What does a bulging soft spot look like on a baby?

A bulging fontanel means that the soft spot looks bigger than usual. The normally soft area may swell up taller than the rest of the skull. The baby’s head may appear to change shape, or the soft spot might look misshapen. Sometimes, the baby’s whole head looks bigger.

How do I know if my baby’s soft spot is bulging?

The fontanelles should feel firm and very slightly curved inward to the touch. A tense or bulging fontanelle occurs when fluid builds up in the brain or the brain swells, causing increased pressure inside the skull. When the infant is crying, lying down, or vomiting, the fontanelles may look like they are bulging.

Can a bulging fontanelle be normal?

A healthy fontanelle should be firm to the touch and curve slightly inward. Sometimes, if an infant is crying, lying down, or vomiting, it may appear to bulge slightly, but should return to normal when they are in a calm, upright position. If it quickly returns to normal, it is not a true bulging fontanelle.

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What does a bulging fontanel indicate?

A bulging anterior fontanel can be a result of increased intracranial pressure or intracranial and extracranial tumors, and a sunken fontanel usually is a sign of dehydration.

When should I worry about a bulging fontanelle?

A bulging fontanel is an emergency. It can be a sign of pressure rising inside the skull which may result in damage to the baby’s developing brain. If your child is experiencing this symptom, seek medical attention immediately.

Can a baby’s soft spot get bigger?

Actually, the fontanelles get bigger during the first four months, perhaps doubling in size. That’s because your baby’s brain is growing so fast. The fontanelles are like the elastic of your pregnancy pants, they snugly protect your baby’s amazing brain, but give it plenty of room to expand without feeling pinched.

What does a normal fontanelle look like?

Your baby’s fontanelles should look flat against their head. They should not look swollen and bulging or sunken down into your child’s skull. When you gently run your fingers over the top of your child’s head, the soft spot should feel soft and flat with a slight downward curve.

What does a sunken fontanelle look like?

The one on the top of the head remains present until your baby is between 7 and 19 months old. A baby’s soft spots should be relatively firm and curve ever so slightly inward. A soft spot with a noticeable inward curve is known as a sunken fontanel. This condition requires immediate medical attention.

At what age does posterior fontanelle close?

The posterior fontanelle usually closes by age 1 or 2 months. It may already be closed at birth. The anterior fontanelle usually closes sometime between 9 months and 18 months. The sutures and fontanelles are needed for the infant’s brain growth and development.

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Why is my baby’s soft spot so big?

Fontanelles that are abnormally large may indicate a medical condition. A wide fontanelle occurs when the fontanelle is larger in size than expected for the age of the baby. Slow or incomplete ossification of the skull bones is most often the cause of a wide fontanelle.

What is the fontanel?

An infant is born with two major soft spots on the top of the head called fontanels. These soft spots are spaces between the bones of the skull where bone formation isn’t complete. This allows the skull to be molded during birth. The smaller spot at the back usually closes by age 2 to 3 months.

What is a fontanel in anatomy?

These gaps are composed of membranous connective tissue and are known as fontanelles. Fontanelles, often referred to as “soft spots,” are one of the most prominent anatomical features of the newborn’s skull. Six fontanelles are present during infancy, with the most notable being the anterior and posterior fontanelles.

What happens if baby’s soft spot is pressed?

What Should You Do If Your Baby Hits His Soft Spot? Contact your baby’s healthcare provider if your baby hits his soft spot. If you notice swelling/bulging of the soft spot and/or bruising around her eyes or behind her ears, it may be due to a concussion. Call 911 immediately.

How do you check a fontanelle?

When assessing the fontanelles, use the flat pads of your fingers to palpate (gently feel) the surface of the head. Ensure you make note of any retraction or bulging, as the normal fontanelle feels firm and flat (not sunken or bulging).

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What happens if you push a baby’s soft spot too hard?

Can I hurt my baby’s brain if I touch the soft spot? Many parents worry that their baby will be injured if the soft spot is touched or brushed over. The fontanel is covered by a thick, tough membrane which protects the brain. There is absolutely no danger of damaging your baby with normal handling.