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An infant (from the Latin word ''infans'', meaning 'unable to speak' or 'speechless') is the more formal or specialised synonym for the common term ''baby'', meaning the
very young offspring
very young offspring
of
human beings Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most abundant and widespread species of primate, characterized by bipedality, bipedalism and large, complex brains. This has enabled the development of advanced tools, culture, and language. Humans are highly ...
. The term may also be used to refer to juveniles of other organisms. A newborn is, in colloquial use, an infant who is only hours, days, or up to one month old. In medical contexts, newborn or neonate (from Latin, ''neonatus'', newborn) refers to an infant in the first 28 days after birth; the term applies to
premature Premature may refer to: * ''Premature'' (2014 film), an American comedy film * Premature (2019 film), ''Premature'' (2019 film), an American romantic drama film * ''PREMature'', a 2015 British television drama miniseries See also

* Premature ...
, full term, and postmature infants. Before birth, the term ''
fetus A fetus or foetus (; plural fetuses, feti, foetuses, or foeti) is the unborn offspring that develops from an animal embryo An embryo is the early stage of development of a multicellular organism A multicellular organism is an organism tha ...

fetus
'' is used. The term ''infant'' is typically applied to very young children under one year of age; however, definitions may vary and may include children up to two years of age. When a human child learns to walk, the term ''
toddler A toddler is a child approximately 12 to 36 months old, though definitions vary. The toddler years are a time of great cognitive, emotional and social development. The word is derived from "to toddle", which means to walk unsteadily, like a child ...
'' may be used instead.


Other uses

In
British English British English (BrE) is the standard dialect A standard language (also standard variety, standard dialect, and standard) is a language variety that has undergone substantial codification of grammar and usage and is employed by a populatio ...
, an ''
infant school An infant school is a term used primarily in England and Wales England and Wales () is a legal jurisdiction covering England and Wales, two of the four countries of the United Kingdom, parts of the United Kingdom. England and Wales forms the consti ...
'' is for children aged between four and seven. As a legal term, ''infancy'' is more like being a
minor Minor may refer to: * Minor (law), a person under the age of certain legal activities. ** A person who has not reached the age of majority * Academic minor, a secondary field of study in undergraduate education Music theory *Minor chord ** Barbe ...
, and continues until a person reaches 18 years of age.


Physical characteristics of newborns

A newborn's shoulders and hips are wide, the abdomen protrudes slightly, and the arms and legs are relatively long with respect to the rest of their body.


Length

In
developed countries A developed country (or industrialized country, high-income country, more economically developed country (MEDC), advanced country) is a sovereign state A sovereign state is a political entity that is represented by one centralized governmen ...
, the average total body length of a newborn is , although premature newborns may be much smaller. The way to measure a baby's length is to lay the baby down and stretch a measuring tape from the top of the head to the bottom of the heel.


Weight

In developed countries, the average
birth weight Birth weight is the body weight Human body weight refers to a person's mass or weight. Body weight is measured in kilogram The kilogram (also kilogramme) is the base unit of mass in the International System of Units (SI), the current metri ...
of a full-term newborn is approximately , and is typically in the range of . Over the first 5–7 days following birth, the body weight of a term neonate decreases by 3–7%, and is largely a result of the resorption and urination of the fluid that initially fills the lungs, in addition to a delay of often a few days before
breastfeeding Breastfeeding, also called nursing, is the process of feeding a mother's breast milk to her infant, either directly from the breast or by expressing (pumping out) the milk from the breast and bottle-feeding it to the infant. The World Healt ...

breastfeeding
becomes effective. After the first week, healthy term neonates should gain 10–20 grams/day.


Head

A newborn's head is very large in proportion to the body, and the
cranium The skull is a bone A bone is a Stiffness, rigid tissue (anatomy), tissue that constitutes part of the vertebrate skeleton in animals. Bones protect the various organs of the body, produce red blood cell, red and white blood cells, store mi ...
is enormous relative to his or her face. While the adult human skull is about one seventh of the total body length, the newborn's is about . Normal head circumference for a full-term infant is 33–36 cm at birth. At birth, many regions of the newborn's skull have not yet been converted to bone, leaving "soft spots" known as
fontanel A fontanelle (or fontanel) (colloquially, soft spot) is an anatomical Anatomy (Greek ''anatomē'', 'dissection') is the branch of biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anatomy, p ...
s. The two largest are the diamond-shaped anterior fontanel, located at the top front portion of the head, and the smaller triangular-shaped posterior fontanel, which lies at the back of the head. Later in the child's life, these bones will fuse together in a natural process. A protein called noggin is responsible for the delay in an infant's skull fusion. During
labour Labour or labor may refer to: * Childbirth Childbirth, also known as labour or delivery, is the ending of pregnancy where one or more babies leaves the uterus by passing through the vagina or by Caesarean section. In 2015, there were about 13 ...

