Developmental milestones, part 2

March 6, 2013 by Sue Reeves

image of mom holding babyThis continuation of Monday’s Developmental Milestones and Language Development post offers information on what babies should be doing at ages 4 and 6 months. For a comprehensive list of developmental milestones to age 5, visit the Centers for Disease Control website.

If you have concerns about your baby’s development, contact the Center for Persons with Disabilities’ Up to 3 Early Intervention Program for a free developmental screening at (435) 797-2043.

4 months: Social/emotional/language/communication

Smiles and laughs, especially at people

Copies some movements and facial expressions, like smiling or frowning

Likes to play with people and might cry when playing stops

Waves arms and kicks legs to show excitement

Coos when you talk to him

Babbles with expression and copies sounds they hear

Cries in different ways to show hunger, pain or being tired

Cognitive/physical development

Lets you know if she is happy or sad

Responds to affection

Reaches for a toy with one hand

Uses hands and eyes together, such as in playing peek-a-boo

Follows moving things with eyes from side to side

Watches faces closely

Recognizes familiar people and things at a distance

Holds head steady, unsupported

Pushes down on legs when feet are on a hard surface

Brings hands to mouth

Can hold a toy and shake it and swing at dangling toys

When lying on stomach, pushes up to elbows

Talk to your doctor if your baby:

Doesn’t watch things as they move

Doesn’t smile at people

Can’t hold head steady

Doesn’t coo or make sounds

Doesn’t bring things to mouth

Doesn’t push down with legs when feet are on a hard surface

Has trouble moving one or both eyes in all directions

What you can do to help your child learn and grow:

Set steady routines for sleeping and feeding

Hold and talk to your baby; smile and be cheerful when you do

Copy your baby’s sounds

Act excited and smile when your baby makes sounds

Have quiet times when you read or sing to your baby

Give age appropriate toys to play with, such as rattles or colorful pictures

Play games such as peek-a-boo

Provide safe opportunities for your baby to reach for toys and explore his surroundings

Put your baby on the floor with toys so that she can reach for them or kick with her feet

Put rattles in your baby’s hand and help him to hold them

Hold your baby upright with feet on the floor, and sing or talk to your baby as she “stands” with support

Age 6 months: Social/emotional/language/communication

Knows familiar faces and begins to know if someone is a stranger

Likes to play with others, especially parents

Responds to other people’s emotions and often seems happy

Likes to look at self in a mirror

Makes sounds to show joy and displeasure

Strings vowels together when babbling and likes taking turns with parent while making sounds

Copies sounds

Responds to own name

Begins to say consonant sounds

Cognitive/physical development

Looks around at things nearby

Shows curiosity about things and tries to get things that are out of reach

Brings things to mouth

Begins to pass things from one hand to the other

Rolls over in both directions

When standing, supports weight on legs and might bounce

Begins to sit without support

Rocks back and forth, sometime crawling backward before moving forward

Talk to your doctor if your baby:

Doesn’t try to get things that are within reach

Doesn’t respond to sounds around him

Has difficulty getting things to mouth

Shows no affection for caregivers

Seems very floppy, like a rag doll

Doesn’t roll over in either direction

Doesn’t make vowel sounds

Doesn’t laugh or make squealing sounds

Seems very stiff, with tight muscles

How you can help your child learn and grow

Play on the floor with your baby every day

Use “reciprocal” play—when he smiles, you smile; when he makes sounds, you copy them.

Repeat your child’s sounds and say simple words with those sounds. For example, if your child says “bah,” say “bottle” or “book.”

Read books to your child every day. Praise her when she babbles and “reads” too.

When your baby looks at something, point to it and talk about it.

When he drops a toy on the floor, pick it up and give it back. This game helps him learn cause and effect.

Point out new things to your baby and name them.

Hold your baby up while she sits or support her with pillows. Let her look around and give her toys to look at while she balances

Put your baby on his tummy or back and put toys just out of reach. Encourage him to roll over to reach the toys.