Why Is My Baby Scratching Back Of His Head?

The habit of scratching the face and head done by babies is probably unintentional or involuntary. Uncontrolled hand motions usually cause this, and these scratches are often not a big deal. All you have to do is ensure they do not become infected.

However, if it appears that your child is intentionally scratching himself because he is itching, you should take action and address the issue.

Baby scratching is frequently caused by dryness, overwashing, and allergies. Eczema can be the likely cause as well. Make sure you record any persistent scratching you observe.

You should note what you feed your baby, their clothing, the detergent they use, and any other thing you put on their skin.

Remember that the skin on your child is a remarkable organ. It sheds constantly, regenerates, and creates the lovely tiny human standing before you.

 It’s also admirable that he has an innate urge to scratch himself when he has an itch. This is his way of telling you that something in his body requires your attention.

Your baby’s scratching can be addressed and treated with careful observation, note-taking, and patience.

Is It Normal For Babies To Scratch Their Heads?

Why Is My Baby Scratching Back Of His Head
Source: iStockphoto

Is it possible for a grownup to resist scratching an itch? In the same way that it is normal for a grownup to scratch an itch, it is also normal for a baby to do the same.

Babies experience a wide range of skin problems. They shed their delicate skin frequently and adjust steadily to the environment outside the womb.

These are the following things that can make a baby scratch his head: 

Too-Frequent Bathing

Your habit of trying to keep your child clean by giving him regular showers may be stripping his skin of its natural oils and resulting in dryness.

Harmful Chemicals In His Shampoo

They may also result in an itchy scalp if your baby has sensitive skin.


Dryness can occur if your baby’s skin loses moisture, a risk for baby skin. Your baby may feel uncomfortable, and he will have the urge to scratch the area due to dryness.


Eczema typically begins before one year of age. The sites where this eczema (dry and scaly rash) occurs on a baby’s skin frequently include feet, hand, scalp, cheek, or trunk.

Cradle Cap

A rash known as cradle cap can appear on the cheeks and scalp. Greasy, scaly areas can recognize it and often go away between the ages of 6 months and one year. However, it is essential to note that the cradle cap is typically not itchy, so it’s unlikely to be why your baby keeps scratching his body.


Signs of skin irritation will appear on your baby’s head if he is allergic to certain food or substance you give him. 

Baby Rubbing Head

Your baby will often rub his head when he feels the need to scratch it because these two sides go together. A newborn or toddler will do this when he needs to sleep because he is exhausted.

If you see him doing this regularly shortly before naps or bedtimes, especially if he keeps touching his eyes, it means he is exhausted.

Your Baby Will Sometimes Scratch His Head When He Is Upset

This is another cause of this scratching problem. Your child may scratch his head when he is agitated.

Indeed, it’s true that as they grow older, your child may start to scratch themselves to express their feelings. Your child wouldn’t intentionally do this. However, depending on age, a baby can still do this intentionally.

Nonetheless, we advise you to put your baby to bed on time and not allow him to skip a nap. This will help stop him from scratching his body. Also, keep an eye on him for signs like crying, yawning, somber mood, and rubbing of the eyes because these are indications that he is about to scratch himself.

Will Your Child’s Hair Be Affected By Scratching?

Scratching has no impact on the development of your child’s hair. However, you might notice bald patches if your infant starts pulling at their hair instead of just scratching it or if their hair is fragile and breaks easily when scratched.

You can go through one of our articles to learn how to make your child’s hair grow quickly, as well as items you can apply to it to help it grow faster and solve any issue he may have with his hair.

How Can You Stop Your Baby’s Head From Itching him?

We all know that infants can’t speak, so they won’t be able to tell you when feeling an itch. Therefore it will be up to you to ascertain what is causing the persistent scratching.

These can occur because your infant can be allergic to the soap you’re using to wash their hands, or it could be something they ate.

It can also be due to a sudden change in the temperature in the UK, or perhaps your infant feels too cool or too hot, causing their skin to react. Worst-case scenario, he might be in pain from eczema.

