Since NICHD's founding in 1962, infant death rates in the United States have dropped significantly and many infant health outcomes have improved greatly. Much of this progress can be attributed to the application of research on infant health and care from NICHD.
NICHD, along with its federal partners as well as professional organizations and foundations, has advanced science to improve infant health and care, and it has spearheaded campaigns to deliver information to providers and families, helping to put research advances into action.
About Infant Care and Infant Health
Infancy is the period from birth until age 2 years. It is a time of rapid growth and change for children and families. Learn about the many issues related to infant health and care.
What can parents do to promote their infant’s health before the child is born?
For a healthy pregnancy and birth, women can take steps during the pre-pregnancy phase, get regular prenatal care starting early in their pregnancy, eat right, exercise, and not smoke.
What care do newborns receive in the hospital?
In the first 24 to 48 hours after a baby is born, the newborn is screened for certain disorders and conditions. Some male infants will be circumcised shortly after birth.
What are some of the basics of infant health?
Some physical conditions and issues are very common during the first couple of weeks after birth. Many are normal, and the infant's caregivers can deal with them if they occur.
What are the best strategies for feeding?
Breastfeeding, also called nursing, provides an infant with essential calories, nutrients, and antibodies to protect against some infections.
What is sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)?
SIDS is the sudden death of an infant younger than 1 year of age that is still unexplained after a complete investigation.
What are some ways to promote infant safety in a car?
Proper use of car seats helps keep children safe. The type of seat your child needs depends on several things, including your child's size and the type of vehicle you have.
What can parents expect during their infant’s well-child visits?
Each visit includes a complete physical examination. The healthcare provider will check the infant's growth and development and will record height, weight, and other important information.
Why are immunizations important for my infant’s health?
Immunization, also called vaccination or shots, can prevent more than a dozen serious diseases.
NICHD Infant Care and Infant Health Research Information
NICHD conducts and supports research on infant care and infant health and on many disorders associated with infant care and infant health.
Find a Study
Find a Study on Infant Care and Infant Health
NICHD conducts and supports a variety of clinical research projects related to infant care and infant health.
Other Infant Care and Infant Health FAQs
Find answers to other common questions about infant care and infant health, such as special care needed for preterm infants, dental health, and healthy sleeping practices.
Infant Care and Infant Health Resources
Links to websites of groups that study or provide information about infant care and infant health.