12 answers

No Frontal Soft Spot

I'm a new grandmother, and my granddaughter doesn't have a noticable soft spot on the top of her head. The mother is not concerned, and didn't ask at the baby's 2 month doctor visit. The doctor did spend quite a bit of time examining the head, but said nothing. I don't think there is anything to do! But what does this mean?

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

I really appreciated greatly all the replies, and helpful information and support!! Thanks so very very much. My GD came over today and I carefully looked for the spot, and although it is small, there was one. Moving my fingers over her head, I am totally not aware of a place that is not skull, but slowly and pressing, I could feel a softer spot. She has a strong membrane covering it. Then we went on an outing, and I asked my good friend to see if she could feel it, and she confirmed there was one. So I didn't raise any alarms, and I am feeling so much better. This Mamasource has so helped me, and comforted me in this matter. Thank you all!!!!

Featured Answers

I wouldn't take any chances. If there is no soft spot, it would be very bad. If I were you I would specifically ask the doctor about it. It's not worth the risk. I have a cousin that was born without a soft spot. Nobody noticed in time and it caused her irreversible brain damage.
Not worth the risk.

More Answers

Don't worry. It's probably there...but it might be small. There are 2 of them - one in the back and one on the top. The one in the back usually closes up between 3-6 months and the top one before 18 months. Every child is different. My kids happen to have HUGE soft spots that look crazy with vascular pulsations that look like an alien.

The soft spots are where the cranial bones meet and they slide over one another during birth....to make it easier on mom. Your granddaughter's cranial bones are most likely totally fine. Just a variant of normal, but not the norm. Breathe.

The doctor will usually check for that kind of thing during their visits. If he is doing his job, it isn't something to worry about. If you are really concerned, just call her pediatrician and ask. He'll probably be able to tell you that he checked and everything was fine, if he doesn't remember, you can always request an appointment for him to double check. My daughter has a very small soft spot, since birth. The doctor always checks her carefully (she's now 4 months) and he said that wasn't a problem. It never hurts to ask if you are worried. If your daughter doesn't want to ask, just ask her to humor you.

I haven't read any other responses so I don't know what people have told you so far. Anyway, my now one year old son had a very small soft spot at birth. Both my girls had good sized soft spots when they were born so I was a little concerned with my son. His soft spot was so small it was about the size of my pinky tip. I mean you could barely feel it. I did bring it up at each appointment and the doctor said each time it was fine. He said as long as it doesn't close he's fine. I'm sure the doctor checked your granddaughter's soft spot at her appointment. They always do.

you would never see my daughter soft spot on her head unless she didnt get enough fluids. if you can feel it then its ok. if the dr didnt say anything then it should also be ok. im not sre what it means either. my nephews soft spots went away at like 9 months every baby is different. good luck and congrats on the new grand baby :)

Hi L.,
I'm guessing since the Pediatrician spent so much time on it, that he/she felt comfortable about it and perhaps some baby's soft spots are easier to feel than others. However, it is definitely something that you would want to ask about. The soft spot is there until the skull bones fuse together so that there is room for the brain to grow. If they fuse together prematurely, there can be problems including brain damage. There are ways to correct it. I learned about this when I was pregnant with my second child as she was diagnosed with Dolicocephaly before she was born. Fortunately, they were wrong and she was born perfectly normal and the bones had not fused early. Typically babies have the soft spot until about a year old. I'm not sharing all of this to scare you, but I always lean on the side of caution when it comes to anyone's health because the earlier an issue is addressed, the better so that things can be cured and/or prevented from getting worse. Your daughter is probably not concerned because she isn't aware of why babies have a soft spot. Again, I'm sure the doctor would have said something had there been an issue, but it's always good to have confirmation and knowledge. It's as simple as the mom calling the doctor to ask about it. And you could always get a second opinion or see a specialist. Feel free to contact me if you want to talk more. K.

I would have him check it out! My son had sagittal synostosis and had to have surgery at 6 months. My pediatrician noticed it at 4 days and watched it at 2 months and then referred me to a neurosurgeon who then watched it until at 5 months it was closed enough that it was starting to cause pressure on his brain. This is NOT something to play around with. It is a lot easier to get a second opinion or have them check it out. I have had other people email me (since posting on my blog about it) and tell me that their doctor didn't notice till after a year or so and that their options were limited. The best time (if they have to have surgery) is between 6 months and like a year because their bodies can heal.

Anyway, I hope that it is nothing, but if it isn't, NOW is the time to get it checked out and to keep it monitored. My mom also noticed from the very beginning and was happy that the doctor said something!

One more thing...I had Kaiser and have good references to doctors if, by chance, your daugther/son has Kaiser too.

Good luck! :) A.

Hi L. :)

My youngest daughter had the same thing. The Dr had us do a cat scan on her head at 4 months. The soft spot was only 1/4" open. In the meantime, I was terrified. I did all kinds of research on the internet in regards to there being no soft spot at all. There are surgical alternatives for that. The soft spots allow for brain growth and make it easier for baby to come through the birth canal. The bones fuse together eventually and it's different with every kiddo! For some they fuse too early and there is surgery to correct it.

Thankfully with the cat scan we were able to determine that as long as it stayed open until she was 9 months there would be no problem. It did and she is a perfectly normal 7 year old. You might suggest they mention it at her next appt. Congratulations on being a Grandma!

I wouldn't take any chances. If there is no soft spot, it would be very bad. If I were you I would specifically ask the doctor about it. It's not worth the risk. I have a cousin that was born without a soft spot. Nobody noticed in time and it caused her irreversible brain damage.
Not worth the risk.

I would think it means just that- nothing to worry about. The soft spot is simply a location where the skull has not completely closed in newborns and ultimatlely, the goal is to have it close and not have it after time. The fact that her's did sooner than most is a good thing Grandma ;-) Actually, at two months I don't recall a noticable soft spot anymore with my kids. Congrats on becoming a Grandmother- I know you will enoy years of fun with the new little Princess.

Blessings,

L.

hi L.! hey, listen...my son's soft spot on the top closed before he was 8 weeks old....but it was really apparent that something was amiss as his head was misshapen, elongated, and there was a bump on the back of his head where the three parts of the skull meet...so here's what happened....my pediatrician noticed at his 8 week checkup, and sent us to a neurologist...he removed a 1/2 inch strip about 6 inches long from the top of his skull, and to our delight, his head rounded out drasticly by the next day!!!!.....by the time it was completely round, the place where the bone was removed had spread to about two inches wide.....we had to be extremely careful til it grew back...his skull healed, and he's about to celebrate his 20th birthday on november 1st.......and in my opinion, he's one handsome man!!....tell her to ask her doctor about craniostenosis.....

Hello, is your baby irritable or cranky?

http://www.drgreene.com/21_359.html
http://parenting.ivillage.com/baby/bhealth/0,,3q4n,00.html

Hi here are some links on the "fontanel", which it is called.
A baby has 2 of them...on the top of the head, and on the backside of the head. It usually takes time to close up... after a year or so.

You should really ask the Pediatrician about it. I have no idea what it means...but at each well-baby check up, they usually check the head circumference and the over all weight/growth of the baby, and yes, they check the fontanel.
The fontanel does have a purpose in a baby's growth and for protection of the skull etc.

Just ask the Pediatrician for answers or concerns. That is what they should provide you with.

take care,
Susan

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