labour
and birth, the infant's skull changes shape to fit through the
birth canal In mammal Mammals (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of t ...
, sometimes causing the child to be born with a misshapen or elongated head. It will usually return to normal on its own within a few days or weeks. Special exercises sometimes advised by
physician A physician (American English), medical practitioner (English in the Commonwealth of Nations, Commonwealth English), medical doctor, or simply doctor, is a professional who practices medicine, which is concerned with promoting, maintainin ...

physician
s may assist the process.


Hair

Some newborns have a fine, downy body hair called
lanugo Lanugo is very thin, soft, usually unpigmented, downy hair Hair is a protein filament In biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anatomy, physical structure, Biochemistry, chemi ...

lanugo
. It may be particularly noticeable on the back, shoulders, forehead, ears and face of premature infants. Lanugo disappears within a few weeks. Infants may be born with full heads of hair; others, particularly
caucasian Caucasian may refer to: Anthropology *Anything from the Caucasus region **Peoples of the Caucasus, humans from the Caucasus region **Languages of the Caucasus, languages spoken in the Caucasus region ** ''Caucasian Exarchate'' (1917–1920), an ...
infants, may have very fine hair or may even be bald. Amongst fair-skinned parents, this fine hair may be blonde, even if the parents are not. Infants hair color and texture change. Red can give way to blond. Curly can go straight and baby's thick, dark hair could make its reappearance a lot sparser and lighter. The
scalp The scalp is the anatomical area bordered by the human at the front, and by the at the sides and back. Structure The scalp is usually described as having five layers, which can conveniently be remembered as a : * S: The on the head from w ...
may also be temporarily
bruise A bruise, also known as a contusion, is a type of hematoma A hematoma, also spelled haematoma, or blood suffusion is a localized bleeding Bleeding, also known as a hemorrhage, haemorrhage, or simply blood loss, is blood Blood is a bod ...

bruise
d or swollen, especially in hairless newborns, and the area around the eyes may be puffy.


Skin

Immediately after birth, a newborn's skin is often grayish to dusky blue in color. As soon as the newborn begins to breathe, usually within a minute or two, the skin's color reaches its normal tone. Newborns are wet, covered in streaks of blood, and coated with a white substance known as
vernix caseosa Vernix caseosa, also known as vernix or birthing custard, is the waxy white substance found coating the skin Skin is the layer of usually soft, flexible outer tissue covering the body of a vertebrate animal, with three main functions: protection ...
, which is hypothesised to act as an
antibacterial An antibiotic is a type of antimicrobial An antimicrobial is an agent that kills microorganism A microorganism, or microbe,, ''mikros'', "small") and ''organism In biology, an organism (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ὀργανισμ ...
barrier. The newborn may also have
Mongolian spot Slate grey nevus (congenital dermal melanocytosis, Mongolian spot) is a benign {{Unreferenced, date=June 2019, bot=noref (GreenC bot) Benignity (from Latin ''benignus'' "kind, good", itself deriving from ''bonus'' "good" and ''genus'' "origin") i ...

Mongolian spot
s, various other
birthmark A birthmark is a congenital A birth defect, also known as a congenital disorder, is a condition present at birth Birth is the act or process of bearing or bringing forth offspring, also referred to in technical contexts as parturition. In mam ...

birthmark
s, or peeling skin, particularly on the wrists, hands, ankles, and feet.


Genitals

A newborn's
genitals A sex organ (or reproductive organ) is any part of an animal or plant that is involved in sexual reproduction Sexual reproduction is a type of reproduction that involves a complex Biological life cycle, life cycle in which a gamete (such as a sp ...

genitals
are enlarged and reddened, with male infants having an unusually large scrotum. The breasts may also be enlarged, even in male infants. This is caused by naturally occurring maternal hormones and is a temporary condition. Females (and even males) may actually discharge milk from their nipples (sometimes called
witch's milk Witch's milk or neonatal milk is milk Milk is a nutrient-rich liquid food produced by the mammary gland A mammary gland is an exocrine gland in humans and other mammals that produces milk to feed young offspring. Mammals get their name ...
), or a bloody or milky-like substance from the vagina. In either case, this is considered normal and will disappear with time.


