The umbilical cord 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. Occasionally, hospitals may apply triple dye to the umbilical stub to prevent infection, which may temporarily color the stub and surrounding skin purple.
“I was terrified of the soft spot,” admits April Hardwick, of New York City, referring to the opening in the skull, also called the fontanel, which allows baby to maneuver out of the birth canal. “Gemma had a full head of hair at birth, and I was initially afraid to comb over the soft spot,” Hardwick says. But there was no need to worry: “It’s okay to touch the soft spot and baby’s hair near it,” says Tanya Remer Altmann, MD, pediatrician and author of Mommy Calls. The spot may pulsate because it’s directly over blood vessels covering the brain.
As infants grow, food supplements are added. Many parents choose commercial, ready-made baby foods 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 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 diapers. 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 seats for babies in motor vehicles.
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.
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, which is hypothesised to act as an antibacterial barrier. The newborn may also have Mongolian spots, various other birthmarks, or peeling skin, particularly on the wrists, hands, ankles, and feet.
Everybody gets through the first few weeks with baby, and so will you. Here’s how one mom made it.
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Initially, he may be soft and silky, but that changes. “If you soaked yourself in liquid for nine months and then hit the air, you’d be dry too!” says Laura Jana, MD, pediatrician and coauthor of Heading Home With Your Newborn. You don’t have to do anything about dry skin (it typically peels and flakes off), but if you’re so inclined, reach for a hypoallergenic baby lotion that is fragrance-free. Little pink bumps, diaper rashes, and even baby acne may also make an appearance. “Acne tends to last for a few months,” Dr. Jana says. “So get those cute newborn pics before one month!”
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. Infants are born with a sucking reflex allowing them to extract the milk from the nipples of the breasts or the nipple of the baby bottle, as well as an instinctive behavior known as rooting with which they seek out the nipple. Sometimes a wet nurse is hired to feed the infant, although this is rare, especially in developed countries.
Should You Let People Kiss Your Baby? One Mom Doesn’t Think So
Growth and Development: Newborn MilestonesShop baby clothes on sale now
Many airlines refuse boarding for all babies aged under 7 days (for domestic flights) or 14 days for international flights. Asiana Airlines allows babies to board international flights at 7 days of age. Garuda Indonesia disallows all babies under the age of 14 days to board any flights.
Fever in infants can be scary, but don’t panic, mama! Read all about baby temperature, and find out how to safely treat your child’s first fever.
Don’t expect rewards — smiles or coos — until about the 6-week mark.
Topics in Newborn CareBaby Care BasicsBaby Care BasicsBaby Skin CareBathtime & GroomingBurpingColicCrying BabyGasJaundicePediatricians and MedicineShaken Baby SyndromeUmbilical Hernia
Why do babies need to burp? And is burping after feeding really important? Our baby burping primer answers these questions and explains what causes gas in Baby’s belly — and how to prevent it.
His head may be smooshed from his journey through the birth canal, and he might be sporting a “bodysuit” of fine hair called lanugo. He could also be puffy-faced and have eyes that are often shut (and a little gooey). After all, he just spent nine months in the womb. But pretty soon, he’ll resemble that beautiful baby you imagined.
There are two types of contact dermatitis: irritant contact dermatitis and allergic contact dermatitis. Find out how to identify and treat both skin conditions and when you should call the doctor.
Newborn babies also sleep a lot — but not for long stretches.
In developed countries, the average birth weight of a full-term newborn is approximately 3.4 kg (7 1⁄2 lb), and is typically in the range of 2.7–4.6 kg (6.0–10.1 lb).
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.
Some babies sleep more soundly when they’re swaddled, so watch our video for the best technique to secure baby like a burrito!
Harvey Karp, M.D. explains how to turn a crying cutie into a sleeping beauty.
A newborn baby can feel small and fragile. Learn how to care for your newborn and find out what to do if your baby has colic, jaundice, or an umbilical hernia.
Simkin, Penny; Whalley, Janet; Keppler, Ann (1991). Pregnancy, Childbirth and the Newborn: The Complete Guide (Revised ed.). Meadowbook Press. ISBN 0-88166-177-5.
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. In first world nations, the average total body length of newborns are 35.6–50.8 cm (14.0–20.0 in), although premature newborns may be much smaller. The Apgar score is a measure of a newborn’s transition from the uterus during the first minutes after birth.
Here’s how to ease Baby’s tummy discomfort when she’s having trouble with digestion.
