Some babies come into this world as bald beauties while others have heaps of hair. The amount of hair your baby sports has much to do with genetics. While parents may be eager to speed up a baby's hair growth -- especially if there isn't any at all -- there's no way to do so. Within the first few months of baby's arrival, it's natural for hair loss to occur because of hormone levels and the rapid rate at which a baby grows. While you can't make a healthy baby's hair grow, it is crucial to take care of your baby's scalp -- and schedule -- in the meantime.
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Give your baby supervised "tummy times" at various points throughout the day. According to Dr. Stephen Muething, associate director of Clinical Services in General and Community Pediatrics at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, babies who constantly lie on their backs can develop a flat spot and lose a patch of hair because of mattress contact. Avoid this hair-loss problem by starting tummy time during baby's second week at home. Position the baby on his stomach for about 15 seconds and build up from there.
Pour a pea-sized amount of mild baby shampoo onto your baby's scalp. Add a tiny bit of warm water and gently massage the scalp in circles with your fingertips. This rids the scalp of dirt and oil and also stimulates the hair follicles. Rinse with warm water and pat dry with a soft, clean towel. A healthy baby scalp should look soft with no redness or oozing.
Brush away cradle cap on a daily basis during the shampoo process. Use a soft baby brush or tooth brush and gently massage away white flakes in the opposite direction the hair grows, if baby has any. This keeps the scalp healthy so that new hair growth isn't stifled.
Feed baby on a flexible schedule to ensure she gets the necessary vitamins and minerals for healthy hair growth. Thiamine, or vitamin B-1, helps convert food into energy that is needed for healthy skin and hair. Biotin, or vitamin B-7, is also important to the hair growth cycle. In addition, vitamin A helps the production and regulation of hormones, which can influence hair growth in babies. Ask your doctor if you or your baby needs supplements as they relate to breast- or formula-feeding routines and your baby's nutrition.
Visit a board-certified dermatologist if your baby's hair does not grow in before he is 2 years old. He may have an autoimmune disorder such as alopecia areata, hypothyroidism or a fungal infection that requires treatment. Deficiencies can be diagnosed with blood work, and the proper treatment can be started.
- Baby Zone: Managing Your Baby's Hair
- Baby Center: Baby Hair Loss
- Parenting: Baby Milestones: 0 to 4 months: No-Cry Tummy-Time Secrets
- St. Josephs/Candler: Keeping Your Baby Clean
- University of Maryland Medical Center : Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)
- Oregon State University: Vitamin A
- Harvard: Listing of Vitamins
- Progressive Health: Hair Growth and Hair Loss