still in the cradle and cap – because it mostly occurs on the scalp and covers most of it)

How to identify cradle cap in babies

You will notice small yellow flaky skin on the scalp. Sometimes it could be in the diaper areas or on the back, behind the ear etc. This doesn’t cause any pain to the baby but it looks very scary, especially to a new mom.

What causes cradle cap in babies

As with many newborn related things, doctors don’t understand the exact reasons for this. But there are two most common reasons as to why it happens –

  • Baby’s oil glands make excess oil and then don’t know what to do and it starts creating this baby dandruff.
  • In a few extreme cases, it’s also thought the mother’s hormones play a role and for a few extreme cases, a temporary stop in breastfeeding is recommended by the pediatricians.

 How to take care of cradle cap in babies

In most of the cases, the cradle cap goes away just the way it came. While it’s there, we should wash the baby’s scalp more often than we normally would with gentle baby soap. A gentle massage on the scalp loosens the dandruff and then post-wash, you should just gently brush the scalp with a baby brush so the dandruff starts falling off. Just a little oil in the scalp helps too. So maybe 2-3 drops of coconut oil should be enough. Also keeping the baby’s scalp dry and free of sweat is important.

In severe cases, cradle cap can be the starting of something more serious like eczema. So if you have a family history of eczema, and you think your baby’s case is one of the really severe ones, please go to your pediatrician. He might suggest for a steroid ointment to be put in the scalp. But these are rare cases and hopefully, it should go away.

In a few cases, it’s the allergy to milk which causes this. As the milk carries the mother’s hormones leading to a much worse case of cradle cap. This isn’t exactly lactose intolerance, but an allergy to milk. So when the cradle cap is cured, the milk can probably be restarted.

But these steps should be taken only in the pediatrician’s advice.

Anyway, this too shall pass. So new moms don’t forget to enjoy your baby and have fun with parenting!

Colic Pain in Babies : Causes, Facts And Home Remedies

Colic Pain in Babies

The most common question we hear from new mothers is – My baby is crying and I don’t know why. I just fed her, she’s slept well, her diaper is clean and I can’t seem to calm her down. The answer to this, more often than not is ‘colic pain’.

What is colic pain – A 3-5 month old baby crying for longer period of times for reasons not included as cited above.

What are the causes – Since the babies have restricted movement, when they drink milk, they trap the gas which can cause a stomach spasm. Also since their digestive system is growing, the muscles can cause spasms. In some cases, it could be indigestion which may or may not be due to allergy to lactose. Sometimes, on breastfed babies, a mother’s diet also has an effect. If you are eating something which is difficult to digest, the baby can also feel indigested.

How can we help – our community of experienced Indian mothers suggest these 5 home remedies to deal with colic pain in babies:

  1. Burping the baby after every feed is one of the best ways to relieve the baby of the pain. Just carry the baby on your shoulders in vertical position and lightly tap on the back. This helps in releasing the trapped gas in the form of burp. Also the closeness to you helps in calming the baby.
  2. A light tummy massage either dry or with some castor oil, powdered cumin seeds help too. Cycling movement of the legs also helps in releasing the trapped gas.
  3. Some suggest giving gripe water, the age old remedy (remember that advert saying ‘kya hua baccha kyuun ro raha hai?’ where every generation suggests giving the gripe water). A lot of pediatricians don’t recommend giving it these days, but if you decide to give, make sure to check the list of ingredients mentioned on the label and it’s a big no if they contain alcohol, sodium bicarbonate, artificial sweetener. Try getting a brand which has natural ingredients like fennel, dill seed oil etc. These ingredients help aid the digestion.
  4. In case of breastfed babies, if the mother eats lots of greens, that helps with the babies’ digestion.
  5. If none of it helps, please talk to your pediatrician, he might prescribe some colicaid drops. That should help too.

Our favorite amongst all was eating a lot of greens, it does you and your baby tons of good and definitely has no side effects. Make sure atleast one meal of yours each day has greens in them.

Do let us know in the comments below which out of the 5 remedies worked for you!