Umbilical cord

The
umbilical cord In placental Placentalia is one of the three extant subdivisions of the class of animals Mammalia Mammals (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European la ...
of a newborn is bluish-white in color. After birth, the umbilical cord is normally cut, leaving a 1–2 inch stub. The umbilical stub will dry out, shrivel, darken, and spontaneously fall off within about 3 weeks. This will later become a belly-button after it heals. The umbilical cord contains three vessels: two arteries and one vein. The two arteries carry blood from the baby to the placenta while one vein carries blood back to the baby.


Care and feeding

Infants
cry Crying or weeping is the dropping of tears Tears are a clear liquid secreted by the lacrimal glands (tear gland) found in the eyes of all land mammals (except for goats and rabbits). Their functions include lubricating the eyes (basal tears ...
as a form of basic instinctive communication. A crying infant may be trying to express a variety of feelings including hunger, discomfort, overstimulation, boredom, wanting something, or loneliness.
Breastfeeding Breastfeeding, also called nursing, is the process of feeding a mother's breast milk to her infant, either directly from the breast or by expressing (pumping out) the milk from the breast and bottle-feeding it to the infant. The World Healt ...

Breastfeeding
is the recommended method of feeding by all major infant health organizations. If breastfeeding is not possible or desired, bottle feeding is done with expressed breast-milk or with
infant formula Infant formula, baby formula or just formula (American English American English (AmE, AE, AmEng, USEng, en-US), sometimes called United States English or U.S. English, is the set of varieties of the English language native to the United S ...

infant formula
. Infants are born with a sucking reflex allowing them to extract the milk from the
nipple The nipple is a raised region of tissue on the surface of the breast The breast is one of two prominences located on the upper region of the of s. In females, it serves as the , which produces and secretes milk to feed s. Both females ...

nipple
s of the breasts or the nipple of the
baby bottle A baby bottle, or nursing bottle, or feeding bottle, is a bottle with a teat (also called a nipple in the United States, US) to drink directly from. It is typically used by infants and young children, or if someone cannot (without difficulty) drin ...

baby bottle
, as well as an instinctive behavior known as ''rooting'' with which they seek out the nipple. Sometimes a
wet nurse A wet nurse is a woman who breastfeeding, breast feeds and cares for another's child. Wet nurses are employed if the mother dies, or if she is unable or chooses not to nurse the child herself. Wet-nursed children may be known as "milk-siblings", ...
is hired to feed the infant, although this is rare, especially in developed countries. Adequate food consumption at an early age is vital for an infant's development. The foundations of optimum health, growth, and neurodevelopment across the lifespan are established in the
first 1000 daysThe first 1000 days is a concept in child development Child development involves the Human development (biology), biological, developmental psychology, psychological and emotional changes that occur in human beings between birth and the conclusion o ...
of life. From birth to six months, infants should consume only breast milk or an unmodified milk substitute. As an infant's diet matures, finger foods may be introduced as well as fruit, vegetables and small amounts of meat. As infants grow,
food supplement A dietary supplement is a manufactured product intended to supplement one's diet by taking a pill, capsule, tablet, powder or liquid. A supplement can provide nutrient A nutrient is a substance used by an organism to survive, grow, and ...
s are added. Many parents choose commercial, ready-made
baby food Baby food is any soft, easily consumed food other than breastmilk or infant formula that is made specifically for human babies between four and six months and two years old. The food comes in many varieties and flavors that are purchased ready- ...
s to supplement breast milk or formula for the child, while others adapt their usual meals for the dietary needs of their child. Whole cow's
milk Milk is a nutrient A nutrient is a substance Substance may refer to: * Substance (Jainism), a term in Jain ontology to denote the base or owner of attributes * Chemical substance, a material with a definite chemical composition * Matter, any ...

milk
can be used at one year, but lower-fat milk is not recommended until the child is 2 to 3 years old. Weaning is the process through which breast milk is eliminated from the infant's diet through the introduction of solid foods in exchange for milk. Until they are toilet-trained, infants in industrialized countries wear
diaper A diaper /ˈdaɪpə(r)/ (American American(s) may refer to: * American, something of, from, or related to the United States of America, commonly known as the United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the U ...

diaper
s. The transition from diapers to training pants is an important transition in the development of an infant/baby to that of a toddler. Children need more sleep than adults—up to 18 hours for newborn babies, with a declining rate as the child ages. Until babies learn to walk, they are carried in the arms, held in slings or baby carriers, or transported in baby carriages or strollers. Most industrialized countries have laws requiring
child safety seat . A child safety seat, sometimes called a infant safety seat, child restraint system, child seat, baby seat, car seat A car seat is the seat SEAT, S.A. (, ; ''Sociedad Española de Automóviles de Turismo'') is a Spanish automobile manufa ...
s for babies in motor vehicles.


