The soft spot on the head of our six-month-old baby is still very large. Does this mean that she is going to have a large head?
The soft spot, or fontanel, of the baby’s head varies in size from child to child. In general, at six months of age it is fully as large as it was at the time of birth if not slightly larger. When a baby is born with a very small soft spot, it usually will appear to close much more quickly than on the baby born with a very large one. When babies are born with fairly large fontanels, they usually do not close until the child is a year or even 18 months old.
Vitamin D deficiency and other conditions of abnormal bone development may cause and actual delay in fontanel closure. When the head is large from an accumulation of fluid within the hollow chambers of the brain, there may be a delay in fontanel closure, but this is evident from the large head.
Many parents are afraid to wash the fontanel for fear of damaging the underlying brain. There is no harm in scrubbing or washing the fontanel. The membrane between the skin and the brain is very tough; and unless the fontanel is struck with a hard or sharp object, there is almost no danger of damaging the child’s brain.
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