What is the soft spot on my babies head and is it as scary as it seems?
Baby’s soft spots (I.e. fontanelles) can be a little bit freaky for new parents.
A fontanelle is an area where the bones of the skull haven’t fused together yet but there is a thick and very protective membrane there which is what you will feel and (despite what it may feel like!) you won’t be directly touching their brain. So with normal handling and touching it, you won't be damaging anything.
The anterior fontanelle, the one of the top of the head, is the one you can see and feel the longest and it will usually close by 18 months.
It can be a good indicator of certain serious conditions and you should see a doctor urgently in these situations:
Bulging - if it appears to be bulging when your baby is calm (they can bulge out a bit when bub is crying and upset which is normal). This can indicate possible internal swelling, bleeding or fluid build up.
Sunken - if it appears to dip down or “sink” more than normal then this can be a sign of dehydration.
Swollen - a swollen spot can indicate head trauma. This can be accompanied by other signs of concussion (which we discuss during our first aid sessions).
It’s always a good idea to check what it normally feels like so that you can compare when it changes.
Have you had a feel what’s normal?