Common care issues

*
Baby colic Baby colic, also known as infantile colic, is defined as episodes of crying Crying or weeping is the dropping of tears Tears are a clear liquid secreted by the lacrimal glands (tear gland) found in the eyes of all Mammal, land mammals (exce ...
*
Bassinet , c. 1465 Image:HRBassinet.JPG, wikt:rooming-in care, Rooming-in bassinet A bassinet, bassinette, or cradle is a bed (furniture), bed specifically for babies from birth to about four months. Bassinets are generally designed to work with fixed leg ...
/ crib *
Cradle cap Cradle cap causes crusty or oily scaly patches on a baby's scalp. The condition is not painful or itchy, but it can cause thick white or yellow scales that are not easy to remove. Cradle cap most commonly begins sometime in the first three months ...
*
Day care Child care, otherwise known as day care, is the care and supervision of a child or multiple children at a time, whose ages range from two weeks to twenty years. Child care is a broad topic that covers a wide spectrum of professionals, institutions ...
*
Diaper rash Irritant diaper dermatitis (IDD, also called a diaper rash) is a generic term applied to skin Skin is the layer of usually soft, flexible outer tissue covering the body of a vertebrate Vertebrates () comprise all species of animal An ...
*
Infant massage Infant massage is a type of complementary and alternative treatment that uses massage therapy for babies. Evidence is insufficient to support its use in either full term or preterm babies to achieve physical growth. History Ayurvedic medicine in ...
*
Immunization Immunization, or immunisation, is the process by which an individual's immune system becomes fortified against an infectious agent (known as the antigen, immunogen). When this system is exposed to molecules that are foreign to the body, called ' ...

Immunization
*
Pacifier A pacifier is a rubber, plastic, or silicone nipple substitute given to an infant to suckle upon between feedings to quiet its distress by satisfying the need to suck when it does not need to eat. Pacifiers normally have three parts, an elongated ...

Pacifier
* Paternal bond *
Swaddling Swaddling is an age-old practice of wrapping infants 222x222px, Eight-month-old sororal twin sisters An infant (from the Latin word ''infans'', meaning 'unable to speak' or 'speechless') is the more formal or specialised synonym for th ...
*
Teething Teething is the process by which an infant 222x222px, Eight-month-old sororal twin sisters An infant (from the Latin word ''infans'', meaning 'unable to speak' or 'speechless') is the more formal or specialised synonym for the common te ...

Teething


Benefits of touch

Studies have shown that infants who have been the recipients of positive touch experience more benefits as they develop emotionally and socially. Experiments have been done with infants up to four months of age using both positive touch (stroking or cuddling) and negative touch (poking, pinching, or tickling). The infants who received the positive touch cried less often and also vocalized and smiled more than the infants who were touched negatively. Infants who were the recipients of negative touching have been linked with emotional and behavioral problems later in life. A lower amount of physical violence in adults has been discovered in cultures with greater levels of positive physical touching.


