By Dr. Eddie Valenzuela

Cradle cap, crib cap, dandruff, or seborrheic dermatitis. Whatever you call it, this skin condition affects almost half of all children under the age of six. While most cases of “cradle cap” tend to diminish or disappear before your baby’s first birthday, it is still possible for your child to develop this skin condition in later years.

Does my toddler have cradle cap?

If your toddler has yellow patches of skin that appear greasy, crusty, dry, flaky, or scaly, he or she may have “cradle cap.” It may also show up as red and moist skin along skin folds. Symptoms are most likely to occur along the scalp and behind the ears (like a cap). However, it can also appear under the eyebrows, around the nose, along the diaper area, on armpits, or in other creases and folds of skin where skin oils are produced in high concentrations. In older toddlers and children, “cradle cap” may also show up as itchy and irritated scalp with white flakes, commonly referred to as dandruff.

How to treat cradle cap on toddlers

In general, “cradle cap” is a harmless condition and can be easily managed with proper care and products. Following a few basic tips and using a Pyrithione Zinc shampoo for toddlers can help to ease and prevent symptoms.

Steps for reducing symptoms of cradle cap on toddlers:

  1. Brush. Don’t pick or scratch at skin patches. This can cause cuts or scrapes that can later become irritated or infected. Instead, purchase a soft brush to gently brush away unsightly flakes.
  2. Wash. Keeping the scalp clean with a kids cradle cap shampoo is essential to soothing symptoms and preventing future outbreaks. Be sure the medicated shampoo and body wash is designed with toddlers in mind and doesn’t contain other ingredients that could be harmful to your baby.
  3. Moisturize. If the skin seems dry, keep the area well moisturized using a gentle, irritant free moisturizing product. The majority of pediatricians do not advise using oils, such as coconut, olive, or almond oil. Baby oil is also rarely suggested.

Cradle Cap shampoo for toddlers

Traditional dandruff shampoos and other seborrheic dermatitis washes usually contain additional chemicals that may be too harsh and damaging to your baby’s skin, possibly causing further irritation and adverse reactions.

seborrheic dermatitis shampoo for toddlers shouldn’t contain unnatural fragrances, dyes, sulfates, BPA, parabens, alcohol, or other irritating, synthetic ingredients. It should contain pyrithione zinc, as this is the most common ingredient used by pediatricians to battle symptoms of “cradle cap” and dandruff, and is found to be safe and gentle enough for young children. Of note, many  pediatricians refer to cradle cap by its technical name “seborrheic dermatitis.”

If your child has “cradle cap,” look for Dr. Eddie’s Happy Cappy Medicated Shampoo. This is the only medicated shampoo and body wash that is approved for children of all ages, with 95% natural, plant-based ingredients that are designed to gently cleanse, moisturize, and soothe symptoms of  seborrheic dermatitis on toddlers. Look for Happy Cappy products in select Walgreens and Buy Buy Baby stores nationwide. Happy Cappy is also found on, Amazon and