Stages of Childhood Vocabulary in English

Here are 7 words to describe the different stages of childhood:


newborn (adjective/noun): a recently born child or animal. You can use newborn for the first month or two.

Example sentence with newborn:

  • A newborn baby can feel small and fragile.


infant (noun): a baby or very young child up to the age of 1 year old.

Example sentence with infant:

  • In their first year, infants (or babies) learn to focus their vision, explore, and learn about the things that are around them. This usually involves putting everything possible into their mouth.


toddler (noun): a child that is between 1 and 3 years old.

Example sentence with toddler:

  • The toddler was learning to paint but was making a mess.

The word comes from the verb to toddle which means to walk unsteadily, like a child usually does at this age.

A toddler has normally just learnt how to walk so they often get into trouble as they discover the world. In fact we have an expression in English called the terrible twos.
The terrible twos is supposedly when a child or toddler reaches the age of 2 and they tend to try and test their parents by crying more or throwing a tantrum.
A tantrum is a sudden uncontrolled outburst of anger and frustration, typically of a young child.


preschooler (noun): a child between the age of three and five. It is the stage just before they enter school.

Example sentence with preschooler:

  • The website is designed so that not only will preschoolers be entertained but they will also learn at the same time.

The word comes from preschool which is a type of school for children between the ages of around three and five. Sometimes it’s called kindergarten. Note the word can be written with a hyphen as in pre-schooler.


child (noun): a young human who is not yet an adult. Typically they are called a child up to the age of 12 and after that they are usually called teenagers.

Example sentence with child:

  • We booked plane tickets for two adults and one child.

Remember the plural of child is children.
One child …. two children.
There is no S at the end of children.

An informal word for child is kid.


teenager (noun): a young person between the age of 13 and 19. The name comes from the last part of those numbers thirTEEN, fourTEEN… nineTEEN.

Example sentence with teenager:

  • Teenagers hate having pimples but it is a natural part of growing up.

The word comes from the end of the numbers… thirteen, fourteen… nineteen,


childhood (adjective/noun): the period of time in your life when you are a child… or some of you are currently at that stage…. enjoy it… enjoy your childhood. There is plenty of time to be an adult later.

Example sentence with childhood:

  • We didn’t realize we were making childhood memories. We just knew we were having fun.

Summary Chart

Stages of Childhood - English Vocabulary

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