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Infant vs. Toddler: What's the Difference?

Edited by Huma Saeed || By Sumera Saeed || Updated on October 22, 2023
An infant is a baby from birth to 12 months, while a toddler is a child aged 1 to 3 years.

Key Differences

An infant and a toddler, both terms referring to young children, denote specific age groups in the realm of child development. An infant, the term used primarily for a child from birth to 12 months, is in the earliest stage of life. During this period, infants experience rapid physical growth, display reflexive behaviors, and are entirely dependent on caregivers for their needs. A toddler, on the other hand, refers to children aged between 1 to 3 years. This phase is characterized by significant motor, cognitive, and social developments.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 22, 2023
Infants often rely on crying as their primary means of communication, while toddlers start to form words and short sentences. Toddlers also begin to assert their independence, often showing signs of the "terrible twos", characterized by tantrums and a strong will. Mobility is another distinguishing factor: infants typically transition from crawling to walking, while toddlers refine their walking skills and may even start running or climbing.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 22, 2023
The nutritional needs of infants and toddlers also differ. Infants primarily rely on breast milk or formula for sustenance, while toddlers start consuming a more varied diet that includes solid foods. When it comes to play, infants engage in simple sensory and exploratory activities. Toddlers, conversely, indulge in more structured play, often showcasing their burgeoning imaginations.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 22, 2023
Safety is paramount for both age groups, albeit with varying focuses. For infants, parents need to ensure safe sleeping environments and be vigilant about potential choking hazards. For toddlers, the emphasis might shift towards preventing falls or ensuring they don't access unsuitable objects or substances, given their newfound mobility and curiosity.
Sara Rehman
Oct 22, 2023

Comparison Chart

Age Range

Birth to 12 months
1 to 3 years
Sumera Saeed
Oct 22, 2023
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Mobility

Crawling to first steps
Walking, running, and climbing
Sumera Saeed
Oct 22, 2023

Communication

Crying, cooing, simple sounds
Forming words, short sentences
Sumera Saeed
Oct 22, 2023

Developmental Focus

Reflexive behaviors, basic sensory exploration
Independence, imagination, structured play
Sumera Saeed
Oct 22, 2023

Infant and Toddler Definitions

Infant

A baby or newborn.
She cradled the sleeping infant in her arms.
Sara Rehman
Oct 22, 2023

Toddler

A youngster in the early stages of childhood development post infancy.
The playgroup was filled with toddlers playing and laughing.
Harlon Moss
Oct 22, 2023
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Infant

A term used in child development for kids aged up to a year.
As an infant, she was always curious and observant.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 22, 2023

Toddler

A young child who is just beginning to walk.
The toddler wobbled before taking confident steps.
Huma Saeed
Oct 22, 2023

Infant

A child in the earliest stage of life, typically from birth to 12 months.
The infant's first smile melted her heart.
Huma Saeed
Oct 22, 2023

Toddler

A child showing signs of increased independence and exploration.
The toddler insisted on choosing his own clothes.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 22, 2023

Infant

A very young human who is not yet able to walk or talk.
The infant depended on his mother for everything.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 22, 2023
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Toddler

A child aged between 1 to 3 years.
Her toddler is always full of energy and mischief.
Harlon Moss
Oct 22, 2023

Infant

A term often used in medical or legal contexts to refer to a baby.
The hospital had a dedicated infant care unit.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 22, 2023

Toddler

An early childhood term denoting kids transitioning from babyhood.
As a toddler, he was fascinated by the world around him.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 22, 2023

Infant

A child in the earliest period of life, especially before being able to walk.
Sumera Saeed
Mar 02, 2020

Toddler

One who toddles, especially a young child learning to walk.
Sumera Saeed
Mar 02, 2020

Toddler

A young child who has started walking but not fully mastered it, typically between one and three years old.
Sumera Saeed
Mar 02, 2020

Toddler

One who toddles; especially, a young child.
Sumera Saeed
Mar 02, 2020

Toddler

A young child
Sumera Saeed
Mar 02, 2020

FAQs

How is "infant" different from "toddler"?

An infant is younger, typically up to 12 months, while a toddler is usually between 1 and 3 years old.
Harlon Moss
Oct 22, 2023

What is "infant mortality"?

It refers to the death of babies under the age of one year per 1,000 live births.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 22, 2023

What does "infant" mean?

An infant refers to a very young child or baby, typically from birth to about 12 months of age.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 22, 2023

When does an infant start crawling?

Most infants start crawling between 6 to 10 months, but it varies.
Sara Rehman
Oct 22, 2023

Is "newborn" the same as "infant"?

No, a newborn refers specifically to a baby in its first month of life.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 22, 2023

What's the difference between "toddler" and "preschooler"?

A toddler is aged 1-3 years, while a preschooler is typically aged 3-5 years and may attend a preschool program.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 22, 2023

Is "infant" synonymous with "baby"?

Generally, yes. However, "infant" specifically refers to the youngest stage of childhood.
Huma Saeed
Oct 22, 2023

Why are they called "toddlers"?

The term comes from the word "toddle," which means to walk unsteadily, reflecting how children of this age often walk.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 22, 2023

How do you pronounce "toddler"?

"Toddler" is pronounced as "TOD-ler".
Aimie Carlson
Oct 22, 2023

What is the origin of the word "infant"?

"Infant" originates from the Latin word "infans" which means "unable to speak".
Sumera Saeed
Oct 22, 2023

When do toddlers typically start walking?

Most toddlers begin walking between 9 to 18 months of age.
Janet White
Oct 22, 2023

Do toddlers still take naps?

Yes, many toddlers still nap once or twice daily.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 22, 2023

Why is play important for toddlers?

Play helps toddlers develop motor skills, cognitive abilities, and social skills. It's also a way for them to explore their environment.
Harlon Moss
Oct 22, 2023

How do you pronounce "infant"?

"Infant" is pronounced as "IN-fuhnt".
Sumera Saeed
Oct 22, 2023

What is "infantile"?

It's an adjective relating to infants or infancy.
Sara Rehman
Oct 22, 2023

What do you call the care of infants?

The care of infants is often referred to as "pediatric care" or "neonatal care" for newborns.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 22, 2023

What is the age range for a toddler?

A toddler typically refers to a child aged between 1 and 3 years.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 22, 2023

How is a toddler's development different from an infant's?

Toddlers are more mobile, begin to speak in sentences, and show a greater sense of independence compared to infants.
Harlon Moss
Oct 22, 2023

Is "toddlerhood" a word?

Yes, it refers to the time when a child is a toddler.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 22, 2023

What challenges are common during the toddler years?

Challenges include tantrums, asserting independence, and transitioning from diapers to toilet training.
Sara Rehman
Oct 22, 2023
About Author
Written by
Sumera Saeed
Sumera is an experienced content writer and editor with a niche in comparative analysis. At Diffeence Wiki, she crafts clear and unbiased comparisons to guide readers in making informed decisions. With a dedication to thorough research and quality, Sumera's work stands out in the digital realm. Off the clock, she enjoys reading and exploring diverse cultures.
Edited by
Huma Saeed
Huma is a renowned researcher acclaimed for her innovative work in Difference Wiki. Her dedication has led to key breakthroughs, establishing her prominence in academia. Her contributions continually inspire and guide her field.

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