4-6 Month Milestones

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social and emotional development

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This article delves into 4-6 month milestones for infants. You may also want to look at 1-3 month milestones, 7-9 month milestones, and 10-12 month milestones.

Nearly every parent is concerned about how their baby is progressing, and so we have general milestones to give you a picture if your infant is on track with typical development.

Keep in mind that milestones are averages, they are flexible, and all infants do not develop at the same pace. It is pretty likely that your baby may be early on particular milestones and somewhat behind on others. Each baby develops in his own time, and it's important to respect that fact.

So usually, there's no concern for alarm if your child is not tracking precisely to the norm. Still, if you're concerned that your child has missed an important milestone or isn't developing properly in one or more areas, it is best to speak with your pediatrician about it right away.

The earlier you intervene in a developmental lag, the sooner you may be able to help your child along by introducing developmental activities to stimulate his growth in targeted areas.

For one example, many motor and cognitive skills are linked to your baby having adequate tummy time, so in certain instances, your pediatrician may suggest increasing the amount of time your baby spends in "tummy time."

Some milestones come in monthly ranges where infants usually acquire a skill within a certain number of months, for instance, between months 4-6. Where milestone ranges are the case, they are noted.

And now, in user-friendly, bullet point fashion, are developmental milestones 4-6 months old, which we will cover one month at a time.

4-6 month milestones

4-6 Month Milestones, Month 4

Cognitive Development Milestones, 4 Months

  • She may be able to turn her head, look around and try to find a sound with her eyes (milestone ranges from 3-7 months)
  • Can find an object which is partially hidden
  • Begins to understand that an object hasn't disappeared just because it can't be seen, which is called object permanence
  • Likes to repeat actions that have an interesting or fun result
  • She's becoming more aware and likes to explore things around her
  • Opens her hands upon seeing a preferred toy
  • Shows clear enthusiasm when something is about to happen, such as being fed or picked up
  • Demonstrates a desire to continue an activity by repeating or imitating it.

Motor Development Milestones, 4 Months

  • Will begin enjoying playing with toys that can be shaken and rattled
  • Enjoys reaching for toys. Can reach for objects with both hands and grasp them.
  • Makes swimming-like movements
  • Holds onto objects without using her thumbs, which is called a palmar grasp
  • Wants to touch, shake and taste objects
  • Begins to roll from her back to her side
  • Starts to roll over from her belly to her back and push up with her elbows (milestone ranges from 3-5 months)
  • Pushes up onto her elbows during tummy time
  • Can hold her head up independently
  • Looks at things in the distance more often than before
  • Brings her hand to her mouth regularly and feels objects with her mouth
  • Can put her foot in her mouth and suck on her toes
  • While supported in a sitting position, can keep her head upright and balanced
  • Holds and drops objects, although she is unable to pick them up
  •  Deliberately turns her head to look at an object
  • Will probably go through a growth spurt at some time this month
  • Teething may have begun, in which case, there will probably be drool on everything she touches

Communication and Language Development Milestones, 4 Months

  • He begins to laugh, but more of a chuckle than a full laugh (ranges from 1-4 months)
  • Laughs when his head is momentarily covered by a blanket
  • Begins to babble strings of repeated sounds, such as, "da-da-da-da"
  • Shows an interest in imitating new sounds.
  • May make sounds at people, toys, and objects.

Social And Emotional Milestones, 4 Months

  • Makes sounds and smiles when someone is speaking to her
  • Begins to copy facial expressions
  • Will listen to you talk and imitate you, the beginning of a chat together
  • Starts to vocalize her preferences – both likes and dislikes
  • May start to cry when left alone for short periods 
  • Actively looks around and explores a new place
  • May cry when playing stops. May cry to get attention.
  • She begins to smile intentionally (ranges from 2-4 months)
  • Starts to smile when she sees her face in the mirror, although she doesn't recognize herself (milestone ranges from 4-8 months)
  • Can tell strangers from familiar faces (milestone ranges from 3-6 months)
  • Enjoys more boisterous types of playing, such as being bounced, lifted in the air, "flying," dancing, etc. (milestone ranges from 4–8 months)

4-6 Month Milestones, Month 5

4-6 month baby milestones

Cognitive Development Milestones, 5 Months

  • Turns his head to look around to find what's making a sound (milestone ranges from 3-7 months)
  • Can remain alert for almost two hours
  • May reach for a second object while he already has one in hand
  • Recognizes frequently used objects
  • Can readily see the difference between a human face and an animal or object
  • Knows the difference between angry and friendly voices
  • Has good color vision by now. May start to see the difference between close colors.
  • Has far better distance vision now, although not as good as an adult.
  • Looks around for an object that touched his body
  • Understands that an object that is partially hidden is still there

Motor Development Milestones, 5 Months

  • May grasp an object using his entire hand, including the thumb, called the radial palmer grasp
  • Will start unintentionally dropping objects
  • Can sit while leaning on his hands. Can stay in a sitting position unassisted for a few seconds.
  • Will lean to look for an object he has dropped
  • Brings his feet to his mouth
  • Can pivot in circles while on his stomach
  • Can adopt a "superman" pose with arms and knees lifted while on his stomach
  • He can lift his chest with his arms from a prone position
  • Starts examining very tiny objects such as lint
  • Starts to roll over from his belly to his back (milestone ranges from 3-5 months)
  • Starts to roll over from his back to his belly (milestone ranges from 5-7 months)
  • Is easily able to turn his head in both directions
  • Almost always reaches with a single arm to get something he wants. Is able to quickly grasp an object of interest. 

