My Baby is 4 Months Old: What should he/she be able to do?
Your baby is now almost 4 months old and makes you smile more and more every day. Here are the things you should expect your child to do by 4 month of age.
By 4 months of age, your child should be able to:
Gross Motor/Physical Movement
Hold his/her head up on their own
Lift up onto his/her elbows when lying on their tummy
Bear weight (and may bounce) on legs when his/her feet are placed on a flat surface
Roll in one direction (usually from tummy to back)
Fine Motor/Hand-Eye Coordination
Reach for toys
Bring toys to his/her mouth
Smile spontaneously, especially at people, and may begin to laugh
May copy some movements and facial expressions, like smiling or frowning
Respond to affection (by smiling back or making vocalizations)
Begin to babble (make vocalizations that sound like conversation)
May experiment with and copy sounds he/she hears (grunting, yelling, coughing)
Have different cries for different things (like being hungry, being tired, or being in pain)
Cognitive/ Learning & Problem-solving
Follow moving things with eyes side to side (people, toys, colorful objects)
Watch faces closely
Recognize familiar people and objects from a distance (Mommy, Daddy, bottle, favorite toy, etc)
If your child is 4 months old and is doing all of these things, great!!
Tips to Help Your Child Reach Their 4 Month Milestones
Tummy time: Set your child on top of a blanket/playmat on the floor for “tummy time” once or twice a day.
Toys: Introduce colorful toys for your child to play with. Now your child will begin to reach for and engage with toys and will be interested in colorful items or things that make noise.
Talk and respond: Talk to your baby as much as possible and respond when he/she talks or makes baby sounds while looking directly at you. Showing your baby that their vocalizations will get a response helps to foster social skills and conversational skills and encourages your baby to continue "talking"
Smile and play: Smile at and play with your child often. Make lots of facial expressions. Your child is studying and starting to learn the differences in the tone of your voice and the facial expressions you make. And, sometimes, silly faces, just give your baby a delight.
Read: Read simple books to your child. Reading is fundamental at all stages of learning and helps your child to be exposed to and absorb as much information as possible. Your baby may look at the book a little more as you are reading and can distinguish more color now, so colorful books will catch their attention.
When to Be Worried
If your child is already 4 months of age and is not meeting these milestones, talk to your child’s pediatrician. You know your child better than anyone else. If you are concerned your child may have a delay in his/her development, it is better to intervene sooner rather than later. This gives your child the best chance of catching up to his/her peers by the time he or she reaches school age.
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