infant

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infant

 [in´fant]
a human child from birth (see newborn infant) to the end of the first year of life. Emotional and physical needs at this time include love and security, a sense of trust, warmth and comfort, feeding, and sucking pleasure.
Growth and Development. Development is a continuous process, and each child progresses at his own rate. There is a developmental sequence, which means that the changes leading to maturity are specific and orderly. The various types of growth and development and the accompanying changes in appearance and behavior are interrelated; that is, physical, emotional, social, and spiritual developments affect one another in the progress toward maturity.

Development of muscular control proceeds from the head downward (cephalocaudal development). The infant controls the head first and gradually acquires the ability to control the neck, then the arms, and finally the legs and feet. Movements are general and random at first, beginning with use of the larger muscles and progressing to specific smaller muscles, such as those needed to handle small objects. Factors that influence growth and development are hereditary traits, sex, environment, nationality and race, and physical makeup. See also growth.
large-for-gestational-age infant a preterm, term, or postterm infant who is above the 90th percentile for gestational age in head circumference, body weight, or length.
low-birth-weight infant one that weighs less than 2500 grams at birth. This standard is routinely used for infants in developed countries, but infants born in other countries typically weigh less at birth. In India the criterion for normal birth weight is 2150 grams and in Malaysia it is 2000 grams.
newborn infant a human infant from the time of birth through the 28th day of life. At birth, the gestational age as well as birth weight is assessed and the newborn classified accordingly; for example, large for gestational age, preterm (premature), or low birth weight. Called also neonate and newborn.
premature infant (preterm infant) one born before a gestational age of 37 completed weeks (259 days). The duration of gestation is measured from the first day of the last menstrual period and is expressed in completed days or weeks.
postmature infant (postterm infant) one born any time after the beginning of the forty-second week (288 days) of gestation.
small-for-gestational-age infant a preterm, term, or postterm infant who is below the 10th percentile for gestational age in head circumference, body weight, or length.
term infant one born at a gestational age of 37 to 42 completed weeks (259 to 293 completed days).
very-low-birth-weight infant one that weighs less than 1000 grams at birth.
Patient Care. Low-birth-weight and very-low-birth-weight infants require special care and support, preferably in a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), until sufficient weight is gained and the infants have matured and are able to thrive without elaborate support systems.

At the time of delivery, whether cesarean or vaginal, a skilled neonatal team should be present to provide immediate care. After resuscitation measures under a radiant warmer are completed and the newborn is stabilized, transfer to the NICU is done without interruption of warming and oxygen therapies.

Among the problems associated with low birth weight are hypothermia, respiratory distress, hyperbilirubinemia, fluid and electrolyte imbalance, susceptibility to infection, and feeding problems.

Very-low-birth-weight newborns and infants are at significant risk for hypothermia because of their small body mass, large surface area, thin skin, minimal subcutaneous tissues, and posture. Thermoregulation is provided through the use of a standard incubator or a radiant warmer. Radiant warmers have the advantage of accessibility for caregivers and improved visibility of the infant. Their chief disadvantage is increased insensible water loss.

Neonatal respiratory distress syndrome is the major cause of death in newborns. Atelectasis can lead to hypoxemia and elevated serum carbon dioxide levels and all the problems related to inadequate gas exchange. Oxygen therapy must be administered with caution because of the danger of retinopathy.

The treatment of hyperbilirubinemia remains a challenge because of lack of consensus on the level of serum bilirubin concentration at which therapy should begin, the uncertain diagnosis of kernicterus, and the currently limited knowledge of the blood--brain barrier. It is believed that these infants are at critical risk for bilirubin-related brain damage at serum concentrations as low as 6 to 9 mg/dl. Phototherapy is the treatment of choice and may be given prophylactically in some institutions to all infants weighing less than 1000 grams.

The management of fluid and electrolyte administration to maintain proper balance is highly complex. Factors taken into consideration are proportion of body, composition of water, renal function, and insensible water loss. Fluid and electrolyte status must be closely monitored. Overhydration is a hazard because it has been implicated in the development of such serious complications as pulmonary edema, patent ductus arteriosus, and necrotizing enterocolitis in these infants.

Low-birth-weight and very-low-birth-weight infants are particularly susceptible to infection because their immunologic system is deficient. Additionally, equipment and care related to long-term respiratory and nutritional support, together with frequent laboratory testing, increase exposure to infectious agents. Infection control measures must be adhered to faithfully. In some NICUs reverse isolation is required for all infants weighing less than 1000 grams.

Since the skin of these infants is highly permeable and easily traumatized, every effort must be made to preserve its integrity. Routine care to preserve the integrity of the skin, caution in the use of topical ointments and antiseptic preparations, and minimal handling also are essential.

