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An infant or baby is the term used to refer to the very young offspring of humans and other primates.

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Etymology and related terminology

Infant

The term infant derives from the Latin word infans, meaning "unable to speak."

It is typically applied to children between the ages of 1 month and 12 months . However, definitions vary between birth and 3 years of age.

File:Child development
Approximate outline of development periods in child development. Infancy marked in green at left.

"Infant" is also a legal term referring to any child under the age of legal adulthood.[1]

Newborn

In medical terms, a newborn is any child from birth to the first 28 days of life.

Neonates

A human infant less than a month old is a neonate.[2] The term "newborn" includes premature infants, postmature infants and full term newborns.

Toddlers

Toddlers are generally vaguely defined as a child between 1 and 2 years, and generally signifies a child who can walk but who can not walk well.

Infant mortality

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Infant mortality is the death of an infant in the first year of life. Major causes of infant mortality include dehydration, infection, congenital malformation and SIDS.[3]

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.[4] [5]

Care and feeding

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.

Breastfeeding is the recommended method of feeding by all major infant health organizations.[6] 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.

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 should not be provided until the child is 2 to 3 years old.[7] Until they are toilet-trained, infants in industrialized countries wear diapers. 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 infants in motor vehicles.

Common care issues

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Attachment

]] 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.[citation needed] 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 and/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.[8] 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.

Bibliography

  • Simkin, Penny; et al. (1992 (late 1991)). Pregnancy, Childbirth and the Newborn: The Complete Guide. Meadowbook Press. ISBN 0-88166-177-5. 

References

  1. ^ ""Infant"". Merriam-Webster online dictionary. Merriam-Webster. http://www.m-w.com/cgi-bin/dictionary?book=Dictionary&va=infant. Retrieved on 2007-03-27. 
  2. ^ ""Neonate"". Merriam-Webster online dictionary. Merriam-Webster. http://www.m-w.com/cgi-bin/dictionary?book=Dictionary&va=neonate. Retrieved on 2007-03-27. 
  3. ^ Garrett, Eilidh (2007). Infant Mortality: A Continuing Social Problem. Ashgate Pub Co. ISBN 0754645932. 
  4. ^ Hertz,, E; Hebert JR, Landon J. (July 1994). "Social and environmental factors and life expectancy, infant mortality, and maternal mortality rates: results of a cross-national comparison". Soc Sci Med. 39 (1): 105–14. doi:10.1016/0277-9536(94)90170-8. PMID 8066481. 
  5. ^ "The relationship between socioeconomic factors and maternal and infant health programs in 13 Argentine provinces" (in Spanish). Rev Panam Salud Publica 21 (4): 223–30. April 2007. PMID 17612466. 
  6. ^ Gartner LM; Morton J, Lawrence RA, Naylor AJ, O'Hare D, Schanler RJ, Eidelman AI, etal (February 2005). "Breastfeeding and the Use of Human Milk". Pediatrics 115 (2): 496–506. doi:10.1542/peds.2004-2491. PMID 15687461. 
  7. ^ Salkind, Neil (2006). Encyclopedia of Human Development. SAGE Publication. ISBN 1412904757. 
  8. ^ Bretherton,I. and Munholland,K., A. Internal Working Models in Attachment Relationships: A Construct Revisited. Handbook of Attachment:Theory, Research and Clinical Applications 1999eds Cassidy,J. and Shaver, P., R. Guilford press ISBN 1-57230-087-6

See also

External links

Preceded by
Fetus
Stages of human development
Infancy
Succeeded by
Toddlerhood


Wiktionary

Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

Contents

English

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Wikipedia

Etymology

Latin infantem (infant), a noun use of the adjective meaning 'not able to speak', from in- (not) + fans, present participle of fari (to speak).

Pronunciation

Noun

Singular
infant

Plural
infants

infant (plural infants)

  1. A very young human being, from birth to somewhere between six months and two years of age, needing almost constant care and/or attention.
  2. (law) A minor.

Related terms

Translations

See also


Simple English

Redirecting to Baby


Citable sentences

Up to date as of December 28, 2010

Here are sentences from other pages on Infant, which are similar to those in the above article.








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