INFANT: Describes a baby going through their first year of life. Basically zero months to 12 months old. You can describe them as a “baby,” but people often associate a “baby” with just having arrived in the world as in, “We just had our baby.” People don’t typically say, “We just had our infant.” I’ve never made this mistake, but at the same time, no one ever really told me how old an infant can get before they graduate to…
TODDLER: The “toddler” is an baby who has surpassed the one year-old level. Typically understood to be between 12 months and 36 months. They’re starting to walk, talk, throw tantrums, throw toys. If you say “toddler,” it’s assumed that the subject is mobile and can often get his or herself into trouble, but often not out of the same said trouble. You can also sub in fairly easily the more general term of “child” for toddler. I also think “kid” is appropriate when they get to the latter side of the age range. “Child” is kinda like grabbing a coke which is something we do in West Texas. It doesn’t mean an actual Coca-Cola as some might think. It means a soft drink of any brand. Child is as broad as descriptor as well. The much more informal “kid” more specifically means a child that could throw a punch. “Tike” and “tot” are often used to describe boys in this age range.
PRESCHOOLER: 3 to 5 years old. Pretty self-explanatory.
SCHOOL-AGE: 5 years or older.
No one told me any of this stuff.