How do I know if my baby’s soft spot is normal?

Your baby’s fontanelles should look flat against their head. They should not look swollen and bulging or sunken down into your child’s skull. When you gently run your fingers over the top of your child’s head, the soft spot should feel soft and flat with a slight downward curve.

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 rare but possible signs of trouble: A dramatically sunken fontanelle. This can signal dehydration, especially if your baby isn’t eating or drinking well and is having fewer wet diapers than usual.

What can a baby’s soft spot tell you?

A change in the fontanelle isn’t always a major problem, but it can sometimes reveal internal issues, says Violette Recinos, MD, Section Head of Pediatric Neurosurgery at Cleveland Clinic. “It is a good indicator of the baby’s potential hydration status and brain status,” she says.

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What does a normal fontanelle feel like?

The fontanelles should feel firm and very slightly curved inward to the touch. A tense or bulging fontanelle occurs when fluid builds up in the brain or the brain swells, causing increased pressure inside the skull.

What happens if you push a baby’s soft spot too hard?

A baby’s soft spots are called fontanelles. They allow your baby’s brain to grow larger at a fast rate over their first year of life. It’s important to avoid pressing into their soft spots, as it could cause damage to their skull or brain.

Why has my baby’s soft spot dipped?

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.

At what age does Fontanelle close?

The posterior fontanelle usually closes by age 1 or 2 months. It may already be closed at birth. The anterior fontanelle usually closes sometime between 9 months and 18 months.

How can you tell if fontanelle is sunken?

The fontanelles should feel firm and should curve inward slightly to the touch. A noticeably sunken fontanelle is a sign that the infant does not have enough fluid in their body.

What does sunken soft spot look like?

What is a sunken fontanelle or sunken soft spot? The anterior fontanelle normally appears flat and firm. Sometimes it can bulge slightly (such as when baby cries), and less often, it can appear to be concave, or sunken. It’s okay if it curves inward slightly to the touch.

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When do babies start smiling?

Around 2 months of age, your baby will have a “social” smile. That is a smile made with purpose as a way to engage others. Around this same time to about 4 months of age, babies develop an attachment to their caregivers.

How do you check a fontanelle?

Your baby’s fontanelles should look flat against their head. They should not look swollen and bulging or sunken down into your child’s skull. When you gently run your fingers over the top of your child’s head, the soft spot should feel soft and flat with a slight downward curve.

What happens if soft spot is pushed?

Can I hurt my baby’s brain if I touch the soft spot? Many parents worry that their baby will be injured if the soft spot is touched or brushed over. The fontanel is covered by a thick, tough membrane which protects the brain. There is absolutely no danger of damaging your baby with normal handling.

How does a bulging fontanelle feel?

The fontanelles should feel firm and very slightly curved inward to the touch. A tense or bulging fontanelle occurs when fluid builds up in the brain or the brain swells, causing increased pressure inside the skull. When the infant is crying, lying down, or vomiting, the fontanelles may look like they are bulging.

Why do babies look up at the ceiling and smile?

Babies’ eyes are drawn to movement. That’s why they might be staring at your spinning ceiling fan or that toy you animatedly play with to make your baby smile. In contrast, if your baby turns away from moving objects, it’s probably because s/he is processing a lot at the moment and needs to regroup.

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What happens if you drop a newborn?

The real danger occurs when a baby falls onto a hard surface from a height of 3 to 5 feet or more. Broken limbs, retinal hemorrhages, skull fractures, brain damage or swelling, and internal bleeding are among the most severe risks associated with a serious fall.

What is considered a bulging soft spot?

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.