Why Does My Baby Keep Scratching Its Head Often?

Why Does My Baby Keep Scratching Its Head Often?


Has your newborn started rubbing his head till bled? Sometimes parents have to face most frustrating situations with a baby who scratches head. There may be many reasons for it, but it seems difficult to figure out the exact reason behind it.

Some babies scratch their heads like crazy, and they do it mainly at night. It may cause red patches or bleeding in the scalp. What may be the reason behind it? Is it eczema, itchy skin, food allergy or any other reason?

If you hate to see your baby in pain, then this guide may be very helpful for you. It helps to deal with the problem of baby scratching head. There are some general techniques and treatments that may help ease the itchy skin that causes your baby to scratch his/her head. Let’s find out the reason behind scratching head and more.

Reasons behind Baby Head Scratching

Baby Keep Scratching Its Head

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1. Natural Response

Head scratching is a very natural reaction to the itchy or dry skin. It happens often, but if your baby scratches his/her head more than few times in a day; it may be a serious issue. It is a signal that something wrong is probably going on.

When a baby scratches his head, it can be his signal to you that he needs something? When he gets tired or feels hungry, he scratches his head. It can be the dry skin of head due to season change that can compel him to scratch his head. You need to change his lotion when the season changes.

2. Eczema

It is also known as atopic dermatitis, which causes inflamed and itchy skin and often starts in early years. Skin acts as a barrier to dust, pollen, and many more environmental irritants but when baby has eczema, his skin acts as a sieve and lets these irritants pass through it. These dangerous irritants enter into body and attack immune system of baby and trigger itchy rash and inflammatory mode. Some kids may be more susceptible to eczema due to genetic reasons.

3. Itchy Skin

A baby may develop an itchy scalp for various reasons like soap, cradle cap, lotion, powder, and shampoo. These baby products irritate the skin to develop conditions such as eczema or atopic dermatitis. Baby’s itchy scalp needs quick treatment as it can lead serious issues such as open sores painful rash, bleeding, inflammation and skin infection.

4. Allergy

Baby Keep Scratching Its Head

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It may occur due to detergent sensitivity, fabric sensitivity, food allergy and much more.

5. Much Hair

If your baby has much hair or dry skin, then it may be the reason behind itchy scalp.

6. Bathing Routine


Your baby can get an itchy or inflammatory scalp from irritation during bathing. Using hot water or washing hair every day can cause irritation.

Tips to Avoid/Prevent Baby Head Scratching

  • Trim your baby’s nail right now: Trim his nails, so there’s less chance of head scratching and bleeding.
  • Use cotton gloves: You can also put cotton gloves on your baby's hands at night. It prevents baby from head scratching.
  • Use soft fabric: Baby with Eczema needs to wear comfortable clothing like light synthetic and cotton fabric. You can use head caps with light fabric as these fabrics are more breathable than irritating wool or heavy fabrics.
  • Distract your baby: When your baby starts scratching head, try to distract her/him. You can offer him some toys or food item to keep him engaged and forget head scratching.
  • Frequent moisturizing is a must: You should choose safe, natural and gentle baby moisturizer to moisturize your baby’s skin many times a day. Dry skin may be the reason of itching so that little hydration can cure it. A natural moisturizer may help to stop the itching cycle. Keep an eye on all the baby products which work well on baby’s skin.
  • Use plain water for washing baby’s head and back: If your baby doesn’t have a sign of eczema, then there may be some allergic reactions that cause head scratching. You should use plain water to wash your baby’s head as there might be some allergic components (soap, shampoo, lotion) responsible for the itch.
  • Consult with your pediatrician: If head scratching has become a serious issue, then you should consult with your pediatrician. He helps you rule out the exact reason behind it. Rashes, allergies, and eczema are common among babies and often associated with each other. You and your pediatrician together can handle the situation. You can go the traditional route by noting down everyday routine of your child when he scratches his head. If your kid has detected with eczema, then you need to try comfortable clothing.
Why Does My Baby Keep Scratching Its Head Often

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Many parents try to skip their baby’s bath in winter season as they think it dries out baby’s skin. But bathing is compulsory as it keeps your baby’s skin moist and clean. It also keeps away the germs that cause infection or itching. Washing your baby’s hair before bed helps to get rid of irritants and allergens that accumulate on his hair and skin.

Wash baby’s hair about once or twice a week as more frequent hair washing can lead irritation and dry out the scalp. You can rinse your baby’s hair with lukewarm water every day, but don’t use shampoo and hot water every day. These are all about causes behind baby head scratching. This guide can help those parents who are clueless about the actual reason behind their child’s frustration and irritation.


Baby’s skin is highly sensitive and is in growing phase. It is in the process of adapting itself to the surroundings. It comes in contact with various substances, such as dust particles, soap, shampoo, etc. Skin of body has less hair as compared to the head. Therefore, these particles stay on scalp for more time than on remaining skin. This may cause itching or irritation in baby’s scalp. The skin may show allergic symptoms such as rashes and baby may start itching that part to get some relief from irritation. This may lead to some scars or mild wounds on baby’s scalp. It is very necessary to take care of this and maintain proper hygiene and skin care of the baby.

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