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

Cleanup time can be a learning time if you sing about it with your child. "This is the way, we clean the house, so early in the morning." If they respond with sounds, use them in your song. "(Your child's name) says, ba, ba, ba, so early in the morning."

See what your child is learning

When you sing to your child, the part of their brain that processes sound lights up, helping them make sense of what they're hearing. It also stimulates the action part of their brain, which gets them ready to say words. Singing helps them listen to the sounds even more clearly, which helps them learn words in the future.


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 (NYS DOH)

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 (DOHMH)

Help for infants and toddlers with disabilities

Early Intervention is a voluntary program for infants and toddlers with disabilities and developmental delays with support for families.

Infants and Toddlers

NYC Department of Education (DOE)

Free or low-cost child care for children six weeks to two years old

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