11 Best Cradle Cap Shampoo Options [And My Top Pick!]

After birth, a newborn can face a couple of things while adjusting to the world around them. This includes Cradle Cap. This condition is easily remedied at home with the use of cradle cap shampoo and proper bathing and drying. Newborn skin is fragile as it adjusts and the baby grows. Cradle cap, also known as baby dandruff, is more bothersome to the parents than the baby. There aren’t many physical symptoms aside from dry skin and scaly patches.

We made this guide to highlight the top 10 best cradle cap shampoos! They will help you help your newborn transition into the infant stage with a clear scalp. These shampoos can also help with cradle cap through your child’s first few years, working to balance the scalp’s oil production and keep their skin clear.

What is cradle cap?

Cradle cap (also known as seborrheic dermatitis) is a condition newborns can experience on their scalp. This condition causes rough, scaly, or dry patches on the baby’s scalp. It is common for new babies and basically baby dandruff. Cradle Cap got its name because babies typically exhibit the symptoms on the top of their head, where a cap covers.

Many babies experience cradle cap! It is no cause for concern. However, you can treat it at home with shampoo which will help reduce the symptoms. A doctor’s visit is only necessary if shampoo and home remedies don’t seem to resolve the baby’s symptoms. The cause of cradle cap isn’t completely understood but many doctors think the rough patches appear due to an increase in oil production. 

How a Cradle Cap Shampoo Helps

Cradle cap shampoo helps alleviate and reduce your baby’s symptoms by helping to keep the scalp clean and hydrated. Cradle cap shampoo can also help keep the oil in the baby’s scalp balanced to reduce the build-up that can create the condition.

Start by using traditional baby shampoo two to three times a week. If this doesn’t help you can try fragrance-free baby shampoo. These tend to be milder and more gentle on the baby’s skin. There are also several cradle cap specific shampoos available, which is the best way to help clear up your baby’s cradle cap and prevent it from recurring.

Using a shampoo with cradle cap treatment helps to reduce baby dandruff and keeps the scalp clean while helping to balance oil production. During bath time make sure to fully rinse your baby’s scalp and hair, as leftover shampoo can clog the pores.

 Also, take time to dry your baby’s hair completely and brush the hair to keep the scalp dry. You may find that using a soft knit cap during the day helps as well. 

The 11 Best Cradle Cap Shampoos

1. Tubby Todd Hair & Body Wash & All Over Ointment – The Clear Winner!

Tubby Todd was created by a mom whose child had extreme eczema. She created an all-natural line of products that is simply amazing. We have used it on our daughter for her eczema and my nephew for his cradle cap. In both cases, Tubby Todd cured eczema and cradle cap in a day. 

4 Easy Steps to Cure Cradle Cap with Tubby Todd

  1. Use Tubby Todd Hair & Body Wash in the Bath (a dime size will do)
  2. After bathtime, dry your baby off and gently brush his head with a soft-bristled baby brush.
  3. Just before bed, smear a good bit of Tubby Todd’s All Over Ointment on your baby’s head where he has dry skin. Don’t worry if it gets on Baby’s hair!
  4. Morning Bath to Remove Residue: If needed, bathe your babe again in the morning to scrub off any residue from the ointment.

2. Mustela Foam Shampoo + Cradle Cap Cream

This foam shampoo by Mustela is a go-to for many first-time parents because of the natural ingredients. The 99% natural ingredients are formulated specifically for newborns and work to cleanse a baby’s hair while reducing cradle cap. The foam is less drying than other thicker shampoos and the tear-free shampoo with avocado helps to rinse away flakes and protect the baby’s scalp to avoid future dry patches.

Mustela also offers a cradle cap cream that works in tandem with this shampoo to help hydrate and protect the scalp. This is a good cradle cap shampoo to treat scalps, but it may be a bit too expensive to use as a daily shampoo once the condition clears.

3. Dr. Eddie’s Happy Cappy Medicated Cradle Cap Shampoo

This medicated shampoo was formulated by a pediatrician to help reduce common skin conditions like cradle cap. Most pediatricians can recommend traditional dandruff shampoos to help reduce cradle cap. However, this is the first shampoo for children under 5 to include the same common active ingredient in a more baby-friendly formula. In addition to being a shampoo, this is a body wash. It helps to reduce many dry, flaky, red skin conditions from the scalp to armpits, skin folds, and behind the ears. This is a great shampoo and body wash option to help reduce all sorts of skin conditions. You can use this product daily or 2 to 3 times a week depending on the cradle cap. Once the skin conditions clear it’s a good idea to use Dr. Eddie’s daily shampoo.

