No Soft Spot on Baby? When to Worry.

baby boy touching his head

My baby was born without a soft spot.

Most babies, when they are born, have a soft spot on the back top of their heads. The point of this soft spot is to help the head squish and work its way through the birth canal.

Also, as the baby grows, this soft spot slowly closes.

But the soft spot allows for the stretching and growing brain on the inside. Without this spot, bones and the brain are unable to grow the way that it needs to.

Thanks to modern technology, there are a few ways to fix the issue of not having a soft spot. But first, the mom, dad, or doctor has to spot it. Then the doctor will go over your options.

Read up on these few facts about not having a soft spot:

What is it called?

Craniosynostosis is the fancy word for being born without a soft spot. Craniosynostosis can also apply to children with soft spots that close too quickly as well.

There isn’t any apparent reason why this happens. With a lot of things about babies, it is a mystery. Some studies have pointed toward the cause is due to the baby’s position in the womb.

If the pressure is on your baby’s head is too much, it may cause the bones to grow fused.

And other guesses consider if genetics plays a role. However, unlike other genetic caused disorders, this one doesn’t need any family history to happen. Although the cause of Craniosynostosis is a mystery, luckily, doctors have figured out how to fix it.

What are some symptoms if it goes untreated?

If your child either goes diagnosed or you decide not to have it fixed, there are quite a few pretty gnarly effects that could happen to your child.

Decreased intelligence, seizures, and lowered immunity, just to name a few. Also, Craniosynostosis often is affiliated with other genetic disorders. Crouzon, Apert, Carpenter, Saether-Chotzen syndromes are all seen in conjunction with Craniosynostosis.

So if your child has this disorder, then consider that there may be other factors at play. Discuss all of this with your doctor.

Types of Craniosynostosis

There are four significant types of Craniosynostosis. The kinds of Craniosynostosis apply mostly to the part of the head that is closing too early. So on your baby’s head, there are skull sutures one going vertically on the back of the head, two going horizontally, and one on the front of the skull.

  • Sagittal synostosis: a vertical suture that runs front to back.
  • Coronal synostosis: a suture running horizontally from ear to ear.
  • Lambdoid synostosis: surgical suture on the backside of the head.
  • Metopic synostosis: suture from the top of the head to the nose.

All of these sutures serve a purpose, and all of these sutures make a difference in growth. Depending on where the failure to close happens depends on the treatment. Treatment can range from therapy to surgery, depending on the individual baby’s needs.

Surgery can be a scary thing to deal with but always find a trustworthy doctor to help you with your child’s individual needs.

There is much more information on different types of Craniosynostosis that is interesting to read.

Treatments

To be as effective as possible and to allow for the large amount of brain growth that happens in the first year, it is essential to get treatment quickly.

Children who need treatment will have it within the first year to get the best results. If the entire suture closes, then it is likely that surgery will be the only option.

The surgeon will re-break the bones and temporarily suture them so that they can heal. The child will be under general anesthesia and shouldn’t feel a thing.

But the recovery is hard and painful.

Modern technology has opened the door to a less invasive option. Endoscopic surgery can be beneficial for children who need there sutures reopened because it is much less invasive and the recovery is much more comfortable.

Both of these options can happen after three months of age. After completing both surgeries, it is pretty typical for a baby to wear a helmet for six months to a year.

The baby helmet just helps hold everything in place so that it can grow and stretch correctly.

The helmet can be a treatment on its own as well. For children with less severe failure to close of the sutures, they can just have a helmet for a year.

The helmet helps keep things where they are supposed to be until they are done growing and stretching. Additional treatment options are available.

Prognosis

Children who have Craniosynotosis in a less severe form have a reasonably good outlook.

Also, children who only have Craniosynotosis and are not suffering from any other genetic disease or problem have a much better outlook than a child who has some other issues going on.

Although the treatment is pretty intense, it is a reasonably easy problem to fix. Almost all pediatricians check the soft spot to ensure that it is growing as it should during regular check-ups.

So as long as you are taking your child for regular child wellness check-ups, you should be in the clear of this highly unlikely issue.

Conclusion

Craniosynostosis is a problem that some children experience where the suture on your baby’s head closed too quickly, or they are born with them closed.

Premature closures can cause significant problems with growth and brain development. When things are not able to stretch the way that they need to, then proper growth is painful. There are many different types of Craniosynostosis is all about different parts of the head.

There are different treatments based on the severity of the Craniosynostosis. It is a not so common problem that is often present in those with genetic disorders.

If you suspect your child is suffering from this condition, see your pediatrician immediately.