Your 4-month-old baby is developing his memory and a longer attention span. Find out what you can do to help him reach his developmental milestones.
Cognitive and Motor Development
Your baby is working on expanding his dexterity and coordination and with actions such as kicking, swatting, grabbing and swatting, all of which develops his cognitive abilities as these activities require memory and a longer attention span. Your baby may begin shake a rattle to make noise or roll over this month, demonstrating improved dexterity, strength and control of his leg, neck, back and arm muscles. Usually babies roll first from their stomach to their back. Some babies roll over as early as three months, while others take longer to reach this milestone. Rocking back and forth on his stomach coupled with kicking his legs and “swimming” with his arms are signs that your baby is about to roll. The next step is to apply this new strength and coordination towards sitting independently and crawling.
Your baby's preliminary reflexive behaviours in response to stimuli are most likely beginning to disappear, however some may continue to appear at this stage:
Rooting: Touch or stroke your baby's cheek with a finger or nipple. He will turn his head and open his mouth to follow and “root” in the direction of the stroking. This helps the baby find the breast or bottle to begin feeding.
Sucking: When something touches his lips or the roof of his mouth, your baby will begin to suck. This triggers swallowing and also calms him. Babies also have a hand-to-mouth reflex that goes with rooting and sucking and may suck on fingers or hands.
Startling: You experienced his first startling reflex movements as kicking in the womb. These sudden, jerky motions and cries in response to loud noises or quick movements disappear in 5 - 6 months.
Grasping: Put your finger in the palm of your baby's hand, or on the underside of his foot and he'll grasp it, tightly. A newborn's strength can be surprising.
Why is Nutrition Important?
The importance of nutrition for your baby’s healthy and development cannot be understated. Proper nourishment during the first years of life can have a profound effect on your child’s health, as well as his ability to learn, communicate, think analytically, and socialize. Provide your baby with optimal nutrition by consuming a healthy, balanced diet of nutrient-rich foods yourself (if you are breastfeeding) or by choosing a complete and nutritionally-balanced formula such as Enfamil A+®.