Caring for your baby’s fontanelle/soft spot

Posted on July 24th, 2019

Here’s how to take care of the little soft spot on your baby’s head.

Caring for your baby's head - the fontanelle

It’s completely normal to be a little worried about the soft spot on your baby’s head. It’s called a fontanelle. Your baby’s head will have a few of them – especially at the top and back of the head – where the skull bones have not fused together yet.

The biggest soft spot is the anterior fontanelle on top and slightly to the front of  your little one’s head.

The second biggest is the posterior fontanelle, situated on the midline of the curved rear surface of the skull. There are also two much smaller ones on the sides of the head, but to most people these are not even detectable.

Why does my baby have these soft spots? explains that the fontanels give a baby’s head the flexibility it needs to squeeze through the narrow birth canal. After birth, they stay open long enough to accommodate your baby’s growing brain.

When will they close?

The soft spots won’t fuse until your baby is about two years old, says Dr Miriam Stoppard in her book New BabyCare. While your little one’s scalp covers this space, make sure that you never press the fontanelle too hard.


Caring for your baby’s fontanelle/soft spot:

  • You don’t need to take any special care of the skin and hair that covers the fontanelle. Just be gentle over this area when washing your baby’s hair.
  • If you notice that the skin is taut over the area, if there’s a bulge or if the fontanelle area is abnormally shrunken, call your doctor immediately.
Living And Loving Staff

About Living And Loving Staff

Our experienced editors work with trained journalists and qualified experts to compile accurate, insightful and helpful information about pregnancy, birth, early childhood development and parenting. Our content is reviewed regularly by our panel of advisors, which include medical doctors and healthcare professionals. Meet the Living & Loving Team and our Online Experts.