Developmental Milestones | 4 months
Skills such as taking a first step, smiling for the first time, and waving “bye-bye” are called developmental milestones. Developmental milestones are things most children can do by a certain age. Children reach milestones in how they play, learn, speak, behave, and move (like crawling, walking, or jumping).
In the first year, babies learn to focus their vision, reach out, explore, and learn about the things that are around them. Cognitive, or brain development means the learning process of memory, language, thinking, and reasoning. Learning language is more than making sounds (“babble”), or saying “ma-ma” and “da-da”. Listening, understanding, and knowing the names of people and things are all a part of language development. During this stage, babies also are developing bonds of love and trust with their parents and others as part of social and emotional development. The way parents cuddle, hold, and play with their baby will set the basis for how they will interact with them and others.
Physical and Motor Skills
The typical 4-month-old baby should:
- Slow in weight gain to about 20 grams (almost two thirds of an ounce) per day
- Weigh 2 times more than their birth weight
- Have almost no head droop while in a sitting position
- Be able to sit straight if propped up
- Raise head 90 degrees when placed on stomach
- Be able to roll from front to back
- Hold and let go of an object
- Play with a rattle when it’s placed in their hands, but won’t be able to pick it up if dropped
- Be able to grasp a rattle with both hands
- Be able to place objects in the mouth
- Sleep 9 to 10 hours at night with 2 naps during the day (total of 14 to 16 hours per day)
Sensory and Cognitive Skills
A 4-month-old baby is expected to:
- Have well-established close vision
- Increase eye contact with parents and others
- Have beginning hand-eye coordination
- Be able to coo
- Be able to laugh out loud
- Anticipate feeding when able to see a bottle (if bottle-fed)
- Begin to show memory
- Demand attention by fussing
- Recognize parent’s voice or touch
You can encourage development through play:
- Place the baby in front of a mirror.
- Provide bright-colored toys to hold.
- Repeat sounds the infant makes.
- Help the infant roll over.
- Use an infant swing at the park if the baby has head control.
- Play on the stomach (tummy time).
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