A baby entering their four-month mark is always an exciting experience for new parents. Your little one’s personality will start to show, and you’ll notice they’ll have a lot of new tricks up their sleeve.
There’s still quite some time before your baby starts walking, but at this point, their motor skills are starting to develop (both gross and fine motor skills).
This means that you can already do a bunch of activities with them! In this article, we listed down 15 of the best activities for 4 month old babies.
Key Take Aways
4 month old babies are starting to develop their motor skills, including hand-eye coordination and the ability to grasp and hold objects.
At this age, babies are also beginning to recognize themselves in the mirror, associate facial expressions with emotions, and follow moving objects with their eyes.
Some activities that are suitable for 4 month old babies include singing, playing with toys, tummy time, reading, peek-a-boo, sensory play, playing with water, and playing with blankets and fabrics.
Developmental Milestones to Expect in a 4-Month-Old
Before we look into the activities you can do with a four-month-old, let’s set our expectations first. What can your baby do at this age? Below are the developmental milestones you should be able to observe.
Physical Development and Growth Milestones
By this point, your four-month-old is starting to develop better motor skills. They’re eager to grab objects and bring them to their mouths!
They’ll also be able to support their heads better, and they’ll often attempt to prop themselves up when placed tummy down.
They’ll be twice as heavy as they were at birth too!
Their words and phrases will still sound like alien language at this age, but you’ll notice that their babbles and coos also change in tone. It’s almost like they’re speaking!
Their “words” will most likely consist of vowels at the moment but this won’t stop them from babbling on.
Another way your four-month-old may begin communicating with you is by making faces, like smiling and scrunching their eyebrows.
Speaking of making faces, your baby will also start to associate facial expressions with different emotions based on what they observe around them.
You’ll also notice that their eyes are better at following objects and that they enjoy watching movements.
They start to develop better hand-eye coordination too. When they reach for objects, those will most likely end up in their mouths.
It’s totally normal! At this point, putting things in their mouth is how your baby is exploring the world.
An Important Note About Milestones
It’s important to note that while most babies at the four-month stage are expected to reach these milestones, these are not actually set in stone—contrary to their name. At the end of the day, a child’s individuality also comes into play during their early development.
All babies develop differently.
So, when should you call your doctor? A good rule of thumb is when you notice that your baby hasn’t reached around two or three milestones in their fourth month.
Contact your baby’s paediatrician if you notice that your four-month-old doesn’t or can’t:
- Babble or make cooing sounds
- Hold their head steady
- Prop themselves up on their elbows during tummy time
- Grab and hold objects
- Make eye contact
Activities for a Four Month Old
Below are 15 of the best activities for a four-month-old that you can do!
Singing together is one of the best forms of entertainment for 4 month old babies. This helps you form a closer bond with them and also teaches them language comprehension.
Don’t forget to use toys when you’re singing; bring their teddy bear if you’re singing about animals. This teaches them to learn new words and associate objects with their names.
When you sing nursery rhymes, try to exaggerate the words and use different tones and inflections to keep your baby engaged. You can also play music and dance together to stimulate your baby’s senses.
Now, singing can’t be complete without dancing, right? You can’t really expect your four-month-old to bust out their moves just yet, but you can help them move their arms and legs around to music.
Aside from bonding, movements from dancing help with bone growth.
Encourage them to continually develop their communication skills by simply talking to them. It doesn’t matter if you don’t understand each other for now.
Remember to incorporate a lot of facial expressions when talking to them to keep them engaged.
A good idea would be to also join a mom and baby group, both you and baby could make a few friends and they can help with baby’s development.
Playing With Facial Expressions
While we’re on the topic of facial expressions, you can also use these to play with your four-month-old. This helps them associate certain expressions with emotions or words.
By this age, your baby starts exhibiting expressions such as joy, anger, surprise, sadness, fear, and disgust.
Tummy time—or putting your little one on their bellies—is one of the best playtime activities for 4 month old babies. It supports growth, strengthens muscles, and improves motor skills.
This is also one of the first steps in helping them learn how to crawl. This is why it’s often considered the best activity for 4 month old babies.
However, always ensure that tummy time is supervised. Dr. Gavin from KidsHealth doesn’t recommend tummy time on elevated surfaces like beds because your baby can.
Another activity you can do with 4 month old babies is mirror play. You’ll be surprised at how interested they are in seeing themselves in the mirror.
Since your baby’s eyes are still developing, mirror play aids with training their eyes to track movements and objects.
You can even incorporate mirror play during tummy time by placing your baby in front of a mirror.
Because babies at this age explore with their mouths, it’s a good idea to supply them with toys like teething rings to help them explore.
These teething rings minimize the risks of choking because they’re guaranteed to be safe for a baby’s mouth, and even beneficial for their gums.
Ensure that the teething rings are clean before handing them to your little one.
As the name implies, these rings also help with your baby’s teething—this process can start early for some babies!
Shaking rattles is one of the most common developmental activities for 4 months old babies. This is because it encourages hand-eye coordination. Your baby will connect the exciting sound of rattling to shaking the rattle.
If they want to hear the rattling sound again, they have to shake. Show them how to do it first, and then help them do it on their own.
