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What Age Is An Infant

An infant is a little child who is unable to speak and walk. An infant is commonly referred to as a baby, the youngest offspring of the human race. The term, however, is also used to refer to other young organisms..

An infant is a baby who is just a few months old. In medical contexts, neonate or newborn describes infants in their first twenty-eight days following birth; this also applies to post-mature and premature infants. Infancy basically applies to young children who are under one year of age. Nonetheless, definitions may differ and may include babies more than one year of age. When babies mature to a stage where they can walk and talk, they aren’t infants anymore but toddlers.  

Caring And Feeding An Infant

Infants usually cry as a form of instinctive communication. When an infant cries, he or she might be trying to express many different feelings including loneliness, hunger, discomfort, boredom, over stimulation, or wanting something.

All recognized infant health organizations have recommended breastfeeding as being the best feeding method for infants. If breastfeeding isn’t desired or possible, bottle feeding can be done with infant formula or expressed breast-milk. Infants are conceived with a natural sucking reflex that allow them to suck the milk from their mother’s nipples or the nipple of a baby’s bottle, as well as a natural instinctive behavior that is called ‘rooting’ with which they search for the nipple. Sometimes a nurse is employed to feed the baby, although this is uncommon, especially in urban areas. 

Eating a lot of food at an early age is important for the development of an infant. The groundwork of optimum health, neurodevelopment, and growth is developed in the first 142 weeks of life. From birth to the next 4 months, infants should feed on breast milk or any unmodified milk substitute. As an infant’s appetite grows, they can get introduced to finger foods and fruits, little amounts of meat and vegetables. 

As infants mature, food supplements are added. Most parents prefer buying ready-made baby foods to supplement formula or breast milk for their infant; while others have decided to stick to their usual foods for the dietary wants of their child. You can feed a year old infant with whole cow’s milk, however, lower-fat milk isn’t recommended until the baby is two or three years old. You can also eliminate breast milk from an infant’s diet by introducing solid foods as a replacement for milk. 

Until they can use the toilet by themselves, all infants are advised to wear a diaper. Children should sleep more (up to 18 hours for infants), and should sleep less as they grow older. Until an infant learns how to walk, they should be carried in baby carriers, in the arms, held in slings, or transported in baby strollers or carriages. Most industrialized states have laws regarding child safety seats for infants in a motor vehicle.

Benefits Of Touch

Research has shown that babies who benefitted from positive touches grew up to be more emotionally and socially active. Experiments have been carried out with infants up to 16 weeks of age utilizing both positive touch (cuddling or stroking) and negative touch (tickling, poking or pinching). All the infants that were touched positively cried less and also smiled and vocalized more than those who were touched in a negative manner. Infants who received the negative touch were linked with behavioral and emotional problems later in life. 

Physical Characteristics Of Infants

  • Head

An infant’s head is funnily large in proportion to his or her body, and the cranium is also very large in relation to the face. While an adult’s skull is one seventh of the whole body length, the infant’s is about one fourth. The normal head size for a full-grown infant is 33–36 centimeters at birth. At birth, most regions of the baby’s skull haven’t been converted to bone, leaving a lot of soft spots known as fontanels. Later in the baby’s life, these bones will naturally get fused together. A protein known as noggin causes delay in a baby’s skull fusion.

During labor and birth, the baby’s skull changes shape in order to fit through the birth channel, sometimes causing the infant to be conceived with an elongated or misshapen head. It will usually go back to normal within a few weeks or a month after birth. Special exercises are sometimes recommended by doctors to facilitate the process.

  • Hair

Some infants when they are less than a year old have cute, downy body hair known as lanugo. It is particularly noticeable on the face, back, forehead, ears and shoulders of premature infants. This hair disappears after a few weeks of birth. Infants may be conceived with a lot of hair; others, mostly Caucasian babies, may be bald or have very beautiful hair. 

If the parents are fair-skinned, the hair of an infant may be blonde, this could also happen even when both parents are not fair-skinned. At an infant age, a baby’s hair texture and color can change. Red can change into blond. Curly can become straight and an infant’s thick, dark hair can become lighter and sparser. Also, the scalp may be temporarily swollen or bruised, especially in newborns that are hairless, and certain areas around his or her eyes may be puffy as well.

  • Skin

After an infant is born, his or her skin is usually gray dusky-blue in color. When the newborn starts to breathe, usually after a minute or two after birth, the skin color returns back to normal. Newborns are wet, covered in blood, and coated with a white substance called vernix caseosa, which is hypothesized to serve as an antibacterial impediment.  Also, the newborn may have birthmarks, many Mongolian spots, or peeling skin, especially on the feet, wrists, ankles and hands. 


All parents should take their baby’s infancy stage of life very seriously. During this period, babies develop bonds of trust and love with their parents and people they find around them as part of emotional and social development. The way parents play, hold, and cuddle their infant will set the foundation for how they will socialize with them and other people around them.

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