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Q&A: My baby’s soft spot was throbbing. Should I worry?

Q: My newborn baby’s soft spot was throbbing. Should I worry?

A: You are not alone in wondering about you baby’s “throbbing” soft spot (also referred to as the anterior fontanelle). This pulsating movement is actually a very common observation and concern amongst parents. The good news is that it is considered normal, and is simply thought to represent blood pulsing and flowing through the area. The pulsing is visible in this area on a baby’s head because the soft spot represents an area where the bones of the skull have not yet come together.

Fortunately, the soft spot is not actually all that soft, as it is well-protected by a very thick membrane until the bones come together and the fontanelle closes (usually some time during the second year of life). A bulging or sunken fontanelle are more potentially real cause for concern, since they can be associated with illness and/or dehydration, especially if a baby has other signs/symptoms of illness.

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