Got a cheesy baby? Help is here

Got a cheesy baby? Help is here

I'll never forget the day I discovered *baby cheese* on my usually-beautiful-smelling baby 😟

I was going in to blow my usual raspberries on her chubby neck when I caught a whiff of something. I then noticed a red and mucky rash within her neck creases.

What I found is what's known as neck cheese, crease cheddar, fold-funk ... you get the picture.

Being over 4kg at birth she was adorned with some beautiful rolls. Yet it was these, combined with the typical poor neck control of a newborn, that made her the perfect candidate for the dreaded *baby cheese* in her neck area.


Firstly, any skin folds on baby that are constantly rubbing or in direct contact with each other can get irritated. Then you add in the 'special sauce' babies are prone to and you'll often have red, stinky, sour neck cheese soon after!

This 'special sauce' typically consists of baby drool, milk spills, spit-up and/or sweat trapped in the skin folds. 

Left unchecked, this can lead to a skin irritation or infection due to the warm, wet and well fed environment. This can show as a raw, sore looking skin and at worst may result in bleeding or a nasty yeast skin infection. Just google image 'baby neck folds rash'.

It's most common around the neck and under chin area, but it can also develop in any skin folds; thighs, wrists, armpits.


Primarily it's because babies don't have necks 😂 Well, I mean they have necks but you don't get to see much of them. Somehow their heads just magically sit on their shoulders!

Babies under 4-6 months just aren't strong enough to stretch their necks out and give them much needed fresh air!

The climate you live in can also quicken baby cheese production; it's always worse in warm, humid environments.


Hygiene is number 1. Keeping the inside of skin folds both clean and dry helps a lot.

You don't need to wash your baby anymore than you usually do, just pay closer attention to those hidey-hole skin folds.

If neck creases are already red and very irritated, be very gentle when opening them as they may be beginning to split. Any changes to the skin's integrity and barrier is an invitation to an infection party - that nobody wants to go to 🙅‍♀️

Using a soft cloth with warm water (or a squirty bottle) may help to gently dislodge any sticky neck cheese. 

Once it's clean, PAT the insides dry a few times with a soft towel. Do not rub.

You may need to spot clean and pat dry a few times over the day - especially after feeds. Catch those sneaky milk drips with a handtowel before they find their new home.

And regularly change out any milk stained clothing and/or dribble-filled bibs.

As a mum with oversupply, I often made a mess at feed times! Hand towels were on serious rotation in my house!


As mentioned, prevention is key but if you just can't seem to get on top of it with keeping it clean and dry alone, consider adding in a natural drying agent.

Powders are wonderful because they literally attract moisture to them. A simple home remedy is Arrowroot flour (look for the preservative-free variety). Some mums have used a smear of coconut oil in the folds. The oil would act as a repellant. Although I have heard mixed results with this.

I can't go past the Baby Dust powder, because it has a dual action of drying out any moisture, whilst the herbs offer healing and protective properties.

It has both Kaolin White Clay and Arrowroot powder which have some amazing natural absorbent and insoluble properties. While the pure (and organic) Chamomile, Marshmallow and Lavender provide their skin soothing, antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties with each shake. They also naturally scent the powder.

What I also love is that it contains no talc, cornstarch, essential oils, gluten, chemicals or preservatives. It can be used daily to prevent or help heal the dreaded baby cheese, or for any nappy rash or chafing for that matter.


Neck rashes and baby cheese are really common. It's just one of those things that some mums have to deal with and it eventually passes with time.

Before you know it, your baby's neck soon appears to the outside world! They develop greater neck control and strength at the same time. The fold-funk then fades as a distance memory and the coast is clear for copious neck raspberries again! 🤍

Kristin x

Naturopath & Doula
Founder of The Mamawise Store
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