4 Months

What Most Babies Do by This Age


  • Smiles spontaneously, especially at people
  • Likes to play with people and might cry when playing stops
  • Copies some movements and facial expressions, like smiling or frowning

Problem Solving

  • Reaches out for toys in front of him
  • Follows moving things with eyes
  • Recognizes familiar people and things at a distance

Language and Communication

  • Coos and babbles
  • Makes sounds when looking at toys or people
  • Cries in different ways to show hunger, pain, or being tired


  • Holds head steady, unsupported
  • Pushes down on legs when feet are on a hard surface
  • May be able to roll over from tummy to back
  • Can hold a toy and shake it and swing at dangling toys
  • Brings hands to mouth

What Families Can Do

  • Cuddle, talk, and play with your baby while feeding, dressing and bathing.
  • Read and sing to your baby. Look and talk about pictures.
  • Establish routines for sleeping and feeding.
  • Learn your baby’s signals – does your baby cry when hungry or rub eyes when tired?
  • Put a toy or rattle in your baby’s hand.
  • Hold your baby upright with his/her feet on the floor.
  • Place your baby on his/her tummy when awake and put toys nearby to practice reaching for them.
  • Provide a safe environment, such as a blanket on the floor, where your baby can reach for or kick toys and explore surroundings.
  • Imitate your baby’s sounds and act excited in response to those sounds.
  • Play games such as “peek-a-boo” and “pat-a-cake.”
  • Use toys that are soft, safe for infants and colorful to attract your baby’s attention.

Developmental Milestones