Cradle cap – a thick yellow, greasy layer of crusts on the baby’s scalp – is a common occurrence. Although many parents blame themselves if this happens, it does not reflect poor hygiene. If it is mild and patchy, no treatment is needed; but if it is extensive, it may spread to nearby skin, resulting in red, scaly and inflamed areas and cracked skin, particularly behind the ears. Cradle cap can be removed by the application of almond or olive oil. This loosens the crusts and allows them to be lifted off gently with a comb. The hair and scalp can then be washed. Regular careful washing and drying behind the ears, and a little oil or cream at the first sign of trouble help to prevent this condition.