Caring for the Soft Spot on Your Baby's Head

Ahh, that soft, squishy little area on the top of your newborn's head - isn't it the cutest thing ever? But it can also cause a bit of anxiety for new parents. They may have probably spent an unhealthy amount of time gently touching it and then freaking out, wondering if they did some sort of irreparable damage.

Relax, mama (or papa!). That soft little fontanel area, known in Ayurveda as the "brahma randra," is completely normal and nothing to be scared of. But it is important to care for it properly as it serves a vital purpose in your baby's early development.

What Exactly Is It?

The soft spot is a little gap between the skull bones that doesn't fully fuse together until around 18-24 months. It's made of tough membrane and allows your baby's big 'ol brain some wiggle room to keep growing at the fast pace it needs to those first couple years.

In Ayurveda, which has been India's traditional system of medicine for thousands of years, the brahma randra is considered the biggest energy vortex in the body. The soft opening allows life force energy (prana) to flow in and out, facilitating consciousness and development.

Why You Gotta Be Careful

While the fontanel area is strong and well-protected by design, you still need to be cautious about bumps and pressure on it. Too much force can potentially cause injury or bleeding. This is especially important to keep in mind when:

  • Picking up/putting down baby
  • Dressing them
  • Bathing
  • Playing
  • Adjusting baby carriers, car seats, etc.

The membrane and bones surrounding the soft spot are still relatively delicate in the early months, so always support your little one's head and neck. Use the palm of your hand, never your fingers, when handling that area.

Another reason the soft spot needs some extra TLC is because the bones of an infant's skull are also quite malleable. Consistent pressure or positioning on one area can cause a flat spot to develop over time. So aim to vary holding positions and alternate which way baby lays their head while sleeping.

Ayurvedic Self-Massage

One neat Ayurvedic practice to try is giving your baby a gentle head massage. Not only is this soothing, but it's believed to stimulate the brahma randra and encourage healthy brain development. For massaging, use comfortably warm and Best Natural Baby Massage Oil. With your baby lying down, place your thumb and middle finger on each side of the soft spot. Gently rotate in one direction using a circular motion, avoiding any intense pressure on the fontanel itself. This self-massage is thought to promote healthy doshas (mind-body energies) in babies. Just be very gentle and keep sessions brief until your newborn can hold their head up well.

Ayurvedic Self-Massage

When to Be Concerned

While the soft spots are perfectly normal and nothing to obsess over, there are a few signs that could indicate a potential issue:

  • A constantly bulging fontanel - This could signal increased intracranial pressure from fluid buildup, an injury or other conditions. A slightly raised soft spot is normal when babies cry or strain.
  • A sunken-in fontanel - Dehydration is a common cause of this sunken appearance. Get baby drinking more fluids stat.
  • Excessive swelling around the area, leakage of fluid/blood or skin discolorations - These need medical evaluation right away.



The soft, spotted crown of your baby's head can seem a bit weird and freaky at first. But it's a built-in safety mechanism that gives their magnificent little brain room to grow and develop optimally. With some simple precautions, soft stuff massages and a watchful (but not paranoid!) eye, you'll make it through the first year of the soft spot stage like a pro.

Just keep giving that delicate little dome plenty of love, attention and adorable baby kisses. That bonding energy flowing through the brahma randra is what Ayurveda's all about.

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1. What is the soft spot on a baby's head?

Ans. The soft spot, or fontanel, is a gap between the skull bones that doesn't fully fuse together until around 18-24 months. It allows the baby's brain room to grow and is made of a tough membrane.

2. Why do I need to be careful with the soft spot? 

Ans. The fontanel area is strong but still relatively delicate in early months. Too much force or pressure can potentially cause injury or bleeding. 

3. How can I avoid flat spots from developing?

Ans. Aim to vary holding positions and alternate which way baby lays their head while sleeping. The malleable skull bones can become flattened from consistent pressure on one area.

4. When should I be concerned about the soft spot?

Ans. See a doctor if the fontanel is constantly bulging (may indicate increased pressure), sunken in (dehydration), or if there is excessive swelling, leakage or discoloration around the area.

5. Is a slightly raised soft spot normal?

Ans. Yes, it's normal for the fontanel to raise slightly when babies cry or strain. A constantly bulging soft spot is more concerning.

6. How long does it take for the soft spot to close?

Ans. The soft spot typically closes and remains a solid bone between 18-24 months of age, though the timing can vary slightly.

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