Each month your baby gets older, and they continue to meet and cross off developmental milestones from their list. You might notice that your now 4 month old has changed significantly, and you want to foster those changes by finding new activities for 4 month old babies.
A 4 month old has changed so much in the last few months!
They use their hands, eyes, and mouth to learn, absorbing things in the world around them. Your baby is fascinated with everything around them, and you can do so much to help with this fascination.
Let’s take a look at what you can do with your infant at this stage.
Typical Milestones for 4 Month Old Babies
Four month old babies are growing and developing rapidly. Each child is individual and will be doing different things, but here are are some things you might notice about your baby at this age.
- More Facial Expressions: Your baby will likely have more facial expressions, smiling and enjoying his day. He will also be able to identify caregivers’ faces.
- Laughing: Perhaps one of the best milestones around this age is laughing. Who doesn’t love to hear their baby laugh loudly?
- Rolling Around: Between 8 to 12 weeks, babies start to roll from belly to back, but some may roll a bit later. By 4 months old, a lot of babies are rolling in both directions.
- Babbling: Babies babble as they work on developing new words and syllables. Some are more chatty than others, but most infants around this age start to make sounds and create chitter chatter.
- Enjoying Social Situations: You might notice that your baby enjoys being in social situations and interacting more with others than before.
- Awake for Longer Periods: One of the reasons your baby is doing so many more things is that they are awake for longer periods now. Babies may be awake for two hours sometimes.
Skills to Develop with Your 4 Month Old Babies
Parents need to know what skills their infant needs to work on developing at this age. Babies grow and meet milestones in four developmental categories: social and emotional, language and communication, cognitive, and gross and fine motor skills.
Let’s take a look at what your baby may start to do at 4 months old and what you can help your child develop at this age.
Social & Emotional Skills
- Copying facial expressions
- Expresses sadness when playing and fun stops
Language & Communication Skills
- Copying sounds
- Turns towards voices
- Following movement with their eyes
- Watching faces
- Recognizing familiar people
- Enjoying and responding to affection
Fine & Gross Motor Skills
- Pushing down their legs on a hard surface
- Rolling over in both directions
- Grasping objects
- Bringing their hands to their mouth
- Steady head without a wobbly neck
- Pressing up with their head and chest upright during tummy time
16 Simple Activities for 4 Month Old Babies
One of the most important activities for 4 month old babies is reading together. Reading increases your child’s vocabulary and imagination, and it’s never too early to start reading to your child.
Make sure the books are well-illustrated with bright eye-catching illustrations. At this age, your child won’t follow along with the story, but the more words you say to an infant, the more it helps their early language skills and development.
Talk Face to Face
Talking to your infant is a great away to help him learn the nuances of language at an early age. Chances are you do this regularly, and you may not realize how vital it is to your infant’s development!
Make sure your child is facing you when you talk to them, and be interactive! Tell him the name of objects around him and say nursery rhymes. Talking time should be interactive with smiling, laughing, and other engagement with your baby.
Another way to entertain your baby is to sing together. Start by singing simple nursery rhymes; your baby will love this.
Have Play Dates
Play dates with other babies are a great way for your child to interact and socialize. Since babies at this age are more open to social interactions, you’ll find your baby makes friends fast and has fun when around other babies.
Tummy time is surely one of the best activities for 4 month old babies. It helps develop their neck, shoulder, and back muscles, and experts recommend parents start tummy time immediately after birth to help with their infant’s development.
If your baby isn’t a huge fan, you can try introducing activities during tummy time, such as visual cards with different colors or play mats with crinkly fabrics.
Look in the Mirror
If your infant isn’t a huge fan of tummy time, try offering a mirror so he can look at himself. Babies love to explore mirrors, watching their own facial expressions. Infants won’t understand that it is himself in the mirror for awhile, but it’s a fascinating activity that nearly all babies love.
Try a tummy time mirror! These prop up on the floor at the perfect angle for your child to see himself.
Practice Sitting Up
Get your baby sitting upright, allowing them to see the world from a different perspective. At this age, they have more head control, and if they’re propped up, they’ll be able to maintain this position for some time.
