We know, you can't help but think how unsightly that baby bald spot on the back of their head is, you ask yourself if it hurts and maybe if you did something you shouldn't have.
Well worry not mama! It's fairly usual for babies and infants to lose hair due to friction, this condition is known as friction alopecia.
Babies sleep up to 17 hours a day so it's common for bald patches to develop due to the friction between the back of their head and the surface they lie on resulting in their delicate hair being tugged and eventually pulled out.
The NHS and the Lullaby Trust as well as other child health organisations in the UK recommend that babies always sleep on their backs in order to reduce the risk of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) which means friction alopecia is likely to occur within the first 12 months since birth.
Luckily, in most cases, baby bald patches are temporary and there are steps you can take to prevent them from forming as well as to promote hair regrowth where they already exist.
Read on as we've listed below the most effective methods, so that you can rest easy knowing that your little one’s hair is taken care of whether they sleep or keep you up at night!
1. SWITCH TO SILK
You should switch to silk because it helps prevent baby bald spots by reducing the friction on your baby’s head. Cotton, bamboo and other fabrics can tug and pull on delicate baby hair, but the long strands and tightly woven nature of silk creates a smooth surface that allows your baby's hair to glide effortlessly and unharmed.
The smooth surface of silk is the best environment for baby's scalp being naturally hydrating, thermal regulating, hypoallergenic, moisture wicking and antimicrobial, making it ideal for those experiencing skin conditions such as friction alopecia, cradle cap, baby acne, skin rashes, eczema, and dermatitis amongst others.
BeddyByes 22-momme mulberry Silk Moses Basket & Carrycot Fitted Sheets, Silk Cotbed Fitted Sheets, Silk Universal Travel Slips, as well as our Silk Hats and Silk Pillowcases have been specifically designed and tested to reduce friction, prevent bald patches and to promote hair regrowth.
2. BRUSH BEFORE BED
It's important to ensure baby's tangle-free before nodding off, that way you are one step ahead in the prevention game! By lightly brushing your baby’s hair before bedtime you can minimise knots that turn into matts and eventually rub off (creating bald patches) while baby is sleeping.
Just make sure you use a product designed especially for delicate hair and skin, like a baby brush or comb. For a newborn, you should be looking for ultra-soft bristles, these can be synthetic or natural, like boar or goat. We recommend soft nylon bristles for a delicate brush.
3. ALTERNATE SLEEPING SIDES
As well as having your baby sleep on silk, you can also help to prevent newborn hair loss by slightly adjusting your baby’s head during their sleep. Once a sleep routine is established, if your baby tends to face a specific side when you put them down to sleep it can lead to repeated friction and pressure on the same area.
Try alternating your baby head's position, to ensure there isn’t too much friction and pressure on one area of the head, this helps to prevent not only bald patches, but also flat spots.
4. ENCOURAGE TUMMY TIME
Once your baby is able to hold their head up, you’ll be able to get them off their back, when awake, for supervised tummy time and also make use of baby carriers and slings. We strongly encourage tummy time to prevent hair loss and flat spots as per step 3, but also, for neck strength, growth and muscular development.
When your bub gets a little bit older, they’ll naturally want to roll over more and keep their own head up, which will allow even more time for their hair to grow back.
5. AVOID NASTY CHEMICALS
Try to avoid washing your baby’s hair too often. Your baby's hair doesn’t actually need shampoo or conditioner as it's perfectly capable of self-cleaning. Rinsing with just water is a great option as it leaves the healthy natural oils where they belong, promotes hair and scalp hydration, and makes the hair less susceptible to knotting and breakage. Also, baby’s skin is 30% thinner than adult skin, meaning it is much more permeable and susceptible to harsh chemicals.
Our top tip is to make sure your baby's skin only comes into contact with fabrics and textile which us OEKO-TEX® certification. Our range of silk products is OEKO-TEX® Standard 100 certified which means all our products are free from harmful dyes and chemicals so you can rely on BeddyByes for quality and safety.
6. OTHER REASONS FOR HAIR LOSS
Some newborns can experience cradle cap, a condition that makes skin dry, with flaky scab-like scales which can cause discomfort, itchiness and balding as a result of the hair getting tangled. Whilst this condition is not preventable, silk can help soothe the affected area as it provides an incredibly soft and frictionless surface.
While some parents may be tempted to use satin as a cheaper alternative, it's important to understand that satin is a synthetic and non-breathable fabric made out of polyester or rayon which often contains high levels of toxicity and can cause your baby to overheat. Extreme temperatures, whether hot or cold can cause approximately 10% of hair follicles to enter the resting stage of growth, which can mean more hair shedding than usual.
You may find that your baby is losing hair for hormonal reasons, which is completely normal in the first 6 months and also temporary, this condition is known as telogen effluvium. Hair goes through a growth phase and a resting phase, but after childbirth, hormone levels drop (for mum also), and this stress pushes large numbers of hair follicles into the resting phase, causing them to fall out within a few months.
Other conditions, such as hypothyroidism could also be the cause of baby hair falling out, however, these are quite 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 pediatrician so that they can check if there's an underlying problem.
If you made here, thank you, we really hope our top tips for bald spot prevention have been helpful and that we’ve put your mind at ease a little bit if your baby is losing hair.
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