Many parents worry about the fragility of their baby’s soft spot (also known as fontanelles), but it is actually protected by a strong layer of membrane, which makes it less susceptible to damage.
However, changes or abnormalities in the fontanelles could provide clues about your baby’s development and health.
Here are some common changes that will occur to your baby’s soft spot:
1. Sunken fontanelle
This is a sign that your baby is dehydrated. Even before the sunken fontenelle becomes noticeable, other signs include fewer wet nappies, your baby being less alert and responsive, your baby not feeding well, or they are losing fluid through vomiting or diarrhea.
2. Bulging fontanelle
This could mean that your baby has an infection or swelling in the brain. You have cause for concert if your baby has bumped his or head head, has a running fever and is extremely lethargic. Bulging fontanelles can also be a symptom of serious illnesses, such as meningitis. However, it is normal for the fontanelle to bulge when your baby cries, coughs, poops, or vomits. What isn’t normal is if it stays that way even after hours.
3. Bumps and bruises
Bruises and swelling, often on the back top portion of your baby’s head, is fairly normal. This occurs just after your baby is born. It is called a “cephalohematoma” and occurs during your baby’s delivery. They will clear up quickly and isn’t cause for concern.