Baby development : 4 month old
4-month-old baby developments:
Before we start talking about the developments of a 4-month-old baby, we should mention that all babies are unique and meet these developments at their own pace. This article merely shows what your baby has the potential to accomplish and how you can help him/her do it better.
By month four, your baby gained a lot of weight (likely doubled from birth). He is now much more interested in his surroundings and what is happening around him. He still smiles at people faces and laugh. He might now start to show a regular sleeping pattern and feeding cycles.
Babies see color from birth, but it’s hard for them to distinguish between similar colors or different shades(red and orange). Your baby may show a preference for bright primary colors now.
4-month-old baby can easily see across the room and doesn’t have any problem with focusing although they still prefer looking at people close up. Your child’s eyes can move smoothly and follow objects around him. Both eyes should move together ( should not be and eye crossed while tracking).
Your baby’s eyes are starting to change color. Their final shade gets fixed at about six months.
Before your baby could understand the tone of your voice (angry, soothing, agitated). Now she can realize different sounds you make. This is the first step in understanding words, sentences and in general language. The hearing is crucial to developing the ability to talk, and now your baby is beginning to pick out different sounds. She might also start to respond to your voice by babbling. It might be that they even start understanding the difference between talking voice and environmental sounds.
Muscles and Motor skill
Another Amazing experience is on the way: Rock and Roll baby
Although there is an age range for infants to roll but it’s more likely they do it around 4-month-old. It will also be amazing for the kid when he rolls for the first time. It is easier for a baby to roll over from front to back because they have round belly which makes it easier to roll over. To prevent SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome), parents put their babies to sleep on their backs. This can delay the rolling process if the baby doesn’t get enough Tummy Time when he is awake.
Your little one will play a lot with his hands. You might find him playing play with his hands and feet for several minutes. He can use both hands at the same time to grab a rattle or anything he can reach. Anything bright, colorful or shiny will be grabbed and most probably will end up in his mouth.
A 4-month-old baby has developed his neck, back and arms muscles so he will be able to lift his head and shoulders when you place him on his tummy and can extend his arms and arch her back. This arching is an excellent exercise for strengthening their neck muscles further which help them to control their massive head when they start to sit up and crawl.
He also might show interest for doing one action over and over again until he’s sure of the result (cause and effect).
4-month-old will be paying close attention to your face and the sounds you make. So she may start to imitate your facial expression like smiling and frowning. She may also watch your mouth intently when you speak and try to respond to your voice by babbling. This is her first attempt to make contact using sounds and developing her conversation skills.
Are you dreaming or you just heard it?!! MaMa … DaDa
Between this time and six months of age, your baby will make some vocal sounds like mama or dada. They don’t know the meaning or the connection between these sounds and you but still this is an incredible moment in your life.
They start to understand if they drop an object it will return to them by parents. This is another way they understand there are people around them that respond to their actions.
As we mentioned before your 4-month-old baby will start to pay more attention to his surrounding and begin to smile eagerly at people even when they aren’t trying to make him smile. As long as you are around he will be glad to meet other people and will get more enjoyment from social interaction. They need you to feel safe and secure to go and make a relationship with other people. This way he will develop his social skills.
But don’t worry you will remain his number one and he save his best reactions just for you!
Some babies start teething at the age of 3-4 months. It is a painful process for kids but the degree of discomfort varies from baby to baby. Drooling, biting hands and objects, refusing to be nursed, robbing cheeks, These can be indications that your baby will start teething soon.
Your baby is all about grabbing and touching. She will be fascinated by any texture she touches: crinkly, lumpy or furry. Again remember whatever they touch is possible to be grabbed and it will undoubtedly end up in their mouth, so make sure they are clean.
It is possible that your baby hasn’t responded to your tickling yet. Up to age three months, babies can’t get tickled because they don’t know the meaning of you and me; they don’t know they are individuals. You can’t tickle yourself because tickling is not really a physical phenomenon in your body but a social interaction. Right about this age, your baby will respond to tickling. It is one of earliest tricks we used for thousands of years to teach the individuality to our kids. The only thing you should remember is never to overuse it (No matter how old your child is).
His stomach has grown and now he can drink enough milk in one feed so you won’t need to feed him as many times as you did in the last three months. It’s time for you to relax a bit, but wait!
Although you don’t need to feed him eight times a day anymore, there is a new challenge. Your baby is so into discovering his surrounding that he can easily get distracted by whatever is happening around him, so the feeding may become more difficult.
How to help your child develop at this age
Give him more colorful toys and books. They’ll love looking at them. Install some eye-catchers mobiles-crib or his activity gym, filled with bright primary-colored. Visually striking board books are also perfect for their visual development. Present him with a variety of colors in books, toys, and clothing. They have started to notice different shades of a color (red-orange).
