Photo of a newborn's head

You'll notice two soft areas at the top of your baby's head where the skull bones haven't yet grown together. These spots, called fontanels, are designed to allow a baby's relatively large head to move down the narrow birth canal. They also accommodate a baby's rapidly growing brain. You might notice slight bulging from these spots when your baby cries or strains.

Soft spots are covered by a thick fibrous layer. They're safe to touch and typically close within 12 to 18 months, when the skull bones fuse together.