Fontanelle and Skull Sutures

The soft spot on your baby’s head (fontanelle) is an area where the skull bones haven’t yet joined.  The soft spot is covered by thick, tough tissue that protects the brain tissue underneath, so you needn’t worry about hurting it.  If you sometimes notice slight pulsation of the soft spot, this is normal.  You may also see small lumps, bumps, and irregularities in other areas of your baby’s head.  These can also be normal.  They are often caused by the shifting of the bones that make up the skull.  These bones will eventually fuse completely together to make a smooth skull around eighteen months of life.

Flattening of the Head

Since babies are now sleeping on their backs, many develop flat spots on the backs of their heads. This is a variant of normal, but who wants a flat head? From the time your child is born, try to alternate the side of the head that is receiving pressure during sleep, feeding, play, and travel. For example, alternate which arm you use to hold your baby during feeds. Use a rolled up rag or small towel to control the orientation of your baby’s head in the car seat. If your baby likes to gaze at a certain window, door, or fan while in bed, turn the bed around so they must turn their head in the desired direction.