Fontanelles, also known as "soft spots," are openings in the skull
where the bones haven't grown together yet. There are two fontanelles on your
baby's head. The anterior fontanel -- on the top of the head -- may be as wide
as two inches or five centimeters, and is generally closed by the eighteenth month.
The posterior fontanel, toward the back of the head, is smaller. It usually closes
by about the third month or earlier.
Many parents worry about injuring their baby's soft spot. But below the fontanelles, there's a tough membrane that protects the baby's brain. Normal handling of your baby won't injure the fontanelles or the brain.
Until your baby is strong enough to support herself, be sure to always support
the baby's head, neck, and back when lifting, carrying, and lowering the baby.