The fontanelle or “soft spot” is a normal gap at the top of a newborn’s skull. There are two fontanelles — one in the back and one in the front of the baby’s head. They are there because the baby’s skull bones are not completely formed.

They are covered by thick fibrous tissue and are not really soft at all, so you do not need to be afraid of hurting the fontanelles. This area is very tough and safe to touch gently. Sometimes you may notice the fontanelle pulsating (throbbing). This is normal.

The fontanelle in the back of the head usually closes by the time an infant is 1-2 months old. The fontanelle at the top of the head usually closes between 7-19 months.