Milestones Your Baby at 4 Months

Milestones matter. How your baby plays, learns, speaks, acts, and moves offers important clues about your baby’s development. Check the milestones your baby has reached by 4 months. Talk with your baby’s doctor at every well visit about the milestones your baby has reached and what you can expect in the months ahead.

A baby with brown skin and brown eyes lying on its stomach holding its head up smiling at the camera with a bath towel lying over its head and body.

Most 4-month-olds can do these things:

Social/Emotional Milestones

  • Smiles on his own to get your attention
  • Chuckles (not yet a full laugh) when you try to make her laugh
  • Looks at you, moves, or makes sounds to get or keep your attention

Cognitive Milestones

(learning, thinking, problem-solving)

  • If hungry, opens mouth when she sees breast or bottle
  • Looks at his hands with interest

Language/Communication Milestones

  • Makes sounds like “oooo”, “aahh” (cooing)
  • Makes sounds back when you talk to him
  • Turns head towards the sound of your voice

Movement/Physical Development Milestones

  • Holds head steady without support when you are holding her
  • Holds a toy when you put it in his hand
  • Uses her arm to swing at toys
  • Brings hands to mouth
  • Pushes up onto elbows/forearms when on tummy
  • What are some things you and your baby do together?
  • What are some things your baby likes to do?
  • Is there anything your baby does or does not do that concerns you?
  • Has your baby lost any skills he/she once had?
  • Does your baby have any special healthcare needs or was he/she born prematurely?

You know your baby best. Don’t wait. If your baby is not meeting one or more milestones, has lost skills he or she once had, or you have other concerns, act early – it can make a big difference. Talk with your baby’s doctor, share your concerns, and ask about developmental screening.

If you or the doctor are still concerned:

  • Ask for a referral to a specialist who can evaluate your baby more.
  • Visit Nevada’s Early Intervention Services web page, or call (800) 522-0066 to find out if your baby can get services to help.
  • For more on how to help your child click here and visit


As your baby’s first teacher, you can help his or her learning and brain development. Try these simple tips and activities in a safe way. Talk with your baby’s doctor and child care providers if you have questions or for more ideas on how to help your baby’s development.

  • Respond positively to your baby. Act excited, smile, and talk to him when he makes sounds. This teaches him to take turns “talking” back and forth in conversation.
  • Provide safe opportunities for your baby to reach for toys, kick at toys and explore what is around her. For example, put her on a blanket with safe toys.
  • Allow your baby to put safe things in his mouth to explore them. This is how babies learn. For example, let him see, hear, and touch things that are not sharp, hot, or small enough to choke on.
  • Talk, read, and sing to your baby. This will help her learn to speak and understand words later.
  • Limit screen time (TV, phones, tablets, etc.) to video calling with loved ones. Screen time is not recommended for children younger than 2 years of age. Babies learn by talking, playing, and interacting with others.
  • Feed only breast milk or formula to your baby. Babies are not ready for other foods, water, or other drinks for about the first 6 months of life.
  • Give your baby safe toys to play with that are easy to hold, like rattles or cloth books with colorful pictures for her age.
  • Let your baby have time to move and interact with people and objects throughout the day. • Try not to keep your baby in swings, strollers, or bouncy seats for too long.
  • Set steady routines for sleeping and feeding.
  • Lay your baby on her back and show her a bright-colored toy. Move the toy slowly from left to right and up and down to see if she watches how the toy moves.
  • Sing and talk to your baby as you help her “exercise” (move her body) for a few minutes. Gently bend and move her arms and legs up and down.

To see more tips and activities, download CDC’s Milestone Tracker app.

These milestones are not a substitute for a standardized, validated developmental screening tool. These developmental milestones show what most children (75% or more) can do by each age. Subject matter experts selected these milestones based on available data and expert consensus. Milestones information published here is based on the information and guidance provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). What is a Developmental Milestone? (n.d.). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.