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It has been a good first few months and things are only going to get better. However, a growing baby is full of surprises as they are always moving forward at a massive pace.
During the first four months, your child goes from moving to crawling and is more attuned to his surroundings, going so far as to be able to recognize parents and identify different sounds. When you see your little bundle of joy doting his eyes on you and gazing at your spouse, that’s when you reach the pinnacle of parenthood.
Video: 4 Months Old Baby Milestones
4 Month Old Baby Milestones Chart
A 4-month-old has a lot going on in their life in terms of development. The most common emerging and achieved milestones displayed in 4-month-old babies are-
|Achieved Milestones||Emerging Milestones|
|Follows nearby objects with his eyes||Is able to track moving objects|
|Cries when exposed to different feelings, laughs out loud, may show displeasure if social contact is broken||Makes facial expressions for different feelings|
|Is able to sit with support, head steady and tipped forward||Can sit without support for brief periods of time|
|Reaches and grasps objects with both hands (bidextrous) and brings them to mouth||Is able to switch hands with a toy, reaches for toys with one hand and transfers to another (unidextrous reach)|
|Watches new faces and objects closely||Is curious when shown different faces and objects, gets excited at the sight of food|
|Recognizes different sounds and words||Recognizes and responds to his own name|
|Moves a little when placed on tummy||Is able to crawl when laid down on tummy|
|When held erect, pushes with feet||–|
Types of Developmental Milestones That Can Be Seen in a 4 Month-Old Baby
Dealing with a baby on an everyday basis is not something that all of us have experienced. Hence, it may sometimes be difficult to gauge whether they are on the right developmental track. Are they supposed to be crying so much? Will my baby be able to finally balance his head without support?
Your baby is able to draw connections in the real world and distinguish between objects, faces, and emotions. Here are the expected cognitive developmental milestones:
- Cries with Different Tones – Whether your baby soils the diaper, is sad or misses someone, each of his emotions is conveyed by a different tone of crying. No crying will be the same, and you’ll notice patterns of crying for different triggers or events.
- Reacts and Responds – When you’re pulling up your baby into a feeding position, he will open his mouth. Likewise, when you show him a toy, he’ll smile and realize that it’s playtime. For all these cues, he reacts spontaneously. He may also want to stay away from those he dislikes. Your little one will also respond to different emotions. Whenever you cuddle, display a show of affection or kiss him, he’ll respond accordingly.
- Improved Memory – Your baby will remember his favourite toys, people, moments, and objects. If you give him a collection of toys, he’ll always reach out for his utmost favourite. The same stands for people as he will go near those he likes and cry or move away from his dislikes.
- Displays Sadness – Your baby is able to show signs of sadness through facial expressions and display developing signs of empathy too.
Physical milestones noted in 4 month-old babies are:
- Reaching and Mouthing – Your baby will be able to reach objects in midline when lying on the back (supine position). He will be able to put them in his mouth and explore such as sucking on a clean cloth or shaking a rattle delightfully.
- Rolling Over – Besides learning how to crawl, he will develop a talent for rolling over. You’ll notice him propping up using his head, shoulders and legs to see the view and rolling over from the front to back and vice versa.
- Sits and Stands – Your little one should be able to sit without support for short periods of time and even stand on his legs when you hold him for support.
- Moves Head – Your baby should experience good head support and no longer flop his head like in the early months. He will be able to turn his head in different directions and gaze at people.
Where sleep pattern milestones are concerned, here’s what you need to know-
- Established Sleep Routine – Your baby’s internal clock will have kickstarted by now, and you will notice him going to bed on time every day. Your baby will be sleeping 12 to 14 hours every day on average, with 2-3 naps a day.
- Reduced Feeding Time– Your little one may be able to go eight hours every night without being fed. However its fairly common for them to demand feed even in sleep, with average wake ups of one to three times a night.
- Witch Hours – Your baby may get fussy during the evenings (or at 5:30 pm) so make sure you tuck him to bed before the clock strikes the dreaded moment.
- Long Naps – Ideally, babies at the age of four months should nap for one to two hours. Make sure your baby naps in the crib for some quality ZZZs.
Social and Emotional
Social and emotional milestones in four-month-old babies range from-
- Reacting and Responding to Different Cues– For example, if you smile or shower affection on him, he will respond gleefully and cherish it. He will look forward to it the next time again. He may smile when you tickle his tummy or give him a piggyback ride.
- Self-Soothing – Sucking on the thumb is a sign of self-soothing at this age.
- Excitement– This age is fun particularly since stranger anxiety is yet to develop and they respond to every visitor with the same charm with the recently achieved milestone of “laughing aloud”.
- Social Interaction– Your little one will be keen on meeting kids of his age and respond accordingly when interacting with peers and friends.
When to Consult a Doctor
You should consult a doctor if-
- Your baby suddenly stops babbling and doesn’t continue
- Doesn’t react when others approach him
- Doesn’t respond to emotional cues
- Is not interested in grabbing or playing with toys
Ways to Help Your Four Month-old Achieve the Major Milestones
Here are some ways to help your four months old achieve major milestones-
- Avoid exposing him to the television and limit screen time to none at all since you don’t want to overstimulate his brain at this age. Use sounds and voices to keep him engaged and attentive.
- Give him a variety of toys to let him explore the concept of cause and effect. Crumpled up paper and cellophane are absolute favourites at this age.
- Make sure he gets his immunizations on time to avoid exposure to diseases and serious illnesses
- Keep your home clean and hygienic. Don’t make it super clean since some exposure to dust and grime will strengthen his developing immune system.
- Clean the toys and sheets clean frequently since they would be “mouthing” everything and anything they are able to grasp.
- De-clutter your home and keep objects away, especially things that are prone to falling off the table and such. De-cluttering and providing space to roam around will exercise his thigh and leg muscles, thus motivating him to keep crawling.
And that’s it! There’s no magic ingredient to being an awesome parent. Just be sure to watch your baby mindfully, pay attention to his cues, responses, reactions and feed him plus put him to bed on time. Your little one will cherish his naps and will work through a growth spurt at this age which is why the magic word, routine, is very important.
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