Babies are born with soft spots on their heads. These soft, open areas of the skull are called fontanelles. If you do not have much experience with newborns, soft spots may make you nervous, but they are easy to care for and generally close correctly on their own.
When should I be concerned about my baby’s soft spot?
Normally, a baby’s soft spot is firm and curves in just slightly. But call your doctor right away if you notice these two (rare) signs of trouble: A fontanelle that’s dramatically sunken. This is a sign of dehydration.
Why can I see my baby’s soft spot moving?
In some instances, the soft spot on the top of your baby’s head may seem to be pulsating. There is no need to worry—this movement is quite normal and simply reflects the visible pulsing of blood that corresponds to your baby’s heartbeat.
Is it normal for a baby’s soft spot to sink in?
It is normal for a fontanel to form an inward curve in infants while their skull is still hardening. But in some cases, it may become sunken, and the cause may need medical treatment. A sunken fontanel, when accompanied by other symptoms, can be a sign of dehydration or malnutrition.
Does a baby’s soft spot go in and out?
There are actually two soft spots — one at the back of the head and another on top. The posterior one closes within a few months of birth, while the top fontanelle typically remains until just past a child’s first birthday.
What happens if a baby hits their soft spot?
If your baby is showing any of these symptoms after experiencing an injury to their head, call 911 or take them to the nearest emergency room immediately: uncontrolled bleeding from a cut. a dent or bulging soft spot on the skull. excessive bruising and/or swelling.
Why does my baby soft spot smell?
Another sign to look out for? A distinctive cradle cap smell. If baby’s dealing with a moderate to severe case, you may notice a slight oily scent, which is normal and results from the buildup of oil on baby’s scalp.
When can you stop supporting a baby’s head?
You can stop supporting your baby’s head once he gains sufficient neck strength (usually around 3 or 4 months); ask your pediatrician if you’re unsure. By this point, he’s on his way to reaching other important developmental milestones: sitting up by himself, rolling over, cruising, and crawling!
How do I know if my baby has a sunken fontanelle?
The one on the top of the head remains present until your baby is between 7 and 19 months old. A baby’s soft spots should be relatively firm and curve ever so slightly inward. A soft spot with a noticeable inward curve is known as a sunken fontanel. This condition requires immediate medical attention.
How do I know if my baby is dehydrated?
Parched, dry mouth. Fewer tears when crying. Sunken soft spot of the head in an infant or toddler. Stools will be loose if dehydration is caused by diarrhea; if dehydration is due to other fluid loss (vomiting, lack of fluid intake), there will be decreased bowel movements.
How do I hydrate my newborn?
Keeping babies hydrated starts off with adequate feedings. Be sure to breast or bottle feed your baby as instructed by your physician. If fever, hot weather, illness, or feeding difficulties occur, be sure to use an oral rehydration solution to replace lost water and electrolytes.
What happens if a baby’s head falls forward?
If the head isn’t supported it will flop backward or forward and startle the baby, making it feel very insecure. Any sudden movement of the baby’s head can also activate the Moro reflex which is a startle reflex. If this is activated the baby will become stressed.
What does a bulging soft spot look like on a baby?
A bulging fontanel means that the soft spot looks bigger than usual. The normally soft area may swell up taller than the rest of the skull. The baby’s head may appear to change shape, or the soft spot might look misshapen. Sometimes, the baby’s whole head looks bigger.
How do you shape a baby head?
Try these remedies to help your baby’s head shape even out: Put your baby on their back to go to sleep. Once they’re asleep, gently turn their head so that they are lying on a non-flat side and not on the back of their head. Do not use any cushions or clothing to keep your baby’s head in place.