How Can I Help My Baby's Bald Spot?

Baby bald spot before and after Sleepy Silk

Reading time: 5 mins (with 1 min TL;DR abridged version)

TL;DR Summary
Short on time? Here’s an abridged version of the below blog article:

Why do babies lose hair?

  1. Due to friction from rubbing the backs of their heads on their bedding
  2. Hormonal changes that happen after childbirth
  3. Rarer conditions such as cradle cap, alopecia or hypothyroidism

What can I do to help my baby’s hair grow back?

  1. Switch to silk bedding to significantly reduce friction immediately. Use 100% pure Mulberry silk only, not synthetic satin – consider a silk sleeve if you’re after a more budget friendly alternative to a full silk fitted sheet
  2. As soon as your baby can hold their own head up, encourage lots of tummy time. Minimise the amount of time spent lying down by sitting them up, using baby carriers etc…
  3. Alternate your baby’s head position and also crib placement, so that there isn’t too much friction on one area of their head
  4. Wash your baby’s hair less frequently, cutting down to 2 - 3 times a week
  5. Gently brush or comb your baby’s scalp to increase circulation. This promotes blood flow to their hair follicles and stimulates hair growth. Applying extra-virgin coconut oil to their scalp 2 – 3 times a week also encourages circulation, as well as moisturises their skin


Why Do Babies Lose Their Hair?

The most common reason for hair loss in babies is friction. International child health organisations, including the American Academy of Paediatrics, recommend that babies sleep on their backs to reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Since babies spend a lot of time wriggling and rubbing the backs of their heads against their bedding, this friction results in their delicate hair being tugged and pulled out.

How Can I Help My Baby's Bald Spot?

This is a question we hear from parents all the time – even though it’s very normal for babies to experience newborn hair loss for a variety of reasons, it’s completely understandable that you want to do all you can to protect those precious tresses! Here are a few things you can do to protect their locks, reduce hair loss and prevent that unsightly baby bald spot at the back of their head.

1. Switch to Silk Bedding
Since friction is the main culprit of baby bald spots, you can minimise friction immediately by switching your little one’s bedding to pure silk. Cotton, bamboo and other fabrics can tug and knot bub’s delicate hair, whereas the long strands and tightly woven nature of premium Mulberry silk provides an incredibly soft and liquid smooth surface for baby to lie on, allowing their fine hair to glide effortlessly and unharmed.

Don’t be tempted to use a cheaper alternative such as satin, which is a synthetic and inferior fabric. If the cost of 100% silk sheets make them prohibitive and you’re in need of a more budget-friendly alternative, consider a Silk Bassinet Sleeve or Silk Crib Sleeve from Sleepy Silk instead. Rather than being a full sheet, these adjustable sleeves wrap around bub’s mattress to provide a silk surface in the area where their head would lay.
Silk Sleeves from Sleepy Silk – patented one-size-fits-all sleeves designed for both the bassinet and crib. These beautiful sleeves provide a silk surface for bub’s head to lay on, banishing those baby bald spots.
Silk Fitted Sheets from Sleepy Silk – patented adjustable full silk sheets designed for both the bassinet and crib. Perfect for particularly wriggly sleepers or for babies with eczema and other skin irritations.
Silk Lounger Covers from Sleepy Silk – patented one-size-fits-all silk cover to suit a variety of loungers. Now bub can lay on silk even when they’re awake! Also doubles as a fitted sheet for bassinets.

2. Encourage Tummy Time
As soon as bub is strong enough to hold their head up, you’ll be able to get them off their back for tummy time! There are many high contrast board books and fun sensory toys that can help encourage more tummy time from your little one. Try to play with bub sitting up rather than lying down whenever you can, and make use of baby carriers too. Minimising the amount of time your baby is on their back doesn’t just prevent bald patches, it’s also an essential part of their overall health and development.

3. Alternate Head Position and Crib Placement
To ensure that there isn’t too much friction and pressure on one area of their head, you can slightly adjust your baby’s head during their sleep. By alternating their head’s position, you’re not only preventing newborn hair loss, but also preventing the flat spots that can occur when there is too much pressure in one particular area. Be warned though, if your bub is a light sleeper then this tactic may be too high risk – better a bald and well rested baby than a grumpy bub with luscious locks!

You can also change up your baby’s positioning by alternating the end of the crib you place their head on when laying them down to sleep. Many babies enjoy facing out into the room, so switching up their crib placement will reduce the amount of time spent lying on one particular side.

4. Wash Hair Less Frequently
To minimise your baby’s hair loss, try washing their hair less. Newborns don’t need to have their hair washed every day, so cut down to 2 – 3 times a week instead. Most babies do not require their hair to be shampooed either, but if you do use a shampoo, pick a gentle, pH-neutral product.

5. Increase Circulation to the Scalp
Gently comb or brush bub’s scalp in order to encourage circulation. Increasing circulation in your baby’s scalp helps to promote blood flow to their hair follicles and stimulate hair growth. Be sure to only use gentle products specifically designed for baby’s delicate skin, and take care not to overbrush and cause more hair breakage.

You can also improve circulation by applying some extra-virgin coconut oil to their scalp 2 – 3 times a week,. Allow the oil to absorb for 15 – 20 minutes, then gently rinse out with warm water and lightly pat baby’s hair dry with a soft towel. As an added bonus, the coconut oil also moisturises their scalp and adds lustre and shine to their hair
Other Reasons for Hair Loss
You may find that your baby is losing hair for hormonal reasons. Hair goes through a growth phase and a resting phase, but hormone levels drop after childbirth, for both mum and bub. This stress pushes large numbers of hair follicles into the resting phase, causing them to fall out within a few months. This form of hair loss is called telogen effluvium and is a natural and temporary process.

Other conditions, such as cradle cap, alopecia or hypothyroidism could also be the cause of your baby’s hair loss, however these are more uncommon. More often than not, baby balding is the result of friction or hormone fluctuations, but if you’re concerned, mention your baby’s hair loss to their doctor so that they can check whether there’s an underlying cause requiring treatment.

Does Sleeping On Silk Really Work?
Wondering if your baby’s bald spot will grow back? Read more about why silk bedding works, and see the incredible difference that Sleepy Silk’s premium silk products have made for these previously balding babies!