• Infant Birth to 18 months
  • Toddler 19 months to 3 years
  • Preschooler 3 to 5 years

Infant : 4 Months

Four month old

As your baby’s fourth month begins, you will see some truly awesome changes. This is when your baby begins to:

  • Lift their head and chest when on their tummy, and extend their arms.
  • Try to grasp objects with fingers and palm now that their hands are open.
  • Laugh out loud when tickled or during social games.
  • Show anticipation and excitement by breathing heavily.
  • Turn their head to find out where a sound comes from.

They’ll move their arms and legs more, reach for things and enjoy looking at objects. They’ll also be making cooing sounds, like “ooh” and “aah,” and will enjoy listening to you talk to them. Whenever you’re with them, carry on a running conversation – you’re actually helping them to learn to talk by letting them hear lots of language sounds.

Things to Remember...

Your baby forms a “secure attachment” to you as you respond well to your child’s needs and care for them. Babies need to know they can rely on you for consistent care. The routines and rituals you establish are part of the secure base you provide for your baby. This attachment becomes part of the brain’s wiring and sets the basic model for all future close relationships.

Developmental Milestones at 4 Months

Social

Social Development  at this stage is all about how your baby develops relationships with you and other adults; imitating behaviours of adults, and maintaining connections. These skills emerge and develop throughout infancy; and are best supported through the nurturing of  caregivers and other adults in an infant’s life.

Typical Skills

  • Gazes into your eyes during feeding or diapering
  • Use their voice to initiate socializing; coughs or clicks tongue
  • Responds to and enjoys your touch
  • Makes social gestures such as waving or kicking when they see a familiar person, for example, they will signal “pick me up”
  • Enjoys social games and play and will laugh out loud when tickled or when playing peek-a-boo with a scarf
  • Smiles and vocalizes to an actual face rather than to an image

Emerging Skills

  • May prefer one toy over others
  • Interested in and smiles at their mirror image

Activities to Support Your Child's Development

Emotional

Emotional Development include how your baby establishes a sense of self, how he learns and experience a variety of emotions; and develop self-regulation over time with the support of parents and other familiar adults. These skills are increasingly developing overtime as infants learn more about themselves and are consistently supported through nurturing relationships from you and other caregivers.

Typical Skills

  • Fusses or cries to gain attention from familiar adults, or when attention or toy is taken away from them
  • Yawns and arches back or turns away when they have had enough interaction or there is too much noise
  • Shows anticipation and excitement by breathing heavily
  • Show they are not sure (stops cooing and smiling) or afraid (fusses) if a new person moves toward them; turns their head into shoulder of parent when a new person approaches
  • Stops crying when they hear your voice or caregiver’s; attempts to soothe themselves

Emerging Skills

  • Expresses anger when they cannot get desired effect
  • May differentiate between mother’s image and their own in the mirror (knows the difference between mirror image and the real thing); turns to see mother’s “real” face
  • Follows someone with eyes and continues to look at the door when that person leaves the room

Activities to Support Your Child's Development

Fine Motor

Fine Motor Development includes the development of various forms of grasps such as palmar and pincer grasp. Palmar grasp is when an infant holds an object with their entire palm; pincer grasp is when an infant holds an object using their forefinger and thumb to lift and hold small objects.

Typical Skills

  • Relaxes with hands mostly open, not in fists as before
  • Reaches for objects when supported in sitting position, and then brings them to mouth
  • Uses mitten grasp, i.e., fingers close on open palm with thumb sticking out
  • Glances from one object to another and looks at toys placed nearby
  • Tries to swipe at objects, but still inaccurate; may look from object to hand, and back to object; often misses, but can grab it sometime

Emerging Skills

  • Claps hands
  • Can bring hands together though hands may meet below, beyond or in front of object
  • Waves a rattle placed in his hand

Activities to Support Your Child's Development

Gross Motor

Gross Motor Development refers to crawling, pulling oneself up to stand, cruising, and walking. These gross motor skills occurs for all infants as they first begin crawls and eventually start walking as they become toddlers.

Typical Skills

  • Lifts head and chest when on their stomach and support themselves on forearms or on outstretched arms
  • Turns head in all directions to follow a toy when lying on stomach
  • Brings both hands to chest and keeps head in midline when lying on back
  • Holds head steady when supported in a sitting position; may prefer sitting to lying down
  • Thrusts legs and feet against bottom of crib over and over
  • Rolls from side to side on stomach

Emerging Skills

  • Rolls from stomach to back
  • Uses protective extension i.e., stretches arms and legs downward

Activities to Support Your Child's Development

Intellectual

Intellectual Development means exploring cause-and-effect exploration, problem solving, imitation, spatial and memory exploration. Cause-and-effect exploration is repeating actions that produce similar outcomes. Problem solving within infancy is exploring objects with their hands, finger, toes or other body parts, and finding hidden toys, objects or people. Spatial and memory exploration is tracking moving objects and recognizing previously seen objects or faces.

Typical Skills

  • Starts to explore things by bringing them to their mouth
  • Turns head toward sound to find out where it comes from
  • Uses entire body (arching, kicking, stretching) to reach towards a toy that intrigues them
  • Has mental model for human face; knows mother or father and may resent strangers
  • Becomes aware of their own fingers and how they feel different from another’s touch

Emerging Skills

  • Finds an object that is partially hidden
  • May transfer a toy from one hand to the other
  • Swipes at objects with open hand of one arm but often misses
  • Begins to figure out appropriate responses to other people’s actions

Activities to Support Your Child's Development

Language

Language Development refers to various forms of communication: verbal and non-verbal communication skills which an infant develops from the first month of infancy through to 24 months as they become toddlers. Verbal communication is the sounds infants typically make, such as ‘oooooh’ or ‘aaaah’. These sounds continuously develop and eventually become words. Example of non-verbal communication; eye contact with caregivers, gazing with the eyes and various forms of gestures to communicate the infant’s needs.

Typical Skills

  • Babbles strings of syllable-like sounds
  • Experiments with sounds using variation in pitch and tone
  • Communicates pain, fear, and loneliness through crying, joy or interest by cooing sounds
  • Uses their own special kind of cry when hungry
  • Makes babbling sounds when looking at toys or people
  • Listens to music or a music box
  • Uses their voice to initiate socializing; coughing or clicks tongue
  • Smiles and vocalizes to an actual face rather than to an image

Emerging Skills

  • Attempts to make consonant sounds
  • Vocalizing to initiate social contact

Activities to Support Your Child's Development