When will my newborn stop scratching his head?

The potential underlying factors for your newborn's itchy scalp.

Photo: Vesivus/iStockphoto

Q: My son is four months old and is constantly scratching his head, even when we try to put those cute little mitts on him to prevent nicks. When will he outgrow this habit?

A: Have a healthcare professional check the baby to make sure he doesn’t have any underlying reasons for the itching, such as eczema or cradle cap. I suggest using plain water for washing the baby’s back and head, as there might be an allergic component to the itch. Trim his nails so there’s less chance of scratching. If no rashes are present, it’s possible that your baby might just be getting to know his body. Curiosity is part of an infant’s natural development.

A version of this article appeared in our September 2012 issue with the headline “Ask our expert: Newborn,” p. 80. Want to talk to other parents about this issue? Join the “Baby Health” board in our forums.