The First Year: 4 Month Milestones (page 2)

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Updated on Jun 10, 2012

Fusses for Attention. Before, your infant cried because he had no other choice. It's a baby's instinct to cry when he's hungry, tired, bored, or anything else. But your brainy baby has wised up, and now knows how to work the system. He'll cry specifically to get your attention.

  • "Soothe baby when he cries," suggests Johnson-Hooper. "You cannot spoil a baby." While you don't want to encourage water works, your baby needs to feel secure in the fact that you're nearby. Letting your little one "cry it out" at this age is completely ineffective, and could lead to some serious attachment and separation issues. Just remember that this phase won't last forever, so it's fine to attend to your fussy infant.

Recognizes Parents. While at first it probably seemed like your baby would go to anyone and anyone and still sleep soundly, those days are almost over. Four-month-olds can easily pinpoint their parents based on sound, smell, and sight. You might even find yourself rewarded with a grin when you walk into the room—parent payday!

  • Let your little one get used to your scent. If he seems upset when you're not near and you need to get some things done—like the 10-foot pile of laundry in your bedroom—a small square of fabric cut from one of your shirts can help your baby feel calm with your scent nearby.
  • Don't be worried if your child clearly prefers one parent over the other; it's completely normal for babies to go through phases of attachment to certain people. It's probably going to be short-lived, and then you'll be jockeying for the title of "favorite parent" again.

Laughs! We told you to get the video camera ready! Your usually somber babe will probably start to giggle during the fourth month, which means you'll want to make him laugh again and again. It's hard to tell what tickles a baby's funnybone; all we know is that it's adorable.

  • Bring out your inner comedian. Babies love to be surprised, so try hiding just out of your little one's sight and pop out at him—in a gentle way, of course—to see if that gets him going. You can't really force him to laugh, but you can definitely take notes on what seems to make him smile so you can try again in the future. Older siblings can definitely help too, and it's a great way for your kids to bond.

Your little 4-month-old is finally starting to pay you back for late nights and diaper blowouts. With a megawatt smile and a heartwarming giggle, it's hard not to instantly forgive the first few months of parenthood. And guess what? It just keeps getting better, so we hope you have room on your camera!

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