4. Burt’s Bees Baby Shampoo and Body Wash

Burt’s Bees Baby is a common brand known for its natural products that work well with sensitive skin. While this brand doesn’t have a cradle cap specific shampoo, the natural and gentle ingredients in the baby shampoo and body wash can help to keep the baby’s skin soft and clear. This shampoo is gentle enough for everyday use. Making this a good option once the cradle cap has cleared, or to use before dry flaky skin is seen on the scalp. The shampoo is a foam, which can wash away more easily and can help to cleanse the scalp and skin without overdrying or clogging pores.

5. CeraVe Baby Wash and Shampoo

Many dermatologists recommend CeraVe for soothing many skin conditions, and the baby wash and shampoo can be a great daily use option or go-to for bath time. The tear-free shampoo formula makes it easy to use with babies and young children, while the ingredients were chosen to help hydrate and protect the skin. The ceramides in this CeraVe product help restore and maintain the skin’s natural protective barrier, and the added vitamins moisturize any skin that needs a little help. This is a great daily use product to use with the baby because the ingredients work to keep the baby’s skin hydrated in addition to helping with dry patches.

6. Aquaphor Baby Wash and Shampoo

Many dermatologists recommend Aquaphor, as their product line works to hydrate skin and give dry skin nourishment. This baby wash and shampoo is fragrance-free and is formulated to be kind to gentle skin. This is a great option for babies with sensitive skin, as the ingredients are gentle and work to cleanse the skin, including the scalp while providing protective ingredients to keep the skin clear and hydrated. The shampoo and body wash helps clear the skin without drying and is a lighter formula to allow the suds to rinse completely without drying or stripping the skin.

7. Weleda 2 in 1 Gentle Shampoo and Body Wash

Another more natural brand is Weleda, known for its quality ingredients and natural approach. This shampoo and body wash gently cleanses, nourishes, and protects. The all-natural ingredients offer a safe product for tear-free use, easy-to-comb hair, and hydrated and protected skin after every wash. This product is very skin-friendly and is a good option for sensitive skin, including that affected by cradle cap. This is a good option for a daily use product that can reduce cradle cap and help support sensitive and dry skin.

8. Cetaphil Baby Wash and Shampoo

Some families look for a more luxurious lather for each bath and Cetaphil Baby provides just that. This product is a more creamy or thick shampoo than the foam options. However, it also delivers a gentle clean that is safe to use with sensitive skin and won’t overdry. The shampoo rinses completely which is great for dry skin and the thicker lather can help hydrate, leaving your baby with clean fresh skin. This is a very accessible and readily available shampoo that can help prevent cradle cap as well as hydrate delicate and sensitive skin.

9. Babyganics Conditioning Fragrance-Free Shampoo and Body wash

There are several more organic and natural brands available, and Babyganics delivers a solid and safe shampoo and body wash. This shampoo uses natural ingredients to keep the baby safe and protected with plant-based ingredients and oils. The extra gentle formula is safe to use on infants as well as toddlers. This is definitely the product and the brand for babies with sensitive skin. Plus, it’s a great option to use on babies with the beginning signs of cradle cap to provide a natural shampoo to cleanse the skin.

10. Baby Bum Shampoo and Body Wash

Baby Bum is a popular brand of sunscreen that many families use to protect their children’s skin from the sun. They now have a shampoo and body wash to help keep baby’s skin clear as well! The shampoo and body wash has been formulated specifically for small children, babies, toddlers, and kids. This is a reliable shampoo you can use for years. The lightweight foaming wash keeps the baby’s skin clean without being too drying or heavy. The plant-based ingredients make this a very hypoallergenic option that many doctors recommend.

11. The Honest Company Purely Fragrance-Free Shampoo and Body Wash

Lastly is The Honest Company. Many families are choosing this brand because of its natural focus and simple delivery. There are clean, quality ingredients in each product. This fragrance-free shampoo and body wash provides a simple, clean, and safe option for your baby. You can use this formula head to toe and it is gentle enough to use daily on the most sensitive skin. The ingredients were chosen to clean and hydrate, leaving your baby soft, clean, and moisturized.

Cradle cap is a common infant condition that many babies experience. Having a dry scalp with flakes or red bumps can easily be remedied with a quality shampoo to help hydrate and balance the baby’s oil production. These top 10 cradle cap shampoos offer something for everyone, from a concentrated medicated shampoo to a daily shampoo.

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