Health Guide



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 for 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.

Rozance PJ, Rosenberg AA. The neonate. In: Gabbe SG, Niebyl JR, Simpson JL, et al, eds. Obstetrics: Normal and Problem Pregnancies. 7th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2017:chap 22.

Review Date: 10/18/2017
Reviewed By: Neil K. Kaneshiro, MD, MHA, Clinical Professor of Pediatrics, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
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