You need to find out the primary cause of this scratching to be able to help stop it. 

The most beneficial technique to stop this is keeping a log and recording each time you detect baby itching, which is one of the most helpful techniques to stop baby head scratching. 

Put down relevant details, such as what your kid ate last, what he is wearing, and any activities he may have been engaged in while documenting these events.

In time, you could see patterns that you hadn’t before, and as a result, you might be able to identify what is causing the itching.

Sadly, it’s not always simple to determine the cause of newborn scratches. So instead of speculating, you should probably take your child to a pediatrician to find out what might be causing the itchy scalp.

Suppose the pediatrician concludes that the itch is caused by eczema. In that case, it may be prudent to get eczema scratch mittens before adding gentle, all-natural moisturizing emollients to the baby’s daily routine.

Baby Scratching Head at Night

When a baby is tired, they frequently scratch their heads, so if you see signs of irritation or repeated eye rubbing, you should put the infant to bed. Of course, there are other, more typical causes for your infant to keep scratching his head, but for some infants, this is how they let you know they want to sleep.

When Should You Seek Professional Help?

Using over-the-counter remedies and keeping your baby’s skin hydrated can help reduce irritation. Make sure you see a doctor (pediatrician) if your baby continues scratching the back of his head, if it gets worse, or if any other symptoms emerge.

Here are a few other things that will indicate that you need to see a doctor: 

  • Over-the-counter remedies don’t work much better.
  • Medication prescribed for you stops working.
  • When your infant has a rash, their skin begins to ooze, bleed, form blisters or sores, or seems swollen; it could be an infection.
  • The skin has flat red patches on it.
  • Your baby keeps scratching multiple areas of his body.
  • A fever accompanies scratching.
  • If your infant appears to be extremely unhappy or won’t stop scratching
  • If anyone living in the home has been identified as having had chickenpox, cold sores (herpes simplex), lice, or any other type of skin infection.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Can You Tell When Your Baby Has Eczema?

Here are the few signs and symptoms of eczema you should watch out for in your baby: 

  • Red ring-shaped patches 
  • His skin will be thick & leathery
  • Dry or scaly skin
  • The area oozes whenever it is scratched 
  • Red & itchy skin
  • There will be patches on his scalp, forehead, and cheeks.

How Can The Scratch On My Baby’s Face Be Treated? 

Your baby’s injuries from scratching are usually small and will heal within a few days without bandaging. However, if he gives himself a deep wound from scratch, you can take care of him by following these steps:

  • Clean the area of the wound with care but do it thoroughly. Don’t use a cotton ball for this because it can adhere to it; use a cloth or a wipe instead.
  • Dry the area by patting it.
  • Apply a moisturizer or an antibacterial to the area.
  • Try not to use a bandage at night unless your baby cannot access the region. For instance, a bandage underneath a pair of zip-up pajamas is acceptable, but not one on their face or finger because it could come off and present a choking risk.
  • Ensure you check the bandage frequently if you use one to ensure it isn’t sloppy or loose. 

What Should I Do If My Child Has Herpes Simplex (Cold Sore)?

Cold sores, also known as herpes simplex, can be very dangerous to infants, especially those under 6 months.

These blisters, which are frequently accompanied by fever, can also be itchy, and they should be examined by a doctor (pediatrician) right away. In addition, to ensure your child does not contract these cold sores, instruct anyone who comes close to your child not to kiss him.


Learning to grab is among the milestone in every child’s development. Watching them explore their environments by grabbing and releasing while their sensory abilities start to grow is very cute.

They will learn to grab any object close to them with their tiny, immature hands. For example, they will grab toys like their hair, feet, and hands. 

However, a problem may be if your child performs a repeated activity frequently, such as scratching his head.

Most of the time, parents often wave it off and assume it’s nothing essential and merely a little habit of their child.

But you might be surprised to learn that persistent scratching & tugging could be the early symptoms of a far more dangerous sickness than you initially believed. Therefore always see a pediatrician whenever you notice persistent scratching by your baby.

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