Expect a nurse, midwife, or other caregiver who assisted with the delivery to review a few baby basics. For one, your newborn has little muscle control yet and can't support the weight of that big head. So from now until about the third month, when you lift your infant up (or lay your infant down), you'll need to support your baby's head with your hand.
Also, baby's head has two 'soft spots' called fontanels. The largest one is at the top of the head, and the other is at the back of the head. Both are there because the bones of the skull haven't joined yet; this helps a baby squeeze through the birth canal and then allows room for the brain to grow. Though these soft spots are delicate, you can still touch and wash them as you would any other part of baby's body. A very thick skin protects them. The posterior fontanel closes by the third month, but the skull won't be fully joined until your baby is about 18 months old, when the period of the most intense brain development is over. You may be able to see baby's pulse at the fontanel; this is normal. But if the soft spots look sunken or raised, call your child's pediatrician, as that could indicate either dehydration or an illness.
Speaking of baby's head, don't be surprised if it's a little funny-looking. If you delivered vaginally, the head will be slightly cone-shaped and may have a puffiness over the back. If the baby was jammed against your pelvis during labor, the head might have a lump on one or both sides (called a cephalohematoma), which will also disappear by the end of the first month—although it might actually get larger over the first day or so. A tight squeeze down the birth canal can also temporarily flatten a baby's nose and push in the chin, but all this will correct itself with time.
Dr. Bettye M. Caldwell Ph.D. Professor of Pediatrics in Child Development and Education
Parenting advice is given as a suggestion only. We recommend you also consult your healthcare provider.