Is my baby’s soft spot fragile?

Is your baby’s soft spot really that fragile?

This is a question that many new parents often ask when they’re caring for their newborns. The soft spot or fontanelle is a spot on a baby’s head where the bones of the skull haven’t fully grown together yet, and it can be quite concerning for parents who are worried about accidentally hurting their baby.

It’s important to understand that the fontanelles are there for a reason – they allow the skull to expand as the baby’s brain grows. Premature closure of the sutures between the skull bones can cause issues that need to be addressed by a neurosurgeon, so it’s important to make sure the fontanelles are functioning properly.

While the fontanelles may seem very fragile, they are not so delicate that you could easily poke through them or damage the baby’s skull just by touching them. It’s okay to be careful around the area, but don’t be too scared to touch it or care for it properly.

The fontanelles typically close at different times – the anterior fontanelle at the front of the head will close between 18 and 24 months of age, while the posterior fontanelle at the back of the head usually closes between nine and 12 months of age.

It’s important to understand how to properly care for your baby’s fontanelles and to not let fear prevent you from doing so. There are resources available to help you learn how to care for your newborn with confidence, and to understand what to expect from your baby during their first few months of life. Here are a few tips that you may find useful.

Gentle Cleaning: During baths, you can gently clean around the fontanelle with a soft, damp cloth. It is important to avoid using any harsh soaps or vigorous rubbing.

Avoid Direct Pressure: Be cautious not to apply direct pressure on the fontanelle. The soft spot is there to allow for the baby’s brain growth, so it’s essential to handle it gently.

Soft Touch: When shampooing your baby’s hair, use a mild baby shampoo and be gentle around the fontanelle area.

Head Support: Always provide proper head support when holding or carrying your baby. This is crucial, especially during the first few months when the neck muscles are still developing.

Protect from Injury: Protect the fontanelle from accidental bumps or injuries. Be cautious when laying your baby down and make sure the surface is soft.

Monitor for Changes: Keep an eye on the fontanelle for any signs of unusual bulging or sunken appearance. If you notice anything unusual, consult with your pediatrician.

Regular Check-ups: Attend regular well-baby check-ups with your pediatrician. They will monitor your baby’s fontanelle development and can address any concerns you may have.

Still, if you ever have concerns or questions about your baby’s fontanelle, don’t hesitate to seek advice from your paediatrician.

As always I am here to support you in the journey with your newborn. Here are free resource guides: how to choose the right paediatrician for your baby, and also the Confident New Mom Guide. All those free resources can be found in my instagram page and facebook page. I also have my premium course, the Newborn Preparation course, which is a four module course that goes over everything you need to know that is essential to being confident to receive your newborn and care for them confidently.


Request an Appointment

* All indicated fields must be completed.
Please include non-medical questions and correspondence only.


Our Office Location

Office Hours
Mon - Fri: 8:30am - 5:00pm
Saturday: 9:00am - 12:00pm

Accessibility Toolbar