Language development

Caregivers of an infant are advised to pick up on the infant's facial expressions and mirror them. Reproducing and empathizing with their facial expressions enables infants to experience effectiveness and to recognize their own actions more easily (see
mirror neuron A mirror neuron is a neuron that action potential, fires both when an animal acts and when the animal observes the same action performed by another. Thus, the neuron "mirrors" the behavior of the other, as though the observer were itself acting. ...
s). Exaggeratedly reproduced facial expressions and gestures are recommended, as they are clearer forms of expression. The baby's babbling should also be picked up and repeated. By imitating each other's sounds the first simple dialogues are initiated. Kostenloser Volltext Accentuated pronunciation and melodic intonation make it easier to recognize individual words in a sentence. However, it is not advisable to use simplified " baby language" (e.g. "Did you 'ouch'?" instead of, "Did you hurt yourself?"). Even if parents cannot yet understand infants' babbling, a timely response by parents to babbling leads to faster language acquisition. This was confirmed by researchers who first studied mothers' behavior towards 8-month-old infants and later tested the infants' vocabulary when they were 15 months old. A first important development of infants is the discovery that they can influence their parents through babbling (development of intentional communication). Parents can encourage this by engaging with their infants in babbling. This in turn promotes further language development, as infants then turn to their parents more often. Previous studies have shown that the infant's speech is encouraged when parents, for example, smile in the infant's direction or touch the infant every time the infant looks at them and babbles. It also helps if parents respond to what they think their baby is saying (for example, giving a ball or commenting when the baby looks at the ball and babbles). Responding to sounds produced when the baby looks at an object (object-directed vocalizations) thus provide an opportunity to learn the name of the object. In this way, babies also learn that sounds are associated with objects. However, language development is only achieved if parents react positively (e.g. smile) in response to the infant's babbling. A high response rate without a connection to the infant's utterances does not lead to language promotion. It is detrimental to language development if a mother instead tries to divert the infant's attention to something else.


Sleep

A 2018 review analysed 146 studies on infant sleep behavior and listed several factors that show an effect on sleep duration and the number of night wakings. For example, stimulating daytime activities, reading aloud before sleeping, early bedtime, a sleep routine, and avoiding television and media exposure before bedtime are associated with longer sleep duration and fewer nighttime awakenings. Furthermore, strong parental involvement at falling asleep is associated with shorter sleep duration, slower falling asleep and more frequent night-time awakenings in the studies analysed. Strong parental involvement is understood to include parental presence, cradling, or breastfeeding at bedtime, as well as carrying the infant to sleep and then putting the infant down. Strong parental involvement has a negative effect on infant sleep because the infant cannot develop the ability to self-soothe. On the other hand, low parental involvement at bedtime gives the infant room to learn self-soothing and self-regulation. In 2020, a Finnish study established (according to the research leader) for the first time a reference value for infant sleep quality based on a large
data set A data set (or dataset) is a collection of data Data (; ) are individual facts, statistics, or items of information, often numeric. In a more technical sense, data are a set of values of qualitative property, qualitative or quantity, quantit ...
(about 5,700 babies). Almost 40% of the participating parents with eight-month-old babies said they were worried about their sleep. In fact, sleep problems were common; however, children fall asleep faster, wake up less often during the night and stay awake less late at night the older they get. At the same time, total sleep time decreases. The study was also able to determine reference values for normal sleep (see table). Children who sleep significantly less than average would usually benefit from supportive measures, for which a number of methods would be available (a discussion with the pediatrician or see, for example, the article on sleep training). : = normal sleep : =
Sleep hygiene Sleep hygiene is a behavioral and environmental practice developed in the late 1970s as a method to help people with mild to moderate insomnia. However, , the evidence for effectiveness of individual recommendations is "limited and inconclusive". C ...
should be improved
: = it is recommended to seek help (
pediatrician Pediatrics ( also spelled paediatrics or pædiatrics) is the branch of medicine Medicine is the Art (skill), art, science, and Praxis (process) , practice of caring for a patient and managing the diagnosis, prognosis, Preventive medicine, pre ...
, sleep counselling).


Maternal sensitivity

Maternal sensitivity plays a particular role in the relationship with the infant and for favorable emotional development. This means being attentive to the infant's behavioral expressions, not misinterpreting the infant's expressions because of one's own moods, reacting immediately to the situation and finding a response that is appropriate to the context and the expressed needs. A secure attachment is promoted through empathetic and adequate as well as prompt responses.Kathrin Keller-Schuhmacher (2010) ''Bindung – von der Theorie zur Praxis: worauf kommt es an?'' Referat anlässlich der Fachtagung der AWO vom 8. November 2010 in Freiburg i.Br.
(PDF; 111 kB).
!-- Nach diesem Archivlink musste ich fast eine geschlagene Stunde auf Umwegen suchen, weil er über keine Internet-Archiv-Suche auffindbar war! Bitte grds. Archivierung und Archivlink bei wichtigen Quellen mögl. immer mit anlegen. -->
Helmut Johnson (2006) ''Bindungsstörungen Material zur Systemischen Arbeit in Erziehung und Betreuung''
(PDF; 72 kB).
/ref> In accordance with their basic needs, infants show an inborn behavior of seeking closeness to the mother – or to another primary caregiver – and thus in turn foster an attachment. When separated from the mother, infants protest by crying and by body movements.