Please make some time to sing and read to your baby every day. It does wonders for your baby’s development. Don’t think if you have a beautiful voice or not, you will be her Frank Sinatra or Tina Turner. She loves being held in your arms and hearing the sound of your voice.
You can start reading books to your kid. Board books with bright colors can also help developing her other senses (visual and touching).
You can also bring music into your baby’s life. Any slow or steady melody will stimulate baby’s mind. It doesn’t need to be only Bach or Beethoven music, as far as it’s not loud and violent (metal, rap, some country songs) it will soothe your baby. Although some kind of music like lullabies proves to be very effective regarding soothing and stimulating baby’s mind. Musical crib mobiles can stimulate both visual and hearing at the same time.
Muscles and Motor skill
Your baby will probably start Rolling over, but you shouldn’t force it. What you can do is gently encourage it by putting his favorite toy by his side and move it around and see if they try to follow it and roll over. Applaud his efforts he may need your support as new actions can be scary.
Anything bright, colorful or shiny most probably will be grabbed and will end up in his mouth, so be careful with your necklaces and earrings because it’s dangerous for you and your baby (it’s a very painful tug). There are beautiful necklaces made by Edible Silicon to deal with this problem (before they understand the concept of NO for doing things). You can see it at the bottom of this post.
Tummy time is still one of the most important activities he should do every day. When he is on his tummy, he will exercise and strengthen muscles in his neck, back and arms. An activity gym is an excellent choice for your baby to use his hands and eyes in coordination.
Give him a light rattle and watch him delight for the sound it makes when he shakes it. He may hit himself in the face with the rattle or any other toys and make himself cry. Don’t worry we all did that when we were babies; just make sure the toys don’t have sharp edges.
One of the best things you can do to help your baby develops her communication skill is by imitating his facial expression and sounds. This way she will begin to realize that what she says makes a difference in his surrounding (cause and effect).
Try to make sense of what she says. Like if she says “ma” you can reply “yes that’s me, MAMA.”
Spend some time to repeat words you like for her to say; this will help further babies’ language skills. For example, you can name his toys and repeat their name each time you gave it to them. You can also repeat her name and touch different parts of her body.
One of the best ways to calm your baby is using your clean finger and rubs it on his sore gums. But this can’t be done all the time, you need more practical methods. Giving your little one’s cold washcloths or teething toys is one of the most effective ways to reduce the pain.
Touching different part of her body while singing or talking to her, stimulate not only her brain but also enhance your loving relationship. Regular massaging your baby will help her to recognize different parts of her body.
You can stimulate her sense of touch using different textures like fur, wood, glass, tissue, felt, velvet and towel. You can check for board books that introduce different texture and make touching a part of the reading experience.
She would fall asleep much easier if you can establish a nighttime routine. You can feed him, give him a bath, put him in pajamas, sing him a song and sway him, put him down in his crib, read a book with a soft voice and play some music (music box or crib mobiles). This routine gives your little one time to calm down and start to feel sleepy during the process.
As we mentioned before at this age, it becomes challenging to feed her because she gets distracted by everything around her. The best way would be you find a quiet place to nurse her. But of course, it’s not possible to do it everywhere you go. One solution is to use toys and blanket so she will be occupied during feeding. Another great way is to use a necklace specially designed for this particular problem. There are made by Edible Silicon and have very vibrant colors that make your baby play with them and not get distracted. You can see one of these necklaces at the bottom of this post.
You may want to start giving your baby solid foods. This is not recommended in general by a pediatrician, however, if she can sit up unsupported, control his head, and move food around his mouth then it’s safe for her to eat solid foods. But for this matter, you have to counsel with your pediatrician. Remember breast milk has all the nutrients your baby needs (up to 6 month-old)
- It’s hard, but if you’ve isolated yourself from friends and family for the last three months, it’s time for you to visit them again. Breastfeeding is more on regular time, and it’s not as many times as before so you can manage it. Don’t worry you will be fine.
- Walkers: we enjoy watching them move around and laugh in their walkers, but this is not helping them. She just found something much easier and more fun than walking. New studies show that babies who used walker-jumpers will learn to walk later than babies who didn’t use it. Also, they might not be interested in crawling anymore which is crucial for your baby strength and coordination.
- Though your baby is not yet crawling and can’t stand up, you need to start thinking about childproofing your apartment: Locks on cabinets, snap gates in front stairways, put cleaning products out of his access range and so on.
- Never shake firmly your baby’s head (excited or angry)
We hope you find this review informative and helpful. Now it’s easier to find appropriate toys and gears for kids. Please let us know if you have any question. We will try to answer it as soon as possible.
You can also check our other posts about 3-month-old and 5-month-old baby developments.