You are here

Did You Know at 4 Months I Can

Filed Under:
Publication Number: IS1637
View as PDF: IS1637.pdf

Language Development

  • Babble
  • Mimic expressions
  • Distinguish speech from other sounds
  • Laugh when I am tickled

Talk, sing, and read to me so my language will continue to develop. Read simple board books to me with pictures of real items (animals, flowers, people), and talk to me about what is in the pictures.

Cognitive Development

  • Follow toys with my eyes
  • Reach for toys that I want to play with
  • Begin to recognize familiar people and objects within 3 feet

Physical Development

  • Grasp objects and shake them • Hold my head steady and turn my head to look in different directions
  • Roll over from my tummy to my back
  • Support the weight of my head and chest on one arm if I’m on my tummy
  • Splash and kick in the bath, which gets me ready for creeping and crawling
  • Put my hands in my mouth

Make sure to give me safe toys and plenty of room to move and explore. Make sure I am eating the right foods. I should still be breastfed or using formula. Keep me up-to-date on my shots and check-ups.

Social/Emotional Development

  • Smile at people
  • Sense and react to moods
  • Anticipate being picked up
  • Make sounds to get attention or to socialize

I am learning to trust my caregivers and family, so when I cry, it means I need something, whether it is food, to be changed, or to know I am taken care of. To help me develop desired social/emotional skills, respond to my cries, even if it is by talking.

Since I am learning to talk, you can sing to me!

“One Potato”
One potato, two potato
Three potato, four.
Five potato, six potato
Seven potato, more!

Each day, I should have supervised tummy time. Tummy time is important to help improve my motor skills and strengthen my muscles that are necessary to help me learn to crawl and walk. It also helps prevent flat spots from developing on the back of my head. Start out tummy time for about 5 minutes two or three times a day. During tummy time, you can place me on a soft blanket on the floor with one of my favorite toys.

There are toys you can make for me using things from around the house, like a shaker bottle.


clear bottle (like a water bottle)

rice beads or other small items that will fit in the bottle


  1. Insert small items inside the bottle. Make sure you leave enough room for the objects to move around.
  2. Securely fasten the lid on the bottle. You can use duct tape or hot glue to make sure it is secure.
  3. Show me how to use the shaker and talk with me about the sounds it makes.

Sleep helps me grow and develop. I should get 12–15 hours of sleep a day. To reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), place me on my back in an empty crib. An empty crib is important to prevent me from suffocating, so avoid having bumper pads or stuffed animals in my crib.

Play these games with me!

Do floor exercises with me by placing me on a soft blanket or quilt on the floor. Stretch my legs and then bend my knees to touch my chest. Repeat this activity to give me some actions that I may need once I start crawling.

Place me in your lap with my back to you. Take a rattle and shake it off to the right or left side of me to see if I can move my head toward the rattle.

You can also do the “Acka Backa” fingerplay with me:

Acka backa soda cracker,
Acka backa boo
(play peek-a-boo)
Acka backa soda cracker,
Up goes you!
(bounce baby up)
Acka backa soda cracker,
Acka backa boo
(play peek-a-boo)
Acka backa soda cracker, I love you! (hug baby)

I also may enjoy these books:

Baby Faces by Margaret Miller
Playtime Maisy by Lucy Cousins
Peek-a-Who? by Nina Laden
Moo, Baa, La La La! by Sandra Boynton
Noisy Farm by Tiger Tales

Remember that each child develops at his or her own rate, and this handout is meant only as a guide of what to expect of your child’s development at this age.

For more information about parenting and developmental milestones, contact your county Extension office or visit


American Academy of Pediatrics. (2010). Policy statement—prevention of choking among children. Retrieved from content/pediatrics/early/2010/02/22/peds.2009-2862. full.pdf

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (n.d.). Your baby at 4 months. Retrieved from http://www.

National Sleep Foundation. (2015). How much sleep do we really need? Retrieved from

Safe to Sleep. (2015). Babies need tummy time! Retrieved from Pages/tummytime.aspx

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

The Mississippi State University Extension Service is working to ensure all web content is accessible to all users. If you need assistance accessing any of our content, please email the webteam or call 662-325-2262.


Portrait of Dr. Louise E. Davis
Extension Professor
Child and Family Development, Child and Family Well-Being, Child Care-Giver Training, Parenting Educ

Your Extension Experts

Portrait of Dr. Louise E. Davis
Extension Professor
Portrait of Ms. Jamila B. Taylor
Director, Head Start & EHS Prg