However, they will need your help sitting up. They won’t have enough core strength to hold themselves in a seated position for long term.
Here are a few suggestions.
- Sit your baby propped up with a Boppy cushion
- Use a Fisher Price Sit-Me-Up
- Hold your child against your thighs with your knees raised up
- Sit behind your baby, holding him at his trunk or waist.
Pull Them Up to Sitting
If you want to work on your baby’s core and abdominal strength, try pulling them up to sitting. Lay your baby on his back and slowly pull him up by holding their hands. This activity is best done when your infant is around four months old with better neck control.
Ideally, your infant will lift their head and neck rather than letting it dangle as you pull up.
Stand on Your Legs
You’re sure to notice that your baby’s leg muscles are stronger than ever, and this is a great time to work on those large leg muscles. Eventually, those muscles will help your baby crawl, stand, cruise, and walk.
Put your baby in a standing position with his feet on your thighs. Most babies will push back against your legs while you hold him up with your arms.
Over time, babies start to bounce up and down on your legs, an indication that they may be ready for a bouncer!
Touch New Texture
Exploring the world of textures is one of the best activities for 4 month old babies. Using a play mat with various texture is a great way to introduce him to these, but there are other ways to do so as well.
At this age, babies want to touch everything, so create a basket of objects with different textures.
For example, you might find pieces of velvet and wool; your baby will explore how the fabric feels. Many age-appropriate toys for this age range have different textures on them.
Here are some items to explore.
- A clean sponge
- Foam block
- Hard rattle
- Spice containers
- Wooden spoon
- Clean cloth
Babies start to learn cause and effect at this age, learning that their action causes something else to happen. It’s great to encourage these discoveries, showing them what their bodies can do.
Try tying a balloon to your baby’s ankles or wrists, or you can use hand and feet rattles instead.
At first, your baby won’t know what to do, but soon, he will learn that moving his legs causes the balloon to bounce around as well. Likewise, if you use the rattles, he will learn movement causes the sound and stopping ceases the rattling.
Little babies and kids of all ages love bubbles, and it’s one of the cheapest activities for 4 months old. A container of bubbles only costs a few dollars, and you can find them almost anywhere.
All you have to do is sit your baby up and start blowing bubbles in his directions and all directions around him. The bubbles shouldn’t hit your child in the face though.
Your baby will love watching them, and at some point in his development, he will start reaching for them, trying to catch the bubble. Wait until the reaction face when the bubble pops!
Pedal His Legs & Row His Arms
It’s time to exercise his arms and legs a bit, developing more of this motor skills. You don’t have to take your infant to a babies aerobics class to do so.
Start by laying your infant on his back and pedaling his legs like he is riding a bike. It’s best if you sing along as you do so; it’s hilarious!
Then, try rowing his arms like his arms are pedaling a bike.
Rolling a ball will teach your baby about cause and effect, and watching a simple ball around the floor is great for this. All you need are a few soft balls in different colors and textures.
Roll the balls out towards your baby and see if they try to grab them. A crawling infant – not typically at four months old yet – will try to catch them. Balls are a great toy for tummy time or floor play as well.
Shaking rattles at this age is a great activity because it teaches cause and effect. Since there is an endless option of shakers on the market, you can grab a variety and let your child experiment with how they sound different.
You can even make your own shaking bottle at home!
All you need is a plastic bottle filled with different dried objects, such as dried beans, rice, pasta, or lentils. I suggest taping or gluing the lid shut to be sure you don’t have a mess on your hands.
Enjoy Visual Sensory Bottles
Sensory bottles are more popular than ever, and they give you new opportunities for activities for 4 month old babies. As they hold the bottle, they watch the contents shift and move, working out their visual senses.
Chances are you have many of the ingredients at your home to create sensory bottles, such as plastic bottles, water, water beads, and glitter.
Always remember to glue the lid shut to avoid a potential mess!
These simple activities for 4 month old babies help your baby reach their developmental milestones, and best of all, these are easy for parents to do!