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Infant (0 Weeks to 1 Year)

An infant (from the Latin word infants, meaning "unable to speak" or "speechless") is the very young offspring of a human or animal. When applied to humans, the term is usually considered synonymous with baby or bairn (Scotland). When a human child learns to walk, the term toddler may be used instead.

The term infant is typically applied to young children between the ages of 1 month and 12 months; however, definitions may vary between birth and 2 years of age. A newborn is an infant who is only hours, days, or up to a few weeks old. In medical contexts, newborn or neonate (from Latin, neonatus, newborn) refers to an infant in the first 28 days after birth; the term applies to premature infants, postmature infants, and full term infants. Before birth, the term fetus is used.

During the first year of your child's life, she will go from a naive newborn who has little motor control to an on-the-verge-of-toddling baby. This first stage of child development includes rapid physical growth that supports her new abilities. Major milestones include rolling over at roughly 4 to 6 months, sitting up unassisted by 6 months old and crawling or even walking by 12 months. By the end of the infant stage, children also have the fine motor, or hand, skills to use a pincer grasp, pick up and put down small objects and make attempts to scribble with a crayon or other writing tool. You will also notice, as your child reaches between 4 and 6 months, that she will begin to purposefully babble and laugh or squeal with emotion. By 12 months old, an infant may also have the ability to say simple words, such as "mama," and understand a limited vocabulary of basics, such as "no."

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