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Q&A: What are the soft spots on my baby's head?

Dr. Christine Wood, M.D


Q What are the soft spots on my baby's head?

A The soft spots are open areas where the skull bones do not come together, leaving a gap to the brain. At birth, 2 soft spots can be found - one on the top of the head, the anterior fontanel; and the second in the back part of the head, the posterior fontanel. The posterior fontanel usually closes around a month of age and the anterior fontanel can close anywhere between 9 and 18 months of age. There is a tough fibrous membrane covering the openings, so there should be no fear about touching or washing the soft spots.

Dr. Christine Wood is a practicing pediatrician in Southern California. She is the author of "How to Get Kids to Eat Great and Love It," a book that addresses the issues of why and how to feed kids healthy. You can visit her website at http://www.callyour

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Lauren Brown May 19, 2005 05:24:50 PM ET

What happens if the posterior fontanel is rather large? i have head that this can be a problem for the child later in life.

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