Keio University, Tokyo – Weighing in at only 268 grams (9.45 ounces) when he was born, an infant holds the record of being the world’s smallest baby boy.
The tiny bundle of joy was so small he could fit into a pair of cupped hands, and his skin was so thin that one could see his ribcage.
Treated at the neonatal intensive care unit at Keio University Hospital in Tokyo, doctors monitored the baby’s breathing and nutrition until he was able to breastfeed.
On February 27 (Wednesday) two months after his initial due date, the baby was released by the hospital, weighing a healthy 3,238 grams (a little over 7 pounds).
“I can only say I’m happy that he has grown this big because honestly, I wasn’t sure he could survive,” said the baby’s mother.
The attending doctor, Dr. Takeshi Arimitsu added that “there is a possibility that babies will be able to leave the hospital in good health, even though they are born small.”
Babies born weighing less than 1,500 grams (3.3 pounds) face a bigger risk of health problems such as infections, breathing difficulties, gastrointestinal issues and neurological problems like bleeding of the brain.
In the recent years, the survival rate of small babies born in Japan and other developed countries is as high as 90% although this percentage drops for babies, especially boys, born lighter than 300 grams.
The University of Iowa, which contains the database of the world’s tiniest babies, or those weighing less than 400 grams, released that the previous record-holder was a German baby born in 2009 whom his doctors called “Tom Thumb.”
“Tom” weighed 275 grams when he was born 15 weeks early and spent nine months in the hospital.
The world’s tiniest baby girl was also born in Germany in 2015 and weighed 252 grams.
According to data, girls are more likely to survive being born prematurely compared to boys, with no definite reasoning as to why. Doctors presume it may be because baby girls have more mature lungs than baby boys.
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