Typical 4-month-old infants are expected to develop certain physical and mental skills. These skills are called milestones.
Normal childhood growth milestones - 4 months; Childhood growth milestones - 4 months; Growth milestones for children - 4 months
All children develop a little differently. If you are concerned about your child's development, talk to your child's health care provider.
PHYSICAL AND MOTOR SKILLS
The typical 4-month-old baby should:
- Show a slowing of weight gain to approximately 20 grams per day
- Double the birth weight
- Have almost no head lag while in a sitting position
- Be able to sit up straight if propped
- Raise head 90 degrees when placed on stomach
- Be able to roll from front to back
- Try to reach objects with hands (may commonly overshoot)
- Hold and let go of an object
- Play with rattle when it's placed in the hands, but won't be able to pick it up if dropped
- Be able to grasp rattle with both hands
- Be able to place objects in mouth
- Sleep 9 to 10 hours at night with two naps (total of 14 - 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 babble and 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 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 a swing or stroller
- Play on the stomach (tummy time)
Feigelman S. The first year. In: Kliegman RM, Behrman RE, Jenson HB, Stanton BF, eds. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 18th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elevier; 2007: chap 8.
Review Date: 11/3/2008
Reviewed By: Jennifer K. Mannheim, CPNP, private practice, Seattle, Washington. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
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