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Delta Air Lines and Pinnacle Airlines allow infants to travel when they are less than 7 days old when they present a physician travel approval letter. Comair requires a letter if the infant is 12 days or younger. Skywest will not allow an infant less than 8 days old on board.
External links Wikiquote has quotations related to: Babies Wikibooks has a book on the topic of: Baby care and evolution Wikimedia Commons has media related to Babies. Look up infant in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.
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 Preceded byFetus Stages of human developmentInfancy Succeeded byToddlerhood
If it’s kept dry, it falls off faster — usually within two weeks. Besides, newborns don’t get very dirty! If the cord does get wet, pat it dry. And if the stump bleeds a little when the cord falls off, that’s okay, too, as Alyson Bracken, of West Roxbury, Massachusetts, learned. “It scared me at first,” she says, but then she found out that, as with a scab, mild bleeding was normal.
Hey, New Mom: Here’s the Real Reason Why You’re So Tired in the Morning
1 Physical characteristics of newborn 1.1 Weight 1.2 Head 1.3 Hair 1.4 Skin 1.5 Genitals 1.6 Umbilical cord 2 Care and feeding 3 Response to sounds 4 Benefits of touch 5 Diseases 6 Mortality 7 Emotional development 8 Babyhood 9 Plane travel 10 Gallery 11 Common care issues 12 References 13 Further reading 14 External links
There’s no doubt that babies poop — a lot! If you’re still getting the hang of diapering, learn how to change one at 6 weeks.
Babies are naturally gassy, but you can take preventive measures to keep your little one comfortable. Find out how.
Infants cry 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.
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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, full term, and postmature infants; before birth, the term “fetus” is used. The term “infant” is typically applied to 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” may be used instead.
A newborn baby in Indonesia, with umbilical cord ready to be clamped
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 by some to be evolutionary response to danger.
From the very first wipedown to the nightly bath, Ari Brown, M.D., founder of 411 Pediatrics and the author of Expecting 411, Baby 411, and Toddler 411, explains what you may be doing wrong.
Stressed, tired, and lonely? Yes, those early days are hard. But they’ll soon be behind you. Barbara Evans, of New York City, says, “I wish I’d known how quickly the time goes.” The mom to Luella, 8 months, says, “I didn’t take enough pictures or keep notes!” Rabeea Baloch, of Sugarland, Texas, shares some veteran-mom experience: “With my first, I stressed over every single thing, from changing diapers to whether baby was crying more than usual. With my second, I just enjoyed holding her, smelling her, kissing her, and loving the time together.”
During labour and birth, the infant’s skull changes shape to fit through the birth canal, 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 physicians may assist the process.
Attachment theory is primarily an evolutionary and ethological theory whereby the infant or child seeks proximity to a specified attachment figure in situations of alarm or distress for the purpose of survival. 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 behaviors tend to develop between the age of 6 months and 3 years. Infants become attached to adults who are sensitive and responsive in social interactions 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. 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.
Adequate food consumption at an early age is vital for an infant’s development. From birth to four months, infants should consume 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.
Getting to know your newborn can be challenging. Take our quiz and find how much you know about the body and mind of your newborn.
An infant (from the Latin word infans, meaning “unable to speak” or “speechless”) is the more formal or specialised synonym for “baby”, the very young offspring of a human. The term may also be used to refer to juveniles of other organisms.
Neonatal jaundice Infant respiratory distress syndrome Neonatal lupus erythematosus Neonatal conjunctivitis Neonatal tetanus Neonatal sepsis Neonatal bowel obstruction Benign neonatal seizures Neonatal diabetes mellitus Neonatal alloimmune thrombocytopenia Neonatal herpes simplex Neonatal hemochromatosis Neonatal meningitis Neonatal hepatitis Neonatal hypoglycemia Mortality
A newborn’s head is very large in proportion to the body, and the cranium 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 ¼. 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 fontanels. 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.
It can be hard to notice food-allergy symptoms in babies. Here’s how to tell if your newborn could be suffering from one.
A newborn infant, seconds after delivery. Amniotic fluid glistens on the child’s skin.
When it comes to keeping your baby clean, there’s a dizzying array of options to choose from, whether it’s baby soaps, shampoos, or body washes. So how do you pick the best one? We’ve selected 13 top bath products you can feel good about using on your little one. Whether you’re looking for an organic wash, a soapless cleanser, or a 2-in-1 product, there’s something here for every mom and baby.
When your baby is gassy, he may need some help to ease the pressure. Try one or all of these soothing steps to relieve baby’s gas.
An African baby born to two African parents, with an unusually light skin.
