This subject is particularly directed toward those of you who have actually been wrongly led to believe that all babies are born picture ideal with pretty little round heads. Let us just state that for anybody who has gone through or will experience vaginal delivery, it is nothing short of a true blessing that a baby’s skull is comprised of soft bony plates that are capable of compressing and overlapping to fit through the narrow birth canal– a process referred to as molding.
During the first two years of life, the different bones of the skull gradually begins to fuse together. The fusing procedure happens over several years, due to the fact that the brain is still growing, and will not reach adult size until approximately age 7. However, the two big soft spots on a babies head are both nearby the time the child reaches age three.
Newborn Baby’s Head Development
For some babies– such as those who “drop” well in advance of being born (simply puts, settle themselves head first deep into their mother’s hips well in advance of delivery), or those who need to endure long labors and narrow birth canals– the outcome is frequently a newborn head shape that more closely looks like a cone than a nice round ball.
If you run your fingers over your newborn’s skull, you might likewise discover that you can feel ridges along the areas where the bony plates of the skull have overlapped. In other words, cone heads are quite normal. Luckily, over the next several weeks the bones of your baby’s skull will practically assuredly complete and the ridges will disappear, presuming, that is, that your baby doesn’t invest excessive time on his back with his head in any one position– a typical however quickly avoidable cause for the development of a flat back or side of the head called plagiocephaly.
The Soft Spot
You will see 1 if not 2 areas on your baby’s head that seem to be doing not have bony defense. These soft spots, described as fontanelles (anterior for the larger one in the front, posterior for the smaller and usually less visible one in the back), are normal spaces in a newborn’s skull that will permit your baby’s brain to proliferate throughout the next year. Lots of parents hesitate to touch these soft spots, however you can feel confident that, in spite of their lack of a bony layer, they are well secured from normal day-to-day baby handling. Other things to understand about the soft spot( s) include:
- In young babies, a sunken soft spot (when integrated with bad feeding and dry diapers) can suggest dehydration. Our advice to you: Don’t read too much into this because it can be a subtle finding or sometimes exist in typical babies. Instead, ensure you have a good grasp on how to acknowledge dehydration and inspect with your doctor if you have any issues– with or without a sunken soft spot.
- In some circumstances, the soft spot on the top of your baby’s head may appear to be pulsating. There is no have to fret– this motion is quite regular and just shows the noticeable pulsing of blood that corresponds to your baby’s heartbeat.
Bumps and Contusions
In addition to molding, it is not uncommon for babies to have a bit of swelling or bruising of the scalp instantly following delivery. The swelling usually is most noticeable at the top back part of the head and is medically referred to as a caput (short for caput succedaneum). When bruising of the head takes place during delivery, the outcome can be a boggy-feeling area, called a cephalohematoma. Bruising and swelling are normally harmless and go away on their own over the first days and weeks of life, however can be a contributing factor for jaundice.
Gone Today, however Hair Tomorrow
Sure, babies are sometimes born with complete heads of hair, however it’s even more most likely for them to be born with little to none. And those with hair today are most likely to find it gone tomorrow. That’s since any hair your baby is born with is most likely to thin out considerably over the next couple of months before eventually being changed with “real” hair. It is also completely possible that whatever hair your newborn does have will alter color by a number of tones and numerous times over his life time.