How your baby grows and develops: 2-4 months
Milestones matter! How your child plays, learns, speaks, acts, and moves offers important clues about their development.
This is a general guide to infants from two to four months of age. Remember, each child is unique and will grow and develop at their own pace. It is normal for a child to be behind in some areas and ahead in others. For babies born prematurely, milestones are based on their corrected age (your baby’s actual age minus the number of weeks or months they were born early).
Babies can’t be spoiled so feel free to play, cuddle and respond to all your baby’s cues and cries. You can help your baby learn and grow.
Your baby is increasingly aware of the people around them and will try to get your attention. When you consistently respond to your baby’s cries and smiles, you help them develop trust and self-confidence.
|By 4 months your baby is getting more interactive. They may:||You can help your baby learn by:||Safety tip:|
||Never shake your baby. If you are feeling tired and frustrated, ask someone else to watch your baby while you take time to calm down, or gently place your baby in the crib, cradle or bassinet and leave the room to get your feelings under control. Shaking a baby can cause permanent brain damage and even death. See Why is my baby crying? What can I do? for tips on comforting your baby and staying calm.|
This is where communication really starts to take off. You may start to notice that your baby actually has different cries for when they are hungry, in pain or tired. In this way, your baby can tell you what they need. Your baby will like to make sounds and have you copy them back as a conversation.
|By four months your baby is beginning to find their voice and may:||You can help your baby learn by:||Hot parent tips:|
Your baby is learning all the time. They are beginning to understand cause and effect – if your baby swats a toy on the infant gym, they will start to expect it to make a noise.
|By four months your baby is already figuring things out and may:||You can help your baby learn by:||Safety tips:|
||As babies explore, they love to put everything into their mouths.
Babies develop so fast. They gain strength starting from the head and moving down their bodies. At first, they need their parents for everything, but as they develop, they learn to roll over, and reach for things they want.
|By four months your baby continues to learn how to use their body and hands and may:||You can help your baby learn by:||Safety tips:|
||Babies develop skills quickly. One day they can’t roll over, the next day they can. Parents need to be one step ahead of their baby’s next move to keep them safe.
Most infants will see their doctor or nurse at 4 months for a check-up and immunizations. This is a good time to talk about your child’s development.
You Know Your Child Best
Act early if you have concerns about the way your child plays, learns, speaks, acts, or moves, or if your child:
- Is missing milestones
- 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 placed on a hard surface
- Has trouble moving one or both eyes in all directions
Tell your child’s doctor or nurse if you notice any of these signs of possible developmental delay and ask for a developmental screening. DON’T WAIT. Acting early can make a real difference!
For more information:
- Your child’s development: What to expect, Canadian Paediatric Society
- Read, Speak, sing to your baby: How parents can promote literacy from birth, Canadian Paediatric Society
- Attachment: A connection for life, Canadian Paediatric Society
- Your baby’s brain: How parents can support healthy development, Canadian Paediatric Society
- Participation: Benefits & guidelines Canadian 24-hour movement guidelines for the early years: Ages 0-4
- Active for Life: Activities for babies and toddlers
Caring for Kids: Information for Parents from Canada’s Paediatricians
Centre for Disease Control and Prevention: CDC’s Developmental Milestones