4 Months

Discover tips, tools, and support for this age

Enjoy watching your baby’s personality grow right before your eyes! They love to learn from you, so you might see your baby begin to copy facial expressions and babble. They’ll also learn to hold their head steady at this stage. 

Scroll down to learn more about your baby’s development, get support for your family, and find free activities to go to together. 


The Early Childhood Family Toolkit

The Early Childhood Family Toolkit is a growing collection of our favorite resources for families with young kids. Discover learn-at-home tips and activities, health support, and more—all chosen by the NYC Department of Education.


Explore our favorite family resources

Brain Building

Learn through life's everyday moments

When feeding your baby, talk about what they're doing and why you think they're doing it. "You're drinking your milk because you're so hungry!" Talk about what will happen next. "After your tummy is full of milk, you'll be sleepy and it will be time for your nap."

See what your child is learning

Talking with your baby and labeling their sounds and actions helps them connect words to feelings, and builds vocabulary. When you talk about your baby's daily routine, you help them feel safe throughout the day's changes.


Skills babies develop as they play, learn, speak, act, and move are called milestones. Learn about milestones to help you understand your baby's development and act early if you have concerns.

Around 4 months old, many babies:

  • Social

    • Smile at random, especially at people
    • Like to play with people and cry when playing stops
    • Copy movements and facial expressions, like smiling and frowning
    • Respond to affection
  • Communication

    • Begin to try out different sounds, like "a-ga" or "a-da," called babbling
    • Babble with feeling and copy sounds they hear
    • Cry in different ways to show hunger, pain, and tiredness
    • Let caregiver know if they're happy or sad
  • Learning

    • Reach for a toy with one hand
    • Use hands and eyes together
    • Follow moving things with eyes from side to side
    • Watch faces closely
    • Recognize familiar people and things at a distance
  • Physical Development

    • Hold head steady without support
    • Push down on legs when feet are on hard surface
    • Hold a toy and shake it and swing arms at dangling toys
    • Bring hands to mouth
    • Push up to their elbows when lying on stomach
  • Health

    • Get needed nutrition from breast milk or formula
    • Feed 6 to 8 times per day
    • Wet and soil diapers on a regular basis
    • Sleep up to 14 hours per day
    • Stay on schedule with shots

Act early by talking to a doctor, teacher, or social worker if your child:

  • Act Early

    • Doesn't watch things as they move
    • Doesn't smile at people
    • Can't hold head steady
    • Doesn't make sounds like vowel noises, squeels, gurgles, or coos
    • Doesn't bring things to mouth
    • Doesn't push down with legs when feet are placed on a hard surface
    • Has trouble moving one or both eyes in all directions


Get the support your family needs to thrive

Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)

NYS Department of Health

Healthy food for families

Free healthy food, counseling about healthy eating, breastfeeding support, and referrals for women, infants, and children under five.

The Early Intervention Program (EIP)

NYC Department of Health & Mental Hygiene

Early help for infants & toddlers

Support for infants and toddlers with disabilities and developmental delays.


NYC Department of Education

Child care for infants & toddlers

Early child care and education services for up to 10 hours a day.

Virtual Events

See what your family can do for free in NYC

11:00 AM - 11:45 AM

American Sign Language Storytime With Rhys

Storyteller, Rhys, will share stories, songs, and activities in ASL, with English captions included so those who are learning or curious can follow along.