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What are the fontanels? Care and recommendations

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Many of us have heard that one of the first indications that relatives give to a mother who has just had a baby, is about the care of a baby’s fontanels. The reality is that there are many myths around it. So in order to properly care for our baby, this article is dedicated to learning about the subject, we will talk about what the fontanels are, even when it will be part of our baby and the reasons or functions it has, all in a simple and detailed way. Let’s start with:

What are the fontanels?

Medically they are called fontanelles, let’s say they are slightly “softer” parts found in your baby’s little head. You see, the skull is made up of several bones that over time will merge, we as adults say that it is only one. At this time when your baby is a newborn, he still has these bones unfused one hundred percent.

Imagine a puzzle, where they are joined pieces, but that union is still noticeable and you can see more sunk in the part that they join. It is something similar, where they come together, there are soft areas, which is what we know as fontanels.

In reality there is not a single fontanel, but there are two fontanelles, each of them has specific characteristics:

  • The first is behind the head, near the nape of the neck. It is the smallest, closes or joins first than the second. Because its size is smaller. Approximately at about 2 months, it will disappear.
  • The second is above the head, very close to the forehead. Being larger, it takes longer, approximately between 9 and 18 months of birth.

Quiet, maybe because of comments or even because of what we just commented on how soft these areas are, you will think that it is unprotected, but it is not exactly like that. These areas will be composed of 3 layers that will allow you to protect yourself and later help to unite, so although obviously open that you take care of it, it does not mean that you should not move it at all. You just have to avoid putting too much pressure on the area or itching, which in itself no adult would do, and that’s it. You can normally put on hats, bathe him, etc.

What is its function?

You may wonder why a baby can be born different from us adults, if it is some failure or slowness in its development. On the contrary, it is a function of survival and care. I tell you, it has two main functions:

  • The first has to do with the time of his birth. If the bones were completely firm and closed, there could be many complications in childbirth, because when passing through the canal, this would prevent them from being born or even open fractures.

That is why nature has been so wise that it allows the bones to be a little more malleable so that they can pass properly, as shown in the image. Which is just the first part that must pass. They are in very specific areas that allow everything to happen in the best way. Taking care of himself like you.

  • The second thing is that for this same reason the baby’s brain does not yet finish developing, but will continue to do so once it was born, what these bones allow is to adapt to this growth.

Previously there were many fears regarding the most appropriate care, that is why myths have been created about this area of the head, but in reality it is a completely natural issue and does not require any remedy. If you have any doubts or questions, always remember to go to a health professional, so that they can know the case of your specific baby. We hope that this information is very helpful and that you could above all resolve your doubts about its existence.


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