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Thread: fontanelles

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Oct 2005
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    Default fontanelles

    Does anyone know anything about fontanelles? I have done some research trying to find out about them but I haven't been that successful. DS#3's fontanelle sometimes feels sunken in, I have asked the doctor about it but he says it is normal for them to rise and fall. I did hear once that if the fontanelle was sunken in that the baby was dehydrated but the health nurse told me that he isn't. Plus he is feeding every 3 hours still and having plenty of wet nappies and lots of drool. Does anyone know why they sink in and is it a bad sign?


  2. #2

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    I was worried too, and told the same as you its all fine! If it rises again once you put them on their side (I think?) or if they cry then you know it isn't dehydration, apparently it has to be exteremly sunken for there to be a problem.

    *hugs*
    Cailin

  3. #3

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    A fontanelle can look depressed or 'sunken' but not necessarily be a sign of dehydration if the baby is alert when awake, feeding and having wet nappies.

    I did a St John Ambulance child first aid course earlier this year. They said that while extremely sunken fontanelles are a sign of dehydration, they are one of the later signs of dehydration. You will usually see other earlier signs before this and be able to do something to address the dehydration.

    The earlier signs are a decrease in wet nappies (and wetness of nappies);dark, yellow urine; lethargy/unusually sleepy baby; dry and cracked lips and not much saliva in the mouth; increased fussiness and deep breathing. Then the later signs such as sunken eyes and sunken fontanelle kick in. HTH
    Last edited by Kirsty EW; May 18th, 2006 at 04:12 PM.

  4. #4
    Stormi Guest

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    I had the same problem with Makenzie, had heard that a sunken fontanelle meant dehydration, and her's was quite often sunken when upright, but only slightly - you could see it was slightly sunken but it wasn't like a huge dip in her head. If I laid her down again it went back to normal. That never happened with the boys, so it worried me at first, but she was getting plenty of fluids and heaps of really wet nappies and was happy and alert so I didn't worry about it.

  5. #5

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    Thanks everyone, I didn't really think he was dehydrated since he was having 8 wet cloth nappies within about 8 hours plus feeding well, but it is good to hear that others have the same thing. Now that you both have mentioned it (Cailin and Lisa) I have noticed that it only dips in a little when he is upright but as soon as he lays down it is fine. How odd as I never noticed with DS#1 as his fontanelle was so small, (the doc said due to being way overdue) and DS#2's was huge (the doc said due to being premmy) but never dipped in either. I am more at ease now! Thanks Kirsty for that info too, you have made me think to do a first aid course now, so thanks for the inspiration!

  6. #6

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    Feb 2005
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    Emma's fontanelle was also quite large & still you can see the rise & fall of her pulse. I've been told it's fine too.

    PS - good to hear from you Steph!

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