Other

Wearing has a calming effect on infants. A 2013 study showed that infants placed in a cradle cried and kicked more often and had an increased heart rate (so the infants were stressed), while those picked up and carried by the mother while walking around calmed down significantly. The effect of being held motionless in the arm was intermediate between that of being carried around and that of being put down. That carrying (e.g., in a baby sling) makes infants more content and makes them cry less had already been shown in a randomized study in 1986. For infant feeding,
breastfeeding Breastfeeding, also called nursing, is the process of feeding a mother's breast milk to her infant, either directly from the breast or by expressing (pumping out) the milk from the breast and bottle-feeding it to the infant. The World Healt ...

breastfeeding
is recommended by all major infant health organizations.


Plane travel

Many
airlines An airline is a company that provides air transport services for traveling passenger A passenger (also abbreviated as pax) is a person who travels in a vehicle but bears little or no responsibility for the tasks required for that vehicle ...
refuse boarding for all babies aged under 7 days (for domestic flights) or 14 days for international flights.
Asiana Airlines Asiana Airlines Inc. ( ) is a South Korean airline headquartered in Seoul Seoul (, like ''soul''; ko, 서울 ; ), officially the Seoul Special City, is the Capital city, capital and largest metropolis of South Korea.Before 1972, Seoul w ...

Asiana Airlines
allows babies to board international flights at 7 days of age.
Garuda Indonesia Garuda Indonesia is the flag carrier of Indonesia, headquartered at Soekarno–Hatta International Airport. A successor of KLM Interinsulair Bedrijf, it is a member of SkyTeam and the second-largest List of airlines of Indonesia, airline of Indo ...

Garuda Indonesia
disallows all babies under the age of 14 days to board any flights.
Delta Air Lines Delta Air Lines, Inc., typically referred to as Delta, is one of the major airlines of the United States Major is a military rank Military ranks are a system of hierarchical A hierarchy (from the Greek: , from , 'president of sa ...
allows infants to travel when they are less than 7 days old when they present a physician travel approval letter. Skywest will not allow an infant less than 8 days old on board.


Behaviour


Emotional development

Attachment theory is primarily an
evolutionary Evolution is change in the Heredity, heritable Phenotypic trait, characteristics of biological populations over successive generations. These characteristics are the Gene expression, expressions of genes that are passed on from parent to offsp ...

evolutionary
and
ethological Ethology is the scientific method, scientific and objective study of animal behaviour, usually with a focus on behaviour under natural conditions, and viewing behaviour as an evolutionarily Adaptive behavior (ecology), adaptive trait. Behav ...
theory whereby the infant or child ''seeks proximity'' to a ''specified attachment figure'' in situations of alarm or distress for the purpose of survival. "Until recently, scientific accounts ... of the infant's early social experiences converged on the view that the infant progresses from a primary relationship with one individual... to relationships with a growing number of people... This is an epigenetic, hierarchical view of social development. We have labeled this dominant view the continuous care and contact model (CCC...). The CCC model developed from the writings of Spitz..., Bowlby..., and Provence and Lipton... on institutionalized children and is represented in the psychological views of Bowlby... nd others Common to the different conceptual frameworks is the belief that parenting practices and the infant's capacity for social engagement are biologically based and conform to a prototypical form. Supporters of the CCC model generally recognize that the infant and caregiver are able to adjust to a range of conditions, but they consider the adjustments observed to reflect biological variation. However, more extreme views (e.g., maternal bonding) consider certain variants as non adaptive and as compromising the child's psychological development. Bowlby's concept of monotropism is an exemplar of the CCC perspective...". The forming of attachments is considered to be the foundation of the infant/child's capacity to form and conduct relationships throughout life. Attachment is not the same as love or affection although they often go together. Attachment and attachment
behavior Behavior (American English American English (AmE, AE, AmEng, USEng, en-US), sometimes called United States English or U.S. English, is the set of variety (linguistics), varieties of the English language native to the United States. Cur ...
s tend to develop between the age of 6 months and 3 years. Infants become attached to adults who are sensitive and responsive in
social interaction In social science Social science is the branch A branch ( or , ) or tree branch (sometimes referred to in botany Botany, also called , plant biology or phytology, is the science of plant life and a branch of biology. A botan ...
s with the infant, and who remain as consistent caregivers for some time. Parental responses lead to the development of patterns of attachment, which in turn lead to 'internal working models' which will guide the individual's feelings, thoughts, and expectations in later relationships.Bretherton, I. and Munholland, K., A. Internal Working Models in Attachment Relationships: A Construct Revisited. ''Handbook of Attachment:Theory, Research and Clinical Applications'' 1999 eds Cassidy, J. and Shaver, P., R. Guilford press There are a number of attachment 'styles' namely 'secure', 'anxious-ambivalent', 'anxious-avoidant', (all 'organized') and 'disorganized', some of which are more problematic than others. A lack of attachment or a seriously disrupted capacity for attachment could potentially amount to serious disorders. Infants develop distinct relationships to their mothers, fathers, siblings, and non-familial caregivers. Beside the dyadic attachment relationships also a good quality of the triadic relationships (mother – father – infant) is important for infant mental health development.