Babyhood is a critical period in personality development when the foundations of adult personality are laid. In contrast toddler is used to denote a baby that has achieved relative independence, in moving about, and feeding.
This epidemiological 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 status of infants, children, and pregnant women as well as access to medical care, socioeconomic conditions, and public health practices.
Some newborns have a fine, downy body hair called 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 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. The scalp may also be temporarily bruised or swollen, especially in hairless newborns, and the area around the eyes may be puffy.
A mother wishes joy towards her child in William Blake’s poem “Infant Joy”. This copy, Copy AA, was printed and painted in 1826, is currently held by the Fitzwilliam Museum.
Are you a little nervous to take your newborn to her first doctor appointment? Don’t fret. We’ll help you with what questions to ask, what paperwork to remember, who to bring along, and what Baby needs.
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A newborn’s 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), or a bloody or milky-like substance from the vagina. In either case, this is considered normal and will disappear with time.
Eight month-old infant; as a common feature eyes are usually larger compared to the face.
Their piercing wails will let you know they’re hungry, cold, have a dirty diaper, or want to be held. These early “conversations” can be frustrating, but rest assured, you’ll get a better handle on what she needs in time. Laurie May, of Boardman, Ohio, and her husband quickly learned to read their daughter’s hunger signal. When they were brand-new parents, they set an alarm to go off every two hours to wake Carter for a feeding. “We did not need the alarm!” she says. “We love to laugh at that one now.”
The simple hold maneuver shown in this video may be the secret to calming a crying baby.
Here are a few basics you need to know about your new arrival.
One baby’s harrowing battle with the herpes simplex 1 virus is making some new parents reconsider just how close visitors should get to their newborns.
A new study shows that cuddling your baby (early and often!) has huge benefits when it comes to brain development, especially for preemies.
“Lead a normal life, but use common sense when you go out in public,” Dr. Tolcher says. Keep baby out of the sun, and avoid sick people (no toddler birthday parties!) and crowded enclosed spaces (such as the mall during the holidays). “Teach older siblings to touch baby’s feet instead of her hands and face, which will help prevent the spread of infection,” he adds. And make your older child the hygiene police, says Dr. Jana. He’ll love telling guests, “Don’t touch the baby without washing your hands.”
Congratulations! You’ve got a new member of your family who requires lots of love and special care. How much do you know about diapering, bathing, and feeding your newborn? Take our quiz and find out.
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 becomes effective. After the first week, healthy term neonates should gain 10–20 grams/day.
Up until then, you’re working for a boss who only complains! To get through the exhaustion and emotional upheaval, keep this in mind: your efforts aren’t lost on baby in those early days. “He feels comforted by his father or mother, he feels attachment, he likes to be held,” says Los Angeles-based pediatrician Christopher Tolcher, MD.
Those first three months are a free-for-all. Baby needs to eat every two to three hours, so you’re not getting much sleep either. “It does get better,” assures Dr. Altmann. “Most infants can sleep for six to eight hours by 3 months of age.” In the meantime, try to get baby on a day and night schedule: during the day, don’t let him snooze more than three hours without waking him to feed; at night let him sleep as long as he wants once he’s regained the weight he lost at birth.
Pertussis, or whooping cough, is a bacterial respiratory infection that might look like a cold at first. Learn more about the symptoms of this serious condition and when you should worry.
Is your diet causing gas in your baby? Find out how what you eat may affect your breastfeeding little one.
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, infection, congenital malformation and SIDS.
Baby needs to eat every two to three hours — but if you’re nursing, it’s tough to know how much milk she’s getting. “The baby’s weight is the best indicator in the early days,” says Dr. Tolcher. Your pediatrician will check it within a few days of discharge. A newborn loses 5 to 8 percent of her birthweight within the first week but should gain it back by the second. Diaper-counting can also act as a gauge: her schedule those first five days is haphazard, but after that, you’ll see five to six wet diapers a day, and at least one or two stools.
In British English, an infant school is for children aged between four and seven. As a legal term, “infancy” continues from birth until age 18.
There are plenty of things to pay attention to after your baby is born. Here are some things you don’t need to put on that list.
Going shopping for new items for your baby? Here are the must-haves (and the don’t-needs) to help you shop smart.
There is a positive relationship between national wealth and good health. The rich and industrialized countries of the world, prominently Canada, the United Kingdom, the United States, and 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. 
The infant is undergoing many adaptations to extrauterine life, and its physiological systems, such as the immune system, are far from fully developed. Potential diseases of concern during the neonatal period include:
Identifying and treating baby’s allergies — or is it a cold?