Baby Soft Spot: Injury On Head | Baby Skull

Baby Soft SpotBaby Soft Spot

Babies are as fragile as roses. The baby soft spot is one of the features of their fragileness. Baby soft spot on the head is known as fontanel.

There are two fontanels on baby’s head varying slightly in size. One is posterior fontanel which is found on the back of the baby’s head (usually smaller than the other one and triangular shaped).

Another one is called anterior fontanel, found on the top of the head (usually larger in size and diamond shaped).

At birth, bones of baby’s head are delicate and relatively soft.

So when you baby was passing through the birth canal, the head was able to change its shape, in short, head of the baby can be mold because of the soft bones and the bones slid one over other.

It is difficult to feel posterior fontanel as it closes at six weeks because by that time baby’s head bones grow.

Anterior fontanel can be felt like a slightly soft area of skin on the top of the baby’s head. This baby soft spot does not close even after baby’s first birthday.

Soft Spot On Baby Head

Soft spot on the baby head can be seen and felt as if you notice that it pulses in time with baby’s heartbeat or it bulges out a little bit when the baby strains to poop.

The baby soft spot is known as fontanels and they are well protected by a sturdy membrane.

If you touch a soft spot on baby head be to touch it gently because bones of baby’s head are soft.

The bones of baby’s skull build up enough minerals with time and which can completely fuse together and the gaps (baby soft spot) get close.

Smaller fontanel which is on the back of the baby’s head closes down around from 3 months to age of 6 months or sometimes even at birth.

Baby Skull

The baby skull appears to be one large bone but that’s not actually true. It consists of several major bones that are connected together. A baby skull is made up of:

  • 2 frontal bones
  • 2 parietal bones
  • 1 occipital bone

They are the bony plates which cover the brain and also they held together with help of fibrous material known as sutures.

Sutures work as an influencer because they allow the bones to move during the birth process.

They allow the bone to enlarge evenly with the growth of brain and expansion of skull which ultimately results in a symmetrically shaped head.

There are 2 fontanels which are basically the space between the bones of baby’ skull where the sutures intersect.

Anterior fontanel and posterior fontanel are two fontanels found in baby’s head and known as baby soft spot.

Baby Skull Development

During the first trimester of pregnancy, the baby skull is comprised of a rubbery cartilage and a connective tissue.

During the second trimester of pregnancy, baby’s skull remains soft and flexible, though babies don’t start to ossify until 16-17 weeks of pregnancy.

Anterior fontanel which is diamond shaped and large size do not close even after the first birthday of a baby but posterior fontanel closes by the third or sixth week after birth.

If a baby’s skull seems to be bulged out or lopsided or a flat head even after 6 months of the birth then you should contact a doctor.

As the doctor may recommend you to make your baby wear a custom-molded helmet which will apply pressure to the head and will encourage the symmetrical development of baby skull.

Correct baby skull development can be seen from the very first day of the baby’s birth as usually average newborn’s head’s circumference is between 13 to 14 inches and it becomes 15 inches by the end of the first month.

Baby Soft Spot Injury

When the mother first holds the baby in her arms then soft spot protects the baby from injury, baby soft spot consists of a membrane which actually protects it so ultimately it protects the baby.

Baby soft spot injury can be a dangerous one as sometimes rare accidents happen directly penetrating trauma to the spot.

Soft cushions protect baby soft spot and make the skull function like a helmet.

When babies fall off the bed or table or chair, then babies’ headlands first since the center of gravity is in their head, unlike humans with the center of gravity in the bottom part of the body.

Cushions help in avoiding injuries.

Soft Spot On Baby Head Danger

Baby soft spots are noticeable, firm and little curve towards inward. A soft spot which is more inward (inward curve) and is noticeable too is known as sunken fontanel.

The condition of sunken fontanel requires immediate medical attention. Treatment for this is not tough.

Following causes are the reason behind ‘soft spot on baby head danger’:

  • Dehydration
  • Kwashiorkor
  • Failure to thrive
  • Toxic megacolon
  • Diabetes insipidus
When To Worry About Baby Soft Spot

Now last but not the least question which should be answered is when to worry about the baby soft spot.

So if a baby soft spot is bigger than average then there is no need to worry but a very large fontanel or baby soft spot can be a sign of extraordinary rare diseases or syndromes, such as dwarfism or hydrocephalus.

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