4-5 Months

Follow these milestones to see how your baby aligns with these stages of development.

Fine motor skills

  • Enjoys playing with hands and feet as well as placing feet in mouth
  • Can follow and reach for an object that moves in front of face
  • Is able to grab hold of objects and starts pulling at them
  • Brings hands together in midline and puts objects in mouth
  • Reaches for a toy in supported sitting
  • Can shake and swing a toy that is held in hands

Gross motor skills

  • Is able to lift and hold head up while lying on tummy
  • Can anticipate direction when pulled up from a lying or sitting position
  • Starts to sit with support
  • Enjoys swinging arms back and forth as well as pumping legs
  • Pushes up on elbows during tummy time
  • Likes kicking and pumping legs

Communication and language development

  • Makes sounds to imitate and initiate a conversation – explores sounds like “ma-ma”, “da-da”
  • May imitate consonants like “m” and “b”
  • Enjoys sounds like clicking of the tongue or whistling
  • Enjoys listening to a favourite song or rhyme
  • Enjoys pictures of familiar people

Social and emotional interaction

  • Takes note of and explores surroundings
  • Enjoys activities that include laughs and giggles

Cognitive development

  • Enjoys activities with a cause-and-effect component, like peek-a-boo or hiding and finding games: “Where is it? There it is!”
  • Enjoys looking at pictures of animals while the parent makes the appropriate sound for each animal

Self-help and imitation skills

  • Enjoys a variety of sounds like clicking of the tongue, whistling and imitating animal sounds
  • May imitate gestures like banging fists, clapping hands as well as voluntary opening and closing of hands

5-6 Months

Fine motor skills

  • Enjoys banging objects together
  • Is able to rake object closer
  • Likes to shake and mouth objects
  • Is able to grab hold of and hold onto larger toys
  • May start to voluntary release objects
  • May start moving objects from one hand to the other
  • May start holding own bottle

Gross motor skills

  • May start to move from a lying to a sitting position
  • Sits unsupported momentarily, but still falls over easily
  • Reaches out and grabs hold of objects when in supported sitting
  • May start to roll independently from tummy onto back

Communication and language development

  • Loves imitating a conversation – when talking to the child, give her the opportunity to respond with babbling sounds to facilitate the skill of conversation
  • Child’s sound demonstrates her attitude or response to objects
  • Babble and repeat one syllable, for example, “ba”, “ma”, “ga”

Social and emotional interaction

  • Is able to recognise own name
  • Might be able to show basic emotions like angry and happy
  • Is aware when parent leaves the room and might start crying
  • May start giving hugs and kisses
  • May choose a favourite toy that serves as a comforter

Cognitive development

  • Enjoys cause-and-effect activities like dropping objects and picking them up again
  • Starts to discover other body parts like head and ears

Self-help and imitation skills

  • May start showing an interest in eating solid foods
  • 7 signs that your child is ready for solids:
    • Has proper head control
    • Is starting to lose the tongue thrust reflex (the reflex that pushes food out of the mouth)
    • Sits upright
    • Makes chewing motions
    • Has doubled in weight since birth
    • Is at least 4 months old
    • Seems hungry, even with 8-10 feeds
    • Is curious about what you are eating

6-7 Months

Fine motor skills

  • Is able to scoop up an object with one hand
  • Is able to transfer objects between hands
  • Uses a full hand grasp to hold onto objects
  • Reaches for an object and drags it toward herself
  • Enjoys turning pages of hard-paged books

Gross motor skills

  • Is able to roll independently in both directions
  • Enjoys bouncing on parent’s lap while standing
  • Starts to sit with pillow support only
  • Starts creeping – pushing or dragging herself around on tummy
  • Is able to lift up on all fours, supported on hands and feet
  • Keeps head level when pulled from a lying to a sitting position and from a sitting to a standing position
  • Pushes up from tummy onto all fours

Communication and language development

  • Likes to imitate a wet razzing sound
  • Starts vocalising sounds like “ta-ta”, “da-da”, “ba-ba”
  • Vocalises vowel and consonant combinations sounds like “ah-goo”

Social and emotional interaction

  • Starts to recognise that she can get your attention in good and not-so-good ways
  • Separation anxiety might be a problem at this age
  • May have a favourite stuffed toy or teddy
  • Loves to laugh out loud
  • May be able to explore with different emotions such as happy, sad, disgusted and angry

Cognitive development

  • Loves to explore her environment
  • Exploring with the senses is a key component at this age; touching, mouthing, manipulating objects, hearing, tasting and smelling are all ways to encourage this exploring phase
  • Enjoys finding partially-hidden objects

Self-help and imitation skills

  • Pulls of hat and booties/socks
  • May start feeding herself finger foods
  • May start to drink from a straw
  • Takes an interest in bath and water activities

These developmental milestones are based on my own experiences with Mia, but it can differ from child to child. I found that the developmental guidelines and articles given by BabyCenter is a very helpful tool to assist in answering questions and concerns regarding your child’s development. I have added some of their guidelines here.