At this point in their life, everything seems like a spectacle—especially sounds from rattles. You can buy rattles with different designs and materials to introduce a wide variety of sounds.
Playing With Balls
One of the fun things to do with 4 month old babies—or any child for that matter—is to play with balls. Balls are inexpensive and come in a wide variety of sizes, colors, and textures.
You can practice your baby’s eye tracking by letting them watch you roll a ball across the room and back. Helping them chase around or catch balls is a fun addition to this activity too and practices their ability to grasp moving objects.
You can even incorporate playing with balls during tummy time. This encourages your little one to crawl toward the balls.
In your baby’s fourth month, their back and neck muscles are a lot stronger than they were during birth. You’ll notice that they can prop up their heads a bit better.
This is a good time to introduce sitting. Put them on your lap or in between your legs while sitting on the floor.
Keep in mind that they won’t really succeed at this age yet! They might wobble and fall, so make sure their back is to your chest to catch them.
However, it’s good that you start introducing this to help them build the muscles they need to successfully sit up at around seven to nine months.
Making funny faces to your baby isn’t just a fun activity to do, it’ll also serve to improve their cognitive skills.
At 4 months old, your baby’s vision would’ve considerably improved. They will smile more often and, hear this, they might even copy your facial expressions to some extent.
Playing the “make faces” game with your baby will also make them laugh a lot. You may be surprised to learn of the various health benefits of laughter!
Babies also love to play peek a boo , these early childhood games help with both cognitive development for a 4 month old baby as well as social skills and gross motor skills.
Gentle Leg and Arm Exercises
Since your baby’s body is still developing, gentle leg and arm exercises help strengthen and support their muscle and bone growth.
Exercises, such as stretching their arms and legs, prepare them for the variety of movements they’ll eventually learn in a few months.
You can play music in the background to make it more entertaining!
Playing With Bubbles
Similar to playing with balls, bubbles help in developing your baby’s visual tracking skills too. When you blow bubbles, the colorful reflections of the bubbles attract your baby’s curious eyes.
Before you start playing with bubbles though, make sure you buy the right kind for your baby.
Chances are, they’ll try to reach out and pop the bubbles, so you’d want one that won’t cause any skin irritations.
Bubbles offered by kid-friendly toy specialty stores are often safe, but you should still read the label. Steer clear of bubble mixtures with PEO or polyethylene oxide as this is a possible skin irritant.
Sensory Play With Textures
Sensory play with textured toys and items helps develop your baby’s sense of touch and sensory skills. Incorporating different textures during sensory play helps them learn object characteristics too.
A soft bunny, sensory bottles or even just a hard empty plastic bottle, a hard building block, a spiky ball—these are some of the textures you can introduce and also let baby touch fabric. Make sure you tell them what kind of textures these objects are so they can associate the words with the sensations.
Reading Baby Books
Baby books come in almost every shape, size, and texture. Introducing them to your baby offers a lot of benefits aside from entertainment.
You don’t even have to finish books! You can just read the pages your baby finds interesting, whether it’s nursery rhymes or stories these will help a child develop early language skills and hold baby’s attention.
It might not seem like much at first, but you’re giving them the building blocks for language and communication. Learning listening skills along with voices cognitive skills
Activities to Avoid With Four Month Old Babies
Even if it seems like your little one is growing fast, your baby is at a point where they’re still quite fragile. There are some things you have to avoid when thinking of what activities to do with 4 month old babies.
Unsupervised, Unrestricted Play
At four months, it’s great to give your little one unrestricted space to explore. They’re eager to explore the world around them, and giving them a lot of space is ideal.
However, by saying unrestricted space, we still mean a dedicated playing space for them that’s been baby-proofed.
Yes, it’s important that the space is big and new to allow maximum exploration, but that doesn’t mean you’ll let them loose all over the house.
Additionally, your baby should never, under any circumstance, be left unsupervised. They’re still under a year old, and this means they’re still at a risk for conditions like SIDS.
Playing With Potential Choking Hazards
We can’t stress this enough: always, always check all your baby’s toys for any loose parts. One of the ways your baby is exploring the world is by putting things into their mouth.
Small pieces in toys are choking hazards and should be as far away from your baby as possible.
Fortunately, almost all of the toys made and labeled for babies as young as 4 months old have no choking hazards. Ensure all the toys are age-appropriate toys.
However, it’s still a good idea to double-check since your baby is already capable of grabbing objects and possibly dismantling them.
Even if your baby is growing rapidly and learning new motor skills by the day, you still have to be gentle.
At this age, they’re only in the early development stages—their bones and muscles aren’t at their full strength yet.
While your baby can already support its head by this point, its skull is still relatively soft. Make sure all activities are safe for your baby before you do them
Remind everyone who wants to do playtime activities for 4 month old babies to be careful as well.
There are plenty of activities for 4 month old babies that you can try. However, the first thing you should do is to observe your baby’s milestones so you can assess which play ideas they can and can’t do.
Activities can range from simple ones like talking, singing, and dancing to more specific ones like sensory play and walking practice.
Remember to be gentle during any of these activities as your little one is still developing.