HEAD

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HAIR LOSS: Your baby will lose some hair over the first few days or weeks of life. The hair will usually grow back over the next few weeks or months, but occasionally may take longer. A good gauge as to how long this will take is how long it took the parents hair to grow back. No medicines or vitamins will make the hair grow back any quicker, all that is needed is good nutrition and nurturing from you.

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HEAD DEFORMITIES: When your baby has been in or through the birth canal, the head must deform slightly in order to fit through. The bones of the skull are loosely connected with cartilage and this allows flexibility. This is a perfectly normal process that we all have been through. The head will, therefore, have an oblonged shape at first that will revert to the normal shape within a few days. The birth process also causes some swelling that may feel like thick rubbery or fluid-like skin over the skull. This is called a caput, usually is at the back top of the head and will resolve within a few days to a week or so. A special type of swelling is called a cephalhematoma. This is actually a bruise or collection of blood under the outer layer of a skull bone. Much of the overlying swelling will fade, but the cephalhematoma will actually fill in with bone and be permanent. The bump will become less noticeable as your baby grows and usually is not noticeable by a few years of age. Usually no treatment is necessary for cephalhematomas. If there is any break in the skin over any swelling on the head, then keep it clean and call me for an appointment.

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FONTANELLE or SOFT SPOT: The soft spot on the top-center of your baby's head about 1/3rd of the way back from the forehead is absolutely normal. This spot is called a fontanel and is simply cartilage between the many bones that make up the skull. The reason so many bones and areas of cartilage are present is to allow the head to pass through the birth canal and to allow for grow of the skull. This fontanel usually closes between 10 and 18 months of age. A small percentage of normal babies will have a second fontanel in the back of the head which usually closes by 2 months of age. The ridges or lines going out from the fontanel(s) are also cartilage separating the bones of the skull and are normal. Touching these areas gently as you would normally handle your baby is not harmful. The fontanel will normally sink in slightly when your baby is held upright and may bulge when your baby cries. You may actually see your baby’s pulse here sometimes. If this soft spot is bulging and tense all the time, then you should call me.

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