When does the fontanelle close? What Happens If It Closes Early?

Baby’s head is not touched, will you hurt if you touch the fontanelle, after which month will the soft area on the head return to normal?

Everything you need to know about fontanelles and everything you think you know is right in this article!

What is fontanelle?

The image of newborn babies does not match the image of the baby in our head, the skull bones are different from the normal ones. Since these bones have not yet fused with each other, there is a gap between them. This space is called fontanelle.

Where is the fontanelle located on the head?

There are two fontanelles, one in the front and one in the back.

The fontanelle in the front is usually lozenge-shaped, roughly the size of a 50-cent coin. It is usually flat but can protrude when baby cries or strains.

The posterior fontanelle is usually triangular and less prominent. You may not even notice. Let’s say it’s 10 cents in size.

Shouldn’t the fontanelle be touched? What if the fontanelle gets hit?

The softness on the head of babies is intimidating to many of us. Pediatric Specialist from Central Hospital, Uzm. Dr. Gonca Özmen states that contrary to popular belief, the fontanelle is very strong and acts as a head protective helmet for babies against head trauma.

Dr. Erhan Ateş, in his book Modern Baby Care, says that we should not hesitate to touch the fontanelles, which are made up of connective tissue, that this area is extremely strong and cannot be easily damaged.

So you don’t have to be afraid while giving your baby a bath or stroking her hair. The idea that the fontanelle will be damaged often stems from delusion. But if there is a serious blow, of course you should take your baby to the doctor.

Why is there a fontanelle, what is its function?

  • Since the fontanel is flexible, it allows the baby to pass through the very narrow birth canal easily during birth.
  • It helps your baby’s skull and brain to grow.

When does the fontanelle close?

The anterior fontanelle closes between 7 and 18 months . Dr. Erhan Ateş says that you should especially follow the closure time of the anterior fontanelle, and it is not considered normal for the anterior fontanelle to close before the 6th month is completed and to be still open after the 18th month. In other words, when the baby is 1.5 years old, the fontanelle should be closed.

The posterior fontanelle closes within 3 months at the latest .

What does it mean when the fontanelle closes early?

A baby’s brain grows rapidly, especially in the first year. This growth is accompanied by the skull. For the skull to grow and expand, the spaces between the bones and the anterior fontanelle must not be closed.

When anterior fontanelle closes prematurely;

  • Your baby’s brain development may be adversely affected,
  • Intracranial pressure may increase.

Why does the anterior fontanelle close early?

The medical name for premature closure of the fontanelle is craniosynostosis. Dr. Erhan Ateş states that the anterior fontanelle closes prematurely in one of 2000 babies, the reason for this is unknown in 80% of the cases, and a hereditary disease is detected in some of them.

The operation performed as a result of premature closure of the fontanelle is the fontanelle surgery. Brain and Nerve Surgery Specialist Assist. Assoc. Dr. Murat Hamit Aytar says that this surgery is nothing to be afraid of, just if there is such a thing, you should take your baby to the doctor as soon as possible.

What does late closure of the fontanelle mean?

Pediatric Specialist from Central Hospital, Uzm. Dr. Gonca Özmen says that this is the case in babies who are born prematurely or whose growth remains in the womb.

This is related to the fontanelle being larger than normal. Dr. Erhan Ateş states that if the anterior and posterior fontanelles are large, your baby may have congenital hypothyroidism (insufficient functioning of the thyroid gland), and you should take him to the doctor. This is considered suspicious, especially if the posterior fontanelle is larger than half an inch.

Also, Pediatrician Dr. Cihangir Ertekin, in his book Baby Nutrition and Care, says that delayed closure of the fontanelle may be a sign of bone softness disease called rickets. In other words, if the fontanelle has not closed even though the baby is 1.5 years old, do not neglect it, go to the doctor.

Brain and Nerve Surgery Specialist Assist. Assoc. Dr. Murat Hamit Aytar states that there are 5 reasons that lead to the closure of the fontanelle:

  • Not enought feeding,
  • Vitamin D deficiency
  • Hypothyroid,
  • Skeletal developmental disorder
  • Hydrocephalus (Conditions that increase the pressure in the brain, enlarge the skull).

What is fontanelle collapse?

In babies, fontanelles (predominant) can be affected by some diseases. For example, when the baby is dehydrated for an obvious reason, such as diarrhea or vomiting, the fontanelle may appear more sunken than normal. In such a case, you should take your baby to the doctor. This is her body’s reaction to the fact that her baby is dehydrated.

What causes swelling in fontanelle?

Upset. Dr. According to Selase Koç Sansar, there are 3 reasons:

1- Inflammations of the meninges called meningitis,

2- Presence of some lesions in the head such as tumors,

3- Hydrocephalus with increased cerebrospinal fluid.

If there is swelling in the fontanelle, you should take your baby to the doctor as soon as possible.

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