3 - 4 Months

Your 4-month-old’s cognitive development

Baby laying in The Play Gym by Lovevery

At 4 months, your baby is learning how to interact with the people and objects around them. When they see something they want, they can start using their hands and eyes together to reach for it, and their new neck strength allows them to lift their head and see more than before. Increasing mobility gives them new opportunities to explore and experiment ❤️

“Cognitive development” is a wide-ranging term used to describe how people learn to think, solve problems, and process information. This is how your baby learns and applies the knowledge they’re gaining.

Cognitive skills you may notice

Here’s what child development experts say is happening in your child’s brain at this stage. Note that the age ranges below indicate when a skill typically begins, not when it ends—and remember that every baby’s developmental journey is different.

Your baby may:

Show visible excitement toward something they’re anticipating, like being picked up or offered a bottle. (1.5 to 4 months)

Begin to play with a rattle. Try rattle toys with easy-to-grasp handles, and help your baby discover the sounds they can make when they shake the rattle. (2.5 to 4 months)

Love repeating new activities. You may see them hit a toy, then do it again several more times. (3 to 4 months)

Play with their hands, fingers, feet, and toes. Often without looking at what they’re doing, your baby will grasp, grab, suck, and pull. You can support their interest in their body by giving them colorful mittens or socks with bells on them. (3 to 5 months) 

Turn their eyes and head toward the sound of a hidden voice. Try this: walk up to your baby when they can’t see you, and start talking to them. Pretty soon, they may start turning to try to find you—and keep searching when you’re not yet visible to them. (3 to 7 months) 

Recognize familiar people and objects by sight from a greater distance. (4 to 5 months)

Touch the spot where they were just touched. Your baby’s learning so much about their body, and may soon try to touch a place on their body where you just rubbed, tickled, or playfully poked them. (4 to 5 months)

Find a partially hidden object. There are many fun lessons your baby can learn using a blanket. Try taking a favorite toy—something your baby knows well by sight—and covering it partially with a blanket or cloth. If your baby doesn’t react, pull away the blanket to reveal the rest of the toy, then replace the blanket. Your child is in the very early stages of understanding object permanence (the idea that things continue to exist even when you can’t see them) and simple activities like this can help them learn. Additionally, Lovevery’s Ball Drop Box was designed for slightly older babies to support this important brain development milestone. (4 to 6 months)

Learn more about your baby’s developing skills and behaviors in our complete guide to baby development milestones.


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Posted in: 3 - 4 Months, 5 - 6 Months, Lovevery App, Milestones, Object Permanence, Cognitive Development, Reaching, Child Development

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