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Infant comes from the Latin in-fans, meaning unable to speak. It is commonly used as a slightly more formal word for baby (the youngest category of child).

Infant mortality is the death of infants in the first year of life. Major causes of infant mortality include congenital malformation, infection and SIDS. Neonatal mortality is a subcategory which only includes deaths in the first 27 days of life. Post-neonatal death is a subcategory which only includes deaths after 28 days of life but before one year. "Infant mortality" can also refer to the high failure rate of newly manufactured mechanical or electrical equipment, see repair and maintenance. Infant mortality rate is the number of newborns dying under a year of age divided by the number of live births during the year. The infant mortality rate is also called the infant death rate. Infant mortality has significantly declined due to medical advances.

This epidemiological indicator is recognized as an important measure of the level of heathcare in the country because it is directly linked with the health status of infants, children, and pregnant women as well as access to medical care, socioeconomic conditions, and public health practices.

Feeding is done by breastfeeding or with special industrial milk, "infant formula". Babies have a sucking instinct allowing them to extract the milk from the nipples of the breasts or of the nipple of the baby bottle.

Babies are incontinent, therefore diapers are used.

Babies can not walk, transport may be by perambulator (stroller) or on the back or in front in a special bag or cloth.

Unlike other people, babies often cry without apparent cause.

As is the case of most of other young children, the social presence of infants is different from that of adult individuals. They are usually treated as special persons. They may be the focus of attention. On the other hand, fees of transportation and entrance fees are often less or nothing, possibly with requirements about who guides them. One reason is that e.g. a baby is taken in an amusement park not to have fun, or in a museum not to watch the artwork, but because it can not be left at home.

The term infant is also used as formal term for minor, i.e. child in general.

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