Response to sounds

Infants respond to the sound of snake hissing, angry voices of adults, the crackling sound of a fire, thunder, and the cries of other infants. They have a drop in heart rate, their eyes blinking, increased turning toward the speakers or parent, all of these indicating that they were paying more attention. This is believed to be an evolutionary response to danger. Babies' ability to accurately locate sounds is refined during their first year.


Health issues


Diseases

The infant is undergoing many adaptations to extrauterine life, and its physiological systems, such as the
immune system The immune system is a network of biological processes that protects an organism from diseases. It detects and responds to a wide variety of pathogens, from viruses to parasitic worms, as well as Tumor immunology, cancer cells and objects such ...
, are far from fully developed. Potential diseases of concern during the neonatal period include: *
Neonatal jaundice Neonatal jaundice is a yellowish discoloration of the white part of the eyes and skin Skin is the layer of usually soft, flexible outer tissue covering the body of a vertebrate animal, with three main functions: protection, regulation, and se ...

Neonatal jaundice
*
Infant respiratory distress syndrome Infantile respiratory distress syndrome (IRDS), also called respiratory distress syndrome of newborn, or increasingly surfactant deficiency disorder (SDD), and previously called hyaline membrane disease (HMD), is a syndrome A syndrome is a set of ...
* Neonatal lupus erythematosus * Neonatal conjunctivitis *
Neonatal tetanus Neonatal tetanus is a form of generalised tetanus that occurs in newborns. Infants who have not acquired passive immunity from the mother having been immunised are at risk. It usually occurs through infection of the unhealed umbilical stump, parti ...
* Neonatal sepsis * Neonatal bowel obstruction *
Benign neonatal seizuresBenign neonatal seizures include two disorders: benign {{Unreferenced, date=June 2019, bot=noref (GreenC bot) Benignity (from Latin ''benignus'' "kind, good", itself deriving from ''bonus'' "good" and ''genus'' "origin") is any condition that is ha ...
* Neonatal diabetes mellitus *
Neonatal alloimmune thrombocytopenia Neonatal alloimmune thrombocytopenia (NAITP, NAIT, NATP or NAT) is a disease A disease is a particular abnormal condition that negatively affects the structure A structure is an arrangement and organization of interrelated elements in a ...
*
Neonatal herpes simplex Neonatal herpes simplex is a rare but serious condition, usually caused by vertical transmissionVertical transmission of symbionts Symbiosis (from Greek , , "living together", from , , "together", and , bíōsis, "living") is any type of a cl ...
* Neonatal hemochromatosis * Neonatal meningitis *
Neonatal hepatitis Neonatal hepatitis refers to many forms of liver The liver is an organ only found in vertebrates which detoxifies various metabolites, synthesizes proteins and produces biochemicals necessary for digestion and growth. In humans, it is locat ...
*
Neonatal hypoglycemia Neonatal hypoglycemia occurs when the neonate's blood glucose level is less than the newborn's body requirements for factors such as cellular energy and metabolism. There is inconsistency internationally for diagnostic thresholds. In the US, hypogl ...


