Four Months

I can see clearly now- Around four month old the visual system is more completely developed and babies can focus on object farther away than their arm’s length. This is very noticeable, especially during feeding. Four month olds will often take a few sips and then stop eating and look around.  Many mothers think this means that they want to be weaned but that is not what is happening. They are just distracted by all the new things that have come into their visual range. By the fifth month they are back on track with feedings. In addition to the better visual system, baby has better control of his head and can move it from side to side to increase the area he can see.

MILESTONES (More or Less-Milestones are averages and, at best, rough guidelines. Half of babies will achieve milestones earlier than noted and half will reach them later. As babies get older, they become more diverse in their development and milestones become less reliable. ))

How your four month old moves:
1.       On tummy, she will hold her head up and may lift her chest off the ground with her hands.
2.       On tummy, her legs are straight (extended).
3.       May rock on tummy like an airplane, with legs and arms extended.
4.       May begin to roll over, usually from tummy to back first but some babies roll from back to tummy first.
5.       When held in sitting, he can keep his head up and turn it from side to side. Can stay seated on your lap for 10 to 15 minutes.
6.       If held in standing, the baby will put weight on his feet and hold his body weight up.

How your four month old uses hands:
1.       Still bats at objects without being able to hit it accurately. Often overreaches.
2.       Grasps at objects with both hands.
3.       Can keep hold of rattles or objects of the size of rattles.
4.       Gets hands together to play with his own fingers.

Your four month old’s senses
1.       Eyes are fully developed and baby has full visual abilities.
2.       Can focus on near or far objects.
3.       Visual skill and head control now allow baby to look at what he wants wherever he wants and 4 month-olds spend a lot of time just looking at things.
4.       Beginnings of eye-hand coordination. Will look at hand and at object in an attempt to reach for it.
5.       Sense of voluntary balance begins and babies enjoy gentle bouncing, rocking and swinging to increase sense of balance.
6.       Mouth continues to be strongest exploratory sensor and baby now can bring an object to his mouth when it is in his hands.
7.       Moves head and eyes to follow moving object or to look for sounds.
8.       Quiets to music.

Thinking and learning
1.       May stay with activity for long period of time.
2.       She may start being interested in baby in the mirror.
3.       Definitely interested in toys and playthings now.
4.       May start to show preferences for certain toys over others
5.       Begins to notice differences in toys and people
6.       Clearly reacts differently to new or strange situations though often with interest rather than fear or anger.

Four month old language skills:
1.       Babies “talk” a lot at this age.
2.       Babbling starts. This is stringing together more than one sound in syllable like patterns.
3.       Starts  imitating some sounds (ones he already knows to make).
4.       Uses vocal sounds to express moods, especially, happy laughter, squeals, and gurgles.

Social skills at four months
1.       Start to recognize people they know from people they do not know. Tend to look cautiously at new people but do not usually express anxiety at new people at four months.
2.       Uses vocal sounds to get attention of adults and to engage them in”conversation”
3.       Really enjoys social play, back and forth games with another person.
4.       Will complain if play is stopped.
5.       Begins to soothe self, often by sucking on fingers but may have other methods.


1.       Tummy time continues to be important but now baby needs more objects to keep his interest so toys around the blanket are a good idea. Baby will stay on rug for longer period of time because it is easy to keep head up.
2.       Place toys to side of baby to encourage him to try to move to side to get the toy.
3.       Also during tummy time play, place baby on side so she can begin to roll from side to tummy or side to back.

Sensory, thinking and learning
1.       Looking becomes very interesting to baby so taking baby on a tour of different rooms or places in the neighborhood and talking about what is within view is very entertaining. Hold baby at shoulder or in carrier for this activity, not in stroller.
2.       Change pictures or move baby equipment so baby has different views of things on different days.
3.       Baby will take interest in water so bath play can be fun. May like to splash or kick feet to see reaction of water.
4.       Texture rugs are good to add interest to tummy time. You can buy or make one. Just use a soft blanket and firmly sew fabric of different textures around the blanket. Try to get something velvety, something satiny, something rough like corduroy, etc. Can also sew a rattle or a teether to one corner of the rug and maybe put a squeak toy under one of the textures.
5.       Offer toys to manipulate or to compare. Make sure they can be put in the mouth because that is probably the first place they will go.

Language and social
1.       Start reading books designed for young children (if you haven’t been to now). Babies will be interested in large pictures of things and may try to touch them. Texture books are also good at this age.
2.       Turn-taking games can start now, usually involving imitation. You squeal, baby squeals, you squeal back, all laugh.