In the crown of the baby there is a soft part that sometimes makes parents worry when accidentally touched. "Don't tell me, is that part of his brain depressed? How about this? "Calm down, the soft part of the baby's crown is normal. Indeed, the soft part is very important for the development and growth of the brain.
Why is there a part that is still soft on the crown of the baby?
The baby's skull bones have not closed completely. There are still parts that have not been coated with a hard texture on the head.
The head bone or skull does not form directly in a round shape. There are several bone joints that compose it. The bones that make up the skull are two frontal bones, two parietal bones, and one occipital bone. In infants, these bones have not met perfectly. This leaves the soft part at the meeting point of the bones. This soft point is called fontanel.
There are two fontanels on the baby's head, with details as follows.
- Front anterior fontanel: is the space between the frontal bone and the baby parietal bone. This point is on the crown.
- Rear fontanel (posterior fontanel): is the space between the parietal bone and the occipital bone. This point is in the back of the baby's head.
More clearly, see the illustration of a baby skull below.
The more mature, fontanel will close by itself, so that it eventually forms a hard part like skull bones in general.
What is the function of fontanel in infants?
These fontanels are natural formations that are formed so that the baby's skull is flexible textured. The baby's head is formed flexibly to make it easier when he comes out of the birth canal. This point will also remain open to provide space for the baby's brain development. The baby's brain will grow and develop rapidly until the age of 18 months, so a flexible head structure is still needed to adjust this size.
Can the fontanel be touched?
You will unconsciously hold the point every time you wash your baby's hair or hold the baby's head. Touching this point is of course no harm to babies.
Fontanels do look soft and as if they are brittle, but they aren't. Fontanels are covered by a strong layer to protect the baby's brain tissue inside. So if you touch it, it's actually safe, as long as you don't push it hard.
Sometimes you can also see this part pulsing. The pulsing of the fontanel indicates the presence of blood flowing through the point. Again, this is normal and there is no need to worry too much. Later this will decrease itself along with the growth of your child.
When will the soft parts of the baby's head harden and become intact?
Fontanels will be completely closed for a long time, and the baby's head will harden completely. The back fontanel is usually closed faster. Usually the back fontanel is gone by the age of 6 weeks. While the front fontanel can usually be felt until around the age of 18 months.
What if it closes too fast?
If the soft part of the crown is closed prematurely, there are certain conditions that can occur. Closing fontanel too early is known as craniosynostosis. This condition can stop the growth of the brain, causing mental retardation, blindness, convulsions, and an abnormally shaped head.
The doctor will usually examine these soft parts every time you check with your pediatrician or Posyandu. If this condition is found, babies are usually given a special prescription or special surgical procedure to reopen this area.
Fontanel can describe a baby's health condition
Normally, when the soft crown is pressed, the texture is tight and will return to normal. However, if the point is too soft and when pressed does not return to its original shape (becomes concave) this can be a sign that the baby is experiencing severe dehydration.
Usually apart from fontanel conditions, babies who are severely dehydrated will be unresponsive, and their diapers are rarely wet. See your doctor immediately if your baby shows these signs.
In addition, fontanel can also be a sign of swelling in the brain. Fontanels sometimes stand out or look like they are raised when the baby cries. This is still natural as long as the shape will return flat when it stops crying.
However, if the soft part of the little crown is protruding and the baby has a fever, this can indicate a swelling in the brain. See your doctor immediately if this condition occurs.
- Recognize Craniosynostosis, When the Head Skull of a Baby Is Not Perfectly Formed
- What to do when the baby's head is hit
- Jenong Baby's Head, Normal or Not and What Is the Cause?