What are the fontanelles?

What are the fontanelles?

When a baby is born, the bones of his head are not well together. That’s why you can feel soft spaces between the different bones of his skull. This is called the fontanelles. It’s about bone-free spaces. However, they are not holes since fabric connects the bones. There is:

The great fontanelle located forward, on the top of the newborn’s head. It has the shape of a diamond and it is about 3 CM TO 6 CM Wide.
The little fontanelle located in the back of the head. It looks like a small triangle about 1 CM Wide.
What are they for?

Fontanelles especially facilitate the passage of the baby during birth. As these areas are softer, they allow the head to twist a little so that the baby can get out more easily. Rest assured, it does not create damage to the brain and the head is slowly getting back in shape. It can take a few hours, a few days or a few weeks.

After birth, the allow your baby’s brain to develop well. Brain growth is very fast in the first two years. For example, during his first year of life, the baby’s brain double in size.

Should I avoid touching my baby’s fontanelles?

The are delicate, but you can touch them. The important thing is to go smoothly. When you wash your baby’s hair, for example, you should avoid putting too much pressure on these soft areas, but you can caress his head without problems. Fontanelles are composed of tissues that protect his brain well.

Is it normal that his big fontanelle is sometimes a little curved?

Yes, it’s quite normal. The Fontanelles are flexible so they move with air in the lungs. That’s why the big fontanelle goes a little when your baby screams, cough or cries. Also, even when your baby is calm, you can see his big fontanelle move to the rhythm of his heart or feel it at the touch.

Prevent Flat head
As your baby’s skull bones are still soft, they can change shape if his head is always supported on the same side. Then she might die. Here are some tips:
Place your baby in various positions when he is awake to reduce the risk of developing a flat head.
Don’t always leave him in his car seat or baby seat. You can put it on your belly once in a while and use a baby carrier to keep it on you.
When you put him in bed, make sure his head isn’t always turned on the same side. To do this, alternate the position in which you put it: head at the foot of the bed one night and on the other side, the next day.
Why is the doctor looking at the?

During the first two years, the doctor is looking at your baby’s head during your medical follow-up visits to ensure his fontanelles close normally.

He also measures his head to check that his brain is following normal growth. The exam can also help the doctor to detect some health problems.

If the baby’s fontanelles are lowered and form a hollow, this can be the sign that he is dehydrated. If the fontanelles are bigger and very curved, this can be the sign of some diseases. However, these cases are very rare. And be careful, a big skull doesn’t mean there’s a problem.

At what age do the fontanelles close?

Over time, the bones of the skull come together and grow. The little fontanelle that is in the back of the baby’s head closes first, around the age of 2 months. La Grande Fontanelle, located at the front of the head takes longer. It closes little by little between the age of 9 MONTHS AND 2 years old.

To remember

Fontanelles are soft spaces on the baby’s head that disappear when the skull bones come together.
You can gently touch your baby’s fontanelles.
It’s normal for the fontanelle on the front of the head to blow up a little when your baby is crying or screaming.