This fifth edition of Caring for Your Baby and Young Child: Birth to Age 5 is
the first in a three-volume series of child care books developed by the American
Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). The other books in this series include Caring for
Your School-Age Child: Ages 5 to 12 and Caring for Your Teenager. The Acad-
emy also has published books for parents on topics ranging from breastfeeding,
nutrition, and toilet training to sleep, allergies and asthma, and attention-
The AAP is an organization of 60,000 primary-care pediatricians, pediatric
medical subspecialists, and pediatric surgical specialists dedicated to the health,
safety, and well-being of all infants, children, adolescents, and young adults.
This book is part of the ongoing educational efforts of the Academy to provide
parents and caregivers with high-quality information on a broad spectrum of
children’s health issues.
What distinguishes this book from the many others in bookstores and on li-
brary shelves is that it has been developed and extensively reviewed by physi-
cian members of the American Academy of Pediatrics. A six-member editorial
board developed the initial material with the assistance of more than one hun-
dred contributors and reviewers. Because medical information is constantly
changing, every effort has been made to ensure that this book contains the most
up-to-date findings. Readers can visit the AAP website at www.aap.org to keep
current on the latest information.
It is the Academy’s hope that this book will become an invaluable resource
and reference guide for parents and caregivers. We believe it is the best compre-
hensive source of information on matters of children’s health and well-being.
We are confident that parents and caregivers will find the book extremely valu-
able. We encourage its use along with the advice and counsel of our readers’
own pediatricians, who will provide individual guidance and assistance related
to the health of children.
Errol R. Alden, M.D., FAAP
American Academy of Pediatrics