Communication And Language Milestones, 5 Months 

  • Starts to vocalize emotions in more ways than just laughing and crying 
  • May begin to react to music by cooing
  • She may start babbling longer, repeated sounds such as "dada-dada-dada," "ba-ba-ba," and "ca-ca-ca." Is beginning to transition to babbling. 
  • May recognize her name and respond to it (milestone ranges from 5-7 months) 
  • Has a greater variety in tone and volume while vocalizing 

Social And Emotional Milestones, 5 Months 

  • She may start to show the beginnings of stranger anxiety (milestone ranges from 5-8 months) 
  • May explore your face and hair with her hands
  • Starts smiling at herself in the mirror without recognizing who it is (milestone ranges from 4-8 months)
  • Enjoys boisterous play – being bounced, lifted in the air, "flying," dancing, etc. (milestone ranges from 4-8 months) 
  • Starts to know the difference between familiar faces and strangers (milestone ranges from 3-6 months) 
  • She may start to entertain herself for short periods
  • May have abrupt changes of mood between being happy, sad, and fussy 

4-6 Month Baby Milestones, Month 6 

developmental milestones 4-6 months

Cognitive Development Milestones, 6 Months 

  • Can turn his head to try to find out where a sound is coming from (milestone ranges from 3-7 months) 
  • Can anticipate the direction and movement of a slowly moving object
  • Can use his sense of smell
  • Enjoys peek-a-boo games
  •  Plays for a longer duration with a single toy, about 2-3 minutes
  • Has a peaked interest for playing with music makers, rattles and bells 
  • May use a toy as a tool to grab another toy 
  • Begins to look around for familiar people when their names are called, such as family members, close friends, and pets (milestone ranges from 6-8 months) 
  • Explores his body with his mouth and hands
  • Turns objects to look at them from different angles. Can compare different objects.
  • If he is eating solid foods, shows an interest in feeding himself with his fingers 

Motor Development Milestones, 6 Months 

  • She will start sitting with very little or even no support (milestone ranges from 5-8 months) 
  • She will be able to roll over and pivot in all directions
  • Can balance while on her stomach
  • Has strong control over the movement of her head
  • Begins rotating her wrists while playing with a toy 
  • Can bear the majority of her weight on her legs standing up while holding onto something for support 
  • Can pull herself up to be standing by using furniture (milestone ranges from 6-10 months)
  • She will try to grasp tiny objects 
  • Begins to crawl forward (milestone ranges from 6-10 months) 
  • She starts to roll over from her back to her stomach (milestone ranges from 6-8 months) 
  • Can raise herself to a sitting position from either her back or belly (milestone ranges from 6-10 months)
  • Can turn and reach out to grab an object of interest
  • May start clapping her hands (milestone ranges from 6-9 months)
  • May be able to grab a cup by the handle. May pretend with a spoon or cup to be feeding herself. 

Communication and Language Milestones, 6 Months

  • He can understand his own name and react to it (milestone ranges from 5 to 7 months) 
  • Makes loud noises for attention
  • Starts babbling to people
  • He begins to understand the rudiments of sign language if it is being used. Won't be able to use it himself for a few more months 

Social And Emotional Milestones, 6 Months 

  • Starts to understand the meaning of the word "no," particularly from the tone of voice 
  • Lifts her arms to be picked up
  • Gets excited when she realizes it is playtime
  • Begins to understand that she is a separate person from others
  • Can begin telling familiar faces apart from strangers (milestone ranges from 3 to 6 months) 
  • She begins to experience and show separation anxiety (milestone ranges from 6-10 months) 
  • Starts to enjoy more rough, frolic play--being lifted high in the air, "flying," being bounced, dancing, etc (milestone ranges from 4 to 8 months)
  • Plays with her image in a mirror, although she doesn't recognize that it is her yet.
  • Shows interest in being included in social interactions.
  • Becomes difficult to get her to do things she doesn't want to do, even with encouragement 

And so there you have it, 4-6 month milestones. Your little one is developing in so many ways. It's fun to watch and play along! Happy parenting!

About the author 

Dan Sperling

I'm the proud father of two great children. They are grown up now, and although I would have preferred to be a stay-at-home dad, I had to work. Luckily, I could work out of my home so I was around a lot. I ran a video production company, had a couple of great guys working with me and it allowed me to be around the children a lot. I was the "fun guy" for my kids and fathering was something I just took to.
When my daughter became pregnant, I was glad to see my son-in-law was doing everything right--or as good as it gets--we're always winging it, right? It got me thinking that so many dads would like to be more emotionally involved and knowledgeable when it comes to their wives' pregnancy and the first year of their children's lives.

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