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Definition:

Typical 4-month-old infants are expected to develop certain physical and mental skills. These skills are called milestones.



Alternative Names:

Normal childhood growth milestones - 4 months; Childhood growth milestones - 4 months; Growth milestones for children - 4 months



Information:

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

PLAY

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)


References:

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.

The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
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