What does your baby’s soft spot on their head mean? Where did it come from? And how do you make sure that it stays healthy and grows along with your baby? These are all important questions that parents need to have answered, especially if they’re going to be taking care of their newborn infant every day. Thankfully, this guide will tell you everything you need to know.
Explaining The Soft Spot On Your Baby's Head
Babies' skulls are made up of several different bones that come together and slowly fuse as they grow. The soft spot on your baby's head is just a bit of extra space between those bones - and it serves an important purpose! When you pick up your little one, you can feel their soft spot quite easily because it will ‘give’ a little bit at the touch. This flexibility allows for less complications during the delivery through the pelvis, and helps your baby's brain to grow at a fast rate. On average, babies' brains triple in size during their first year. It also allows blood vessels to travel through those areas, so they have plenty of oxygen even though their skull hasn't fully fused together yet.
Types of Soft Spots (Also Known as Fontanelles)
These special holes in your baby's head are called fontanelles. The two large fontanelles that allow room for your baby's brain to grow are found at different parts on his or her head. The anterior fontanelle is located just above where their eyebrows will be once they are born. The posterior fontanelle is where you can feel your baby's soft spot on his or her skull. It sits at about a 45-degree angle across from their ear.
When Do Fontanelles Close?
As mentioned above, a baby's skull has openings that allow room for brain growth. In most babies, these two fontanelles close between 18 and 24 months old; however, it's normal for some to remain open longer. If you have concerns, your doctor or paediatrician can guide you on the best course of action.
How To Properly Wash and Care For Your Baby's Soft Spot Head
One way to care for your baby's soft spot head is by following proper procedure when washing his or her hair. It's important to keep everything gentle, and wash a baby's hair with soap and water before 10 days old. After that you should only wash his or her hair two times per week and use shampoo sparingly because it can dry out their scalp. With proper care, your baby's soft spot head will continue to grow with them until they're an adult!