The heart pumps blood to the lungs where blood gets fresh oxygen. The heart then helps deliver the blood throughout the body. During infancy, the heart works at a faster rate than during childhood or adulthood.
The heart develops at the same pace and size of the fist. Look at a baby's fist; it demonstrates the vital organ's size.
Heart rate refers to the number of times that a heart beats or pumps blood during one minute.
Babies 0 to 3 months old experience the highest heart rate range (100 to 150 beats per minute). During the next three months of infancy, the heart rate range lowers to 90 to 120 beats per minute. Babies 6 to 12 months typically experience 80 to 120 beats per minute.
Heart rate fluctuation and variation is normal for infants. Heart rate declines when babies are at rest and increases during play or activity.
Taking Heart Rate
The adult's index finger and middle finger should be placed on the underside of the baby's wrist, underneath her thumb. Once the pulse is found, the heart rate should be taken for 30 seconds and multiplied by two to determine the baby's heart rate.
If a baby is experiencing irregular heart beats or if her heart rate is typically outside of the heart rate range, the baby might have a heart condition and should see a doctor.
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