Donna, babies are born with two soft spots, known as “fontanelles.” These are gaps where your baby’s skull bones come together. There is one in the front/top (“anterior”) of your baby’s head, and another at the back/top (“posterior”) of the head.
The fontanelles help protect your baby’s brain by allowing the skull bones to shift and cushion the impact when they’re squeezed during delivery, and also during minor bumps when your baby starts walking (and falling). Most parents are a little afraid of these spots, but it’s okay to touch your baby gently on her soft spots. Your baby’s brain underneath is protected by her scalp, a thick membrane, and some fluid underneath. It is normal to see your baby’s pulse in the fontanelles.
The posterior fontanelle is usually smaller and closes up by about 4 months of age. The anterior fontanelle is usually bigger, starts getting smaller around 6 months, and doesn’t close up until 9-18 months of age (by 2 years at the latest).
Our parenting advice is given as suggestions only. We recommend you also consult your healthcare provider, and urge you to contact them immediately if your question is urgent or about a medical condition.