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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Breastfeeding, also called nursing, provides an infant with essential calories, nutrients, and antibodies to protect against some infections.
SIDS is the sudden death of an infant younger than 1 year of age that is still unexplained after a complete investigation.
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.
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.
Immunization, also called vaccination or shots, can prevent more than a dozen serious diseases.
NICHD conducts and supports research on infant care and infant health and on many disorders associated with infant care and infant health.
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.