Infancy refers to a baby’s first year after birth. In common terms, infants are referred to as babies. The word infant is derived from the Latin word, ‘infans’ which means ‘unable to speak’. During the infancy stage, babies cannot speak and therefore, require a caregiver.
Characteristics of Infancy
These are some common characteristics of infancy :
- Infancy is the shortest stage of all developmental stages.
- Infancy begins at birth and ends after the newborn is at least two weeks old.
- During the infancy stage, infants start to get acquainted with the postnatal environment outside the mother’s womb.
- Infants have a large head and relatively shorter arms and legs, with a slightly protruding abdomen.
- The average weight of an infant is 7-8 pounds.
- The prenatal period’s rapid growth and development comes to an end with the birth of the infant.
- Some infants may be born prematurely while some may be born post-maturely.
- Each infant is born with a different physical and mental development level.
- Infants cry when they are trying to communicate their needs such as when they are feeling comfortable, hungry, and the like.
- During infancy, emotions develop fast but they tend to be unstable.