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Your Child’s Development: 4 Months

Doctors use certain milestones to tell if a baby is developing as expected. There's a wide range of what's considered normal, so some babies gain skills earlier or later than others. Babies who were born prematurely may reach milestones later. Always talk with your doctor about your baby's progress.

Here are things babies usually do by this age:

Communication and Language Skills

  • make sounds like ooh and aah (cooing)
  • turn their head toward your voice
  • make sounds in response to being spoken to

Movement and Physical Development

  • use their arms to swing at toys
  • bring their hands to mouth
  • hold a toy when you put it in their hand
  • hold their head steady without support when being held
  • push up on elbows/forearms when on their tummy

Social and Emotional Development

  • smile to get your attention
  • chuckle (not a full laugh) when you try to make them laugh
  • look at you, move, or make sounds to get or keep your attention

Cognitive Skills (Thinking and Learning)

  • look at their hands with interest
  • when hungry, open their mouth if breast or bottle approaches

When Should I Call the Doctor?

You know your baby best. Share your concerns — even little ones — with your baby's doctor.

If your baby is not meeting one or more milestones or you notice that your baby had skills but has lost them, tell your doctor.

To learn more about early signs of developmental problems, go to the CDC’s Learn the Signs. Act Early program.

Reviewed by: Mary L. Gavin, MD
Date Reviewed: 01-04-2022

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