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Development Milestones 2

Sue Reeves


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This continuation of Monday's Developmental Milestones and Language Development post offers information on what babies should be doing at ages 4 and 6 months. For a comprehensive list of developmental milestones to age 5, visit the Centers for Disease Control website. If you have concerns about your baby’s development, contact the Center for Persons with Disabilities’ Up to 3 Early Intervention Program for a free developmental screening at (435) 797-2043. 4 months: Social/emotional/language/communication Smiles and laughs, especially at people Copies some movements and facial expressions, like smiling or frowning Likes to play with people and might cry when playing stops Waves arms and kicks legs to show excitement Coos when you talk to him Babbles with expression and copies sounds they hear Cries in different ways to show hunger, pain or being tired Cognitive/physical development Lets you know if she is happy or sad Responds to affection Reaches for a toy with one hand Uses hands and eyes together, such as in playing peek-a-boo Follows moving things with eyes from side to side Watches faces closely Recognizes familiar people and things at a distance Holds head steady, unsupported Pushes down on legs when feet are on a hard surface Brings hands to mouth Can hold a toy and shake it and swing at dangling toys When lying on stomach, pushes up to elbows Talk to your doctor if your baby: Doesn’t watch things as they move Doesn’t smile at people Can’t hold head steady Doesn’t coo or make sounds Doesn’t bring things to mouth Doesn’t push down with legs when feet are on a hard surface Has trouble moving one or both eyes in all directions What you can do to help your child learn and grow: Set steady routines for sleeping and feeding Hold and talk to your baby; smile and be cheerful when you do Copy your baby’s sounds Act excited and smile when your baby makes sounds Have quiet times when you read or sing to your baby Give age appropriate toys to play with, such as rattles or colorful pictures Play games such as peek-a-boo Provide safe opportunities for your baby to reach for toys and explore his surroundings Put your baby on the floor with toys so that she can reach for them or kick with her feet Put rattles in your baby’s hand and help him to hold them Hold your baby upright with feet on the floor, and sing or talk to your baby as she “stands” with support Age 6 months: Social/emotional/language/communication Knows familiar faces and begins to know if someone is a stranger Likes to play with others, especially parents Responds to other people’s emotions and often seems happy Likes to look at self in a mirror Makes sounds to show joy and displeasure Strings vowels together when babbling and likes taking turns with parent while making sounds Copies sounds Responds to own name Begins to say consonant sounds Cognitive/physical development Looks around at things nearby Shows curiosity about things and tries to get things that are out of reach Brings things to mouth Begins to pass things from one hand to the other Rolls over in both directions When standing, supports weight on legs and might bounce Begins to sit without support Rocks back and forth, sometime crawling backward before moving forward Talk to your doctor if your baby: Doesn’t try to get things that are within reach Doesn’t respond to sounds around him Has difficulty getting things to mouth Shows no affection for caregivers Seems very floppy, like a rag doll Doesn’t roll over in either direction Doesn’t make vowel sounds Doesn’t laugh or make squealing sounds Seems very stiff, with tight muscles How you can help your child learn and grow Play on the floor with your baby every day Use “reciprocal” play—when he smiles, you smile; when he makes sounds, you copy them. Repeat your child’s sounds and say simple words with those sounds. For example, if your child says “bah,” say “bottle” or “book.” Read books to your child every day. Praise her when she babbles and “reads” too. When your baby looks at something, point to it and talk about it. When he drops a toy on the floor, pick it up and give it back. This game helps him learn cause and effect. Point out new things to your baby and name them. Hold your baby up while she sits or support her with pillows. Let her look around and give her toys to look at while she balances Put your baby on his tummy or back and put toys just out of reach. Encourage him to roll over to reach the toys.

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