The way your child learns, plays, and acts shows you important steps in development. All children grow and develop at their own rate. However, most follow a predictable skill path along the way. These skill paths are called developmental milestones; skills that most children can perform by a certain age. Refer to the checklist below to determine what milestones your child has completed by four months of age.
By four months most babies:
Fine Motor (skills that require balance and movement of small muscle groups)
_ Hold hands partially, or completely open rather than in a fist.
_ Hold on to a toy for about one minute and wave it around.
_ Reach for a toy on the table when held in a sitting position.
_ Watch their hands.
_ Place a hand on the bottle or breast when feeding.
_ Smile or coo at their reflection in the mirror.
_ While on their tummy, lay their head back on the floor rather than letting it drop or fall forward.
_ While on their tummy, hold their head up and look around.
_ While on their back, bring their hands together.
Cognitive (memory, problem solving, thinking, and overall play)
_ Follow objects with eyes and head: up/down and left/right.
_ Look at toys placed in their hands.
_ Put toys they are holding in their mouth.
_ Smile or get excited when they see you after you come back into sight.
_ Make high pitched squeals.
_ Make sounds when looking at toys or people.
_ Suck well from the bottle or breast (without choking or gagging).
Talk to your doctor or contact an early intervention program in your community if you notice any of the following signs of a possible developmental delay in your child of four months.
_ Can’t hold head steady.
_ Doesn’t watch things as they move.
_ Doesn’t smile at people.
_ Doesn’t bring hands to mouth.
_ Doesn’t coo or make sounds.
_ Doesn’t push down with their legs when their feet are placed on a flat surface.
ASQ. Ages and Stages Questionnaires, Third Edition (ASQ – 3)
CDD. Centers for Disease Control <www.cdc.gov>
D’Eugenio, Diane and Rogers, Sally J. Early Intervention Developmental Profile (EIDP). 1981. University of Michigan.