In humans, the period of life between birth and the acquisition of language usually one to two years later. The average newborn infant weighs 7.5 lbs (3.4 kg) and is about 20 in (51 cm) long. At birth, infants display a set of inherited reflexes involving such acts as sucking, blinking, and grasping. They are sensitive to light-dark visual contrasts and movements and show a noticeable preference for gazing at the human face; they also begin to recognize the human voice. By 4 months of age most babies are able to sit up, and most begin crawling in 7–10 months; by 12 months most are able to start walking. Virtually all infants begin to comprehend some words several months before they themselves speak their first meaningful words.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
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