Mortality

Infant mortality is the death of an infant in the first year of life, often expressed as the number of deaths per 1000 live births (infant mortality rate). Major causes of infant mortality include
dehydration In physiology, dehydration is a lack of total body water In physiology Physiology (; ) is the scientific study of functions and mechanisms in a living system. As a sub-discipline of biology Biology is the natural science that studie ...

dehydration
,
infection An infection is the invasion of an organism's body tissues by disease-causing agents, their multiplication, and the reaction of host A host is a person responsible for guests at an event or for providing hospitality during it. Host may ...

infection
,
congenital malformation A birth defect, also known as a congenital disorder, is a condition present at birth Birth is the act or process of bearing or bringing forth offspring, also referred to in technical contexts as parturition. In mammals, the process is initiate ...
and SIDS. This
epidemiological Epidemiology is the study and analysis of the distribution (who, when, and where), patterns and determinants In mathematics, the determinant is a Scalar (mathematics), scalar value that is a function (mathematics), function of the entries of a s ...
indicator is recognized as a very important measure of the level of health care in a country because it is directly linked with the
health Health, according to the World Health Organization The World Health Organization (WHO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations United Nations Specialized Agencies are autonomous organizations working with the United Nations and each ...

health
status of infants, children, and pregnant women as well as access to medical care, socioeconomic conditions, and
public health Public health has been defined as "the science and art of preventing disease", prolonging life and improving quality of life Quality of life (QOL) is defined by the World Health Organization The World Health Organization (WHO) is a s ...

public health
practices. There is a positive relationship between national wealth and good health. The rich and industrialized countries of the world, prominently
Canada Canada is a country in the northern part of North America North America is a continent A continent is any of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any strict criteria, ...

Canada
, the United Kingdom, the United States, and
Japan Japan ( ja, 日本, or , and formally ) is an island country An island country or an island nation is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or political entity. It is often referred to as the land of an in ...

Japan
, spend a large proportion of their wealthy budget on the health care system. As, a result, their health care systems are very sophisticated, with many physicians, nurses, and other health care experts servicing the population. Thus, infant mortality is low. On the other hand, a country such as Mexico, which spends disproportionately less of its budget on healthcare, suffers from high mortality rates. This is because the general population is likely to be less healthy. In the U.S., infant mortality rates are especially high in minority groups. For instance, non-Hispanic black women have an infant mortality rate of 13.63 per 1000 live births whereas in non-Hispanic white women it was much lower at a rate of 5.76 per 1000 live births. The average infant mortality rate in the U.S. is 6.8 per 1000 live births.


Babyhood

Babyhood is a critical period in
personality developmentPersonality development encompasses the dynamic construction and deconstruction of integrative characteristics that distinguish an individual in terms of interpersonal behavioral traits. Indeed, personality development is ever-changing and subject to ...
when the foundations of adult personality are laid. In contrast
toddler A toddler is a child approximately 12 to 36 months old, though definitions vary. The toddler years are a time of great cognitive, emotional and social development. The word is derived from "to toddle", which means to walk unsteadily, like a child ...
is used to denote a baby that has achieved relative independence, in moving about, and feeding.Developmental Psychology. p. 121 1998 "However, Hurlock (1982) cites that infancy, compared to babyhood, is characterized by extreme helplessness. The word baby may likewise suggest a helpless individual; hence, the word toddler has been increasingly used to denote a baby that has achieved enough control of his body to permit relative independence, such as' moving about, feeding himself, etc. Characteristics of Babyhood The most important characteristics of babyhood are listed below: 1. It is the true foundation age .."


Gallery

File:Baby (126372492).jpg, An
East Asia East Asia is the eastern region of Asia, which is defined in both Geography, geographical and culture, ethno-cultural terms. The modern State (polity), states of East Asia include China, Japan, Mongolia, North Korea, South Korea, and Taiwan. ...

East Asia
n baby File:Baby playing with yellow paint. Work by Dutch artist Peter Klashorst entitled "Experimental".jpg, An
Africa Africa is the world's second-largest and second-most populous continent A continent is any of several large landmass A landmass, or land mass, is a large region In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', ...

Africa
n baby File:Black African Baby With Pale Appareance At Birth.jpg, An African baby born to two African parents, with an unusually light skin File:Cuties.jpg, An
India India, officially the Republic of India (Hindi Hindi (Devanagari: , हिंदी, ISO 15919, ISO: ), or more precisely Modern Standard Hindi (Devanagari: , ISO 15919, ISO: ), is an Indo-Aryan language spoken chiefly in Hindi Belt, ...

India
n baby File:Marshal at MOP.jpg, Infant in Zimbabwe


References


External links


American Academy of Pediatrics

The impact of buggy orientation on parent-infant interaction and infant stress

The World Health Report 2005 – Make Every Mother and Child

Infant eyesight
University of Illinois The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (U of I, Illinois, or colloquially the University of Illinois or UIUC) is a public university, public land-grant university, land-grant research university in Illinois in the twin cities of Champaign ...
* {{Authority control Infancy hr:Novorođenče