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A neonate is a baby who is 4 weeks old or younger.

Alternative Names



A neonate is also called a newborn. The neonatal period is the first 4 weeks of a child's life. It is a time when changes are very rapid. Many critical events can occur in this period:

  • Feeding patterns are established.
  • Bonding between parents and infant begin.
  • The risk of infections that may become more serious are higher.
  • Many birth or congenital defects are first noted.


Carlo WA. The newborn infant. In: Kliegman RM, Stanton BF, St Geme JW, Schor NF, eds. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 20th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2016:chap 94.

Lissauer T. Physical examination of the newborn. In: Gleason CA, Devaskar SU, eds. Avery's Diseases of the Newborn. 9th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2012:chap 29.

Version Info

  • Last reviewed on 11/19/2015
  • Neil K. Kaneshiro, MD, MHA, Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

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