Cognitive and Motor Development
Many babies of this age become extremely interested in crawling. Their improved vision enables them to see even further, pushing them to explore their surroundings and work on independent mobility. Preliminary movements may begin with “swimming” on the floor or with pivoting while he is on his stomach. Such activity strengthens his neck, shoulder and back muscles in preparation for crawling. As he acquires more head control, he may be able to hold his head upright, although still a bit wobbly. Babies are incredibly flexible, which he may demonstrate has he grabs his toes and pulls them to his mouth.
Most preliminary reflexive behaviours in response to stimuli have disappeared by this age, however, it is still normal if they do, in fact, continue into month 5:
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.
Your baby is becoming better at focusing on a toy and ignoring distractions, allowing him to focus on playing and learning. As he becomes more aware of his environment, he may get frustrated by what he can't do yet.
Why is Nutrition Important?
The health and well-being of your baby are determined in part by whether or not he is receiving proper nutrition. His diet must include a variety of essential nutrients such as calcium, vitamin D, iron, choline and DHA and ARA (Omega-3 and Omega-6 fats) to nourish his milestone achievement.