A neonate is a baby who is 4 weeks old or younger.
A neonate is also called a newborn. The neonatal period -- the first 4 weeks of a child's life -- represents a time when changes are very rapid, and many critical events can occur.
During the first 30 days, most present from birth (congenital) defects are discovered. Genetic abnormalities may show up. Infections, such as congenital herpes, Group B Streptococcus, toxoplasmosis, and other medical conditions become apparent in the neonatal period as they begin to have effects on the baby.
Review Date: 11/7/2011
Reviewed By: Neil K. Kaneshiro, MD, MHA, Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.