The First Year: 4 Month Milestones

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Updated on Jun 10, 2012

After four months with your baby, he's transformed into his own person—complete with a blossoming personality, picking up new skills every day. Now, you're entering a sweet spot in the first year with your babe. The time period between four and eight months should be pretty mellow as far as issues go, but your little one will be growing and developing at a rapid rate. Know what to expect and how to usher in more development as you watch your baby's personality take form.

Understands Language. Your little Einstein spent the last three months learning the differences in voice tone and sound, as well as communication with you as a parent. Now he's ready to put all of that knowledge into action as he starts to interact with you more. Pediatric speech language pathologist Melisa Brown offers some insight as to what you should expect this month. "Babbling should begin, taking turns in vocalizing with caregivers, producing a variety of vowel sounds, and begin to recognize his name when called by pausing and looking for the speaker."

  • Talk back to your little chatterbox! When he's babbling away, you'll probably get a huge smile if you babble right back to him. Sure, it sounds crazy—but it's definitely fun and the perfect way to play with your baby.
  • Make sure to use your child's name as much as possible to give him plenty of practice in responding. It's easy to talk about your babe like he's not in the room by referring to him as "the baby", but using his name will help him learn to respond faster.

Rolls Over. This month is pretty huge when it comes to firsts, so we hope you have your camera ready! Rolling over shows that your little guy finally has control over his head and neck and can get mobile. Tisa Johnson-Hooper, a pediatrician with Henry Ford Hospital, points out that your baby will probably start by rolling side to side before finally flipping from his back to his front and vice versa.

  • Keep up with tummy time. Yes, it's been four months of getting down on the floor, but your work will be worth it—your little one will have better control of his head and neck. Once he learns to roll over, you need to ensure that you're close by during tummy time, since a mobile baby can easily roll into danger.
  • If your baby isn't rolling yet, try placing a toy just out of his reach while he lays on his belly. Your little wiggle worm will work to get near the toy, and it might even inspire him to flop over onto his back to get ahold of it.

Uses His Mouth to Explore. When you hand your little guy a toy, what's the first thing he does? That's right; he pops it right into his kisser. That's because babies explore tastes, textures, and smells with their gummy little mouths. You'll have to be extra vigilant about what your baby hangs onto; chances are he'll try to eat it!

  • Remove the batteries from toys that don't have a secure screwed-on backing. Clip backings can easily pop off, and batteries are a major choking hazard if your baby ever gets ahold of one. Small alkaline batteries also pose a risk if swallowed. Make sure all of his toys have no small or loose parts.
  • Offer safe toys that have textures to explore. A teething blanket with rubbery corners and a crinkling center makes for a world of exploration with your curious tot. He'll happily chew and it'll help to relieve any beginning teething pain.
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