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What are soft spots (fontanelles)?

An infant's skull is made up of six separate bones that grow together as the baby grows. From birth until about 12 to 18 months of age, there are spaces between these bones, called fonatanelles or soft spots. Soft spots in infants are normal. They make the head more flexible, so it can fit through the birth canal during delivery, and to allow for fast brain growth in the first few months of the baby's life. Most babies have two main soft spots -- one on the top of their head, and one in the back of their head. Bulging fontanelles can be a sign of pressure on the brain, and need emergency medical attention. Sunken fontanelles can be a sign of dehydration, and should also be checked by a doctor as soon as possible.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.