At the beginning, nutritional support in the form of total parenteral nutrition may be necessary until enteral feedings are feasible. Oral feedings usually are initiated by the end of the first week of life. Continuous gastric feedings via infusion pump have the advantage of preventing vomiting and aspiration and abdominal distention associated with intermittent feedings of larger amounts. The enteral feedings given in this manner include breast milk (donor or mother) and special formulas.

Discharge planning and follow-up care are begun upon admission to the NICU. Individual family needs should be assessed and available community resources identified. Parental education and support are provided throughout the time the infant is in the NICU. At the time of discharge parents should be confident of their ability to care for the infant, knowledgeable about sources available to them, and able to utilize those resources to the fullest.

in·fant

(in'fănt),
A child younger than 1 year old.
[L. infans, not speaking]

infant

/in·fant/ (in´fint) the human young from the time of birth to one year of age.
dysmature infant  postmature i.
floppy infant  see under syndrome.
immature infant  one usually weighing less than 2500 grams at birth and not physiologically well developed.
low birth weight (LBW) infant  one weighing less than 2500 g at birth.
mature infant  one weighing 2500 g or more at birth, usually at or near full term, physiologically fully developed, and having optimal chance of survival.
moderately low birth weight (MLBW) infant  one weighing at least 1500 but less than 2500 g at birth.
newborn infant  the human young during the first four weeks after birth.
postmature infant 
postterm infant  one born at or after the forty-second completed week (294 days) of gestation.
premature infant 
1. one usually born after the twentieth completed week and before full term, defined as weighing 500 to 2499 g at birth; the chance of survival depends on the weight. In countries where adults are smaller than in the United States, the upper limit may be lower.
preterm infant  one born before the thirty-seventh completed week (259 days) of gestation.
term infant  one born in the interval from the thirty-seventh completed week to the forty-second completed week of gestation; 259 days to 293 days, inclusive.
very low birth weight (VLBW) infant  one weighing less than 1500 g at birth.

infant

(ĭn′fənt)
n.
1. A child in the earliest period of life, especially before he or she can walk.
2. Law A person under the legal age of majority; a minor.
3. A very young nonhuman mammal, especially a primate.
adj.
1. Of or being in infancy.
2. Intended for infants or young children.

infant

[in′fənt]
Etymology: L, infans, unable to speak
1 n, a child who is in the earliest stage of extrauterine life, a time extending from the first month after birth to approximately 12 months of age, when the baby is able to assume an erect posture.
2 n, (in law) a person not of full legal age; a minor.
3 adj, pertaining to infancy; in an early stage of development. infantile, adj.

infant

 A child between birth and age 1 (or 2). See High-risk infant, Premature infant, Very-low-birth-weight infant.

in·fant

(in'fănt)
A child younger than 1 year of age; more specifically, a newborn baby.
[L. infans, not speaking]

in·fant

(in'fănt)
A child younger than 1 year old.
[L. infans, not speaking]

infant,

n/adj a child who is in the earliest stage of extrauterine life, a time extending from the first month after birth to approximately 12 months of age, when the baby is able to assume an erect posture; some extend the period to 24 months of age.
infant mortality,
n the statistical rate of infant death during the first year after live birth, expressed as the number of such births per 1000 live births in a specific geographic area. Neonatal mortality accounts for 70% of infant mortality.

Patient discussion about infant

Q. My baby also got rash like me. Hi I am Modena. I am using my cousins iMedix ID to contact you all. I gave birth to male baby before 6 weeks. I am breast feeding him. Last night I tried a new salad in my diet. After a few minutes I noticed that I had an itchy rash over my cheeks and neck. I didn’t take any medicine, but it went away by itself within 1-2 hours. My baby also got rash a couple of hours later like me and it was cured after 2-3 hours. Will this happen again to him? What precautions I must take? I am scared.

A. I think you had a mild allergy due to herbs in the salad. Whatever you take inside your system will affect your baby through your milk feeding. So first check the food before you eat. He inherited your allergy and had the same reaction. But, there is nothing to worry about this. I suggest you to check with your Gynecologist.

Q. How can I prevent my baby developing Overweight? He’s gaining a lot of weight since birth, too much as the Dr. said…how can I prevent it?

A. Here is couple of advices about overweight in infants I found useful when my baby was 6 months old. It’s not full but it’s still very helpful and effective.
http://www.5min.com/Video/How-to-Prevent-Overweight-in-Infants-5627

Q. How can I prevent baby caries? Hi, I’m pregnant on my 34 week and my older son had baby caries, I would like to prevent that this time.

A. You can buy or sometimes get from your dentist a special toothpaste for infants to rub on thier teeth and gums.

More discussions about infant
References in periodicals archive ?
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CHAMPION Mary I'mjust loving and missing you Babby.