Kingsley: 28-12-13 Soft Spot

Kingsley popped out of my sun roof perfectly formed and in proportion. I had, before delivering this child, read tales of bebes emerging from their mothers with misshapen heads, dented craniums and bruised eyes. Not so our lamb.

Perfectly formed Kingsley Charles with his pa, Erroll

Perfectly formed Kingsley Charles with his pa, Erroll


Perfectly formed Kingsley Charles with his pa, Erroll

Soft spots. There are two on a newborn’s skull, and they are knows as fontanels. They serve two important purposes: First, they help our infant’s bones to shift and mold so it could fit through the birth canal (not needed in our case); and second, they allow room for our bebe’s brain to grow rapidly during his first year. The larger and more prominent soft spot (the anterior fontanel) is on top of King’s head; it’s shaped like a diamond and can be up to two inches across. It’ll start to close when he is about six months old and be completely closed by the time he reaches 18 months. The second, posterior fontanel is much smaller and harder to find. It’s on the back of the head, triangular in shape, and only about a half inch in diameter.

To me, the reality of an almost-exposed brain sounds positively frightening. How on earth do I summons the courage to carry our newborn about without causing damage with one of my fingers or an unnecessarily strong grasp of his neck?? Well, I need not suffer this paranoia, for these soft spots are covered by strong membranes that do an excellent job of safeguarding the brain.

All I need look out for are two (rare) signs of trouble: A depressed fontanel could be a symptom of dehydration, and a constantly bulging one could indicate pressure on the brain.

Back off world: I shall be a tigress with her cub from here on in…

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