The Fourth Month The fourth month is a preview of more exciting things to come. First, baby can finally hold her head up on her own and begins to turn over on her belly. Parents and caregivers need to always keep a watchful eye on baby if she is placed on a bed so that she does not roll over and fall to the floor. Better yet, keep baby in a safe place at all times like a crib or a floor mat. Baby is also now quite the conversationalist and the spotlight-hugger. She smiles, laughs, makes different sounds to get attention, and, if you imitate the sounds she makes, she’ll “say” them back to you.
Here is what you can typically expect during the fourth month:
Smiles when spoken to and laughs genuinely
Responds to a variety of sounds
Acquires receptive language
Cries to communicate
Holds head up on her own.
Sees, grasps objects
Begins to turn over from back to belly
When on belly, may push herself up
Can sit up when propped on pilllows
Smiles when she recognizes a voice or face
Reacts differently when she sees or hears a stranger's voice
How to interact with your four-month old:
Provide tummy time on baby’s crib or on a floor mat to increase neck, arm, and chest strength. This will get her ready for creeping, which eventually leads to crawling.
Allow baby to sit up as well either on her own, on your lap, or propped up with pillows.
Baby has now discovered what a wonderful apparatus her hands are so continue to provide toys that she can explore with her hands. She is learning to control her hand movements and may be able to reach for and grasp objects on her own.
Singing action songs are a great way to entertain baby. It will also teach her how to make connections between things and words. Some fun songs to sing are “Itsy Bitsy Spider”, “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star”, and “Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes”.
Aside from giving gentle massages you can now start light stretches and exercises for baby such as chest stretches, arm flapping, arm circles, knee bends, and foot stretches.
♦ Curtis, G. B. & Schuler, J. (2000). Your Baby’s First Year Week by Week. Cambridge, MA: Perseus Publishing. ♦ First 5 Commission of San Diego. (2008). How Kids Develop. Retrieved from http://www.howkidsdevelop.com/developSkills.html ♦ Orenstein, J. (2000). 365 Tips for Baby’s First Year. Holbrook, MA: Adams Media Corporation. ♦ Powell, J. and Smith, C.A. (1994). The 1st year. In Developmental milestones: A guide for parents. Manhattan, KS: Kansas State ♦ University Cooperative Extension Service. Retrieved from http://www.nichcy.org/Disabilities/Milestones/Pages/Default.aspx