Hard, Small, Painful Lump on Baby’s Head: Causes, Symptoms & Diagnosis

If your youthful baby appears to have a hard lump atop their head, it’s not to be glazed over. Chances are it’s relatively hurtless with a logical cause, but if you find yourself overreacting be rest assured it’s totally normal! All parents worry about their children, explicitly at younger ages, and achieving ultimate peace of mind by calling your pediatrician is key to knowing strictly what’s occurring with your child’s physical status.

Babies and young children can possess many ailments and minor concerns, but this article is categorically focusing on head lumps. So if you’ve seen or touched any form of lump on your baby’s head and desire more proficiency regarding causes, diagnosis and treatment with accompanying pictures, keep reading.

Are Infant Head Lumps Normal?

The word ‘normal’ is an incredibly vague analogy for many parents, simply because all babies are different! But precise characteristics are considered more sweeping than others, allowing midwives and doctors to identify anything seemingly abnormal rapidly.

In fact, it’s incredibly rare for a new born baby’s skull to be perfectly round and uniform. A baby’s skull is originally soft, meaning a multitude of lumps and misshapenness could easily occur and take up to 6 months to fully rectify.

Most Common Cause of a Lump on Baby’s Head

You’ll be pleased to know the majority of lumps on baby’s heads are conclusively harmless and likely to pose zero threat to health. Many lumps won’t possess symptoms either, meaning your baby is unlikely to experience pain or unpleasantness. In fact, a commonplace cause of a baby head lump is during delivery if a condition known as caput succedaneum arises.

Defined as a lump generated from scalp swelling during delivery, caput succedaneum occurs due to the intense pressure placed on babies during vaginal deliveries. Considered a comparatively common condition and generally healing itself within a mere few months, this condition had great prognosis and doesn’t conventionally cause long-term effects.

Are There Dangers of Lumps on Top of a Baby’s Head?

If diagnosed as caput succedaneum, the overall outlook is positive with fundamentally no medical treatments required. If your baby’s head is strikingly oversized and swollen, this is a normal consequence. However, this condition can cause valid complications so it’s important to be aware of what could be round the corner if your baby has suffered this.

The lumpy swelling caused by the condition has been related to infant jaundice, and if left untreated it could develop into oppressive health concerns. However, due to the recognisability of jaundice, your pediatric doctor or midwife will handily discern the signs and serve bespoke treatment.

Can a Lump on The Back of a Baby’s Head Be Caput Succedaneum?

Generally, this condition causes misshapen craniums and lumps atop a baby’s head. Therefore, if you feel a lump on the back of their head it could signal an alternative cause. Many lumps to the back of the skull signify a lymph node, especially if you can move the lump upon touching.

But this doesn’t overtly mean your baby’s suffering with anything severe like lymphoma; it simply means a lymph node may be swollen due to irritation or illness. However, as with virtually any irregular issue regarding your baby, it’s critical to pursue professional advice before jumping to worried judgements.

Can Babies Develop Cysts?

Whilst most commonly linked with adults or older children, cysts are a plausability within babies too. Typically found throughout multiple head locations, they’re not typically considered a cause for trouble and simply require periodic professional surveillance. But if a cystic lump becomes infected, your baby may contract problems. Luckily, such cysts are relatively easy to be surgically removed, and shouldn’t cause progressive issues later.

Symptoms of Infected Baby Head Lumps

As you’ve assuredly gathered by reading thus far, the majority of lumps, nodules and bumps found on a baby’s head aren’t threatening or unstable. But if your baby exhibits unmistakeable redness, swelling or an opening secreting yellowish pus, visit your doctor crucially for professional advice.

In severe cases, your baby’s breathing or swallowing may be impaired, so it’s essential you maintain vigilance for any abnormalities signifying potential infection.

Are Baby Head Lumps Always Hard?

If noticing a distinctly softer proportion of a baby’s skull, many parents instantly panic and speculate their child’s cranium simply hasn’t constructed properly. Contrary to popular belief, this isn’t the case as it’s utterly normal for a young baby’s skull to feel noticeably spongy during their initial weeks of life.

These are colloquially referred to as ‘soft spots’, and simply signify slight openings within the baby’s skull. But as your child grows and develops, these openings will close to form a matured, hardened skull. However, you’re concerned, there’s no harm visiting your doctor for advice.



Article References:

  1. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/infant-and-toddler-health/in-depth/healthy-baby/art-20045964
  2. https://www.healthline.com/health/caput-succedaneum
  3. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/infant-jaundice/symptoms-causes/syc-20373865
  4. https://www.cincinnatichildrens.org/health/c/cysts-types
  5. https://www.whattoexpect.com/first-year/ask-heidi/baby-soft-spot.aspx