mother 7 baby for tummy time

6  Characteristics of Your 4 Month Old Baby’s Development

1. Eye & head movements are well coordinated

2. Vocalizes, squeals, “talks” to people

3. maintains grasp on objects and brings them to mouth

4. Raises head to 90 degrees on tummy

5. head is steady now when supported in sitting

6. enjoys repeating newly learned activities

Suggestions for Developmental Play at 4 months

Interactive Visual and Auditory Play Activities:

l. Continue to encourage baby to follow people and objects with his eyes.

2. Scarves, shakers, and parents’  faces are especially good for this activity.

3. Encourage the grasping of objects including shakers with handles, rattles, and dangling light weight chain links in front of baby so he can reach and grab.

4. Use colored scarves for tracking and peek-a-boo games.

5. Vary voice pitch during play activities and note your baby’s preference for different sounds.

6. Partially hide when playing with baby and encourage baby to follow your voice.  You can use the song , “Someone is Hiding” ,  taught in our “First Weeks” Group for this activity.

7. Parachute play can be a fun way to work on visual tracking while listening to music. (see picture below)   Babies usually love the feeling of the gentle wind on their faces as the parachute is slowly raised and lowered overhead in time to the music.

8. Sing songs and share rhymes during your baby’s play time. Singing songs and sharing rhymes helps to develop phonological awareness which is an important part of speech development and later is an important part of learning to read.

9. Many more activities are experienced and learned in our “First Weeks” groups

Interactive Movement Activities

l. Increase “Tummy Time” in small increments as tolerated with a goal of 30 minutes per day ( in short segments, not all at once)

2. Encourage rolling from side to side, back to tummy, tummy to back using a toy for baby to follow and reach for.

3. Prop your baby in sitting position between your legs with his arms on your legs while you sit on the floor.  Your abdomen will provide back support.  Give him his favorite toys to play with while he sits with you.  Move your baby forward and from side to side to develop balance. Gradually lessen support as your baby improves his back strength and head and neck control.

4. Encourage your baby to grab his feet when he lays on his back and while he sits.

5. Prop your baby in sitting position on your lap with a table in front. Place rattle or other toys in easy reach on the table. Encourage touching toys and grabbing.

6. Allow time for interactive social play as well as play with toys every day.

7. Introduce new textures on toys and play surfaces.

8. As you now involve your baby in preparations for feeding, bathing, bed time , he will begin to recognize familiar routines.

Parachute Play

works on visual tracking while babies feel the gentle wind as the parachute is slowly raised and lowered overhead while listening to the lovely “Parachute Song”   in our “First Weeks” group

Babies watch the movement of the colorful parachute

Peek-a-boo with scarves adds visual variety

Works on visual acuity, tracking, “cause & effect”, and separationwhile having a great deal of fun!

In our “First Weeks” group we sing the “Hiding Song” during this activity which ends with “Peek-a-boo I See You!”

Look for Play Activities at 5 Months in our Next Blog

Marilee Hartling RN, MFT

Infant/Child Development Specialist

Licensed Child & Family Therapist