Developmental Milestones of Babies 0-4 months

Babies from 0-4 months are learning about their environment and rely primarily on their senses.  They communicate their needs in a non-verbal manner but this does not mean they are not aware of their surroundings. Be attentive to patterns and groupings in their facial expression, bodily response each time they signal for your attention and you will discover there are differences in their cries for attention, hunger, discomfort, etc.

Talking to them in a calm manner, as well as maintain eye contact and facial expressions will help increase their confidence, attention and social skills.

What 0-4 Month Olds Can Do

They are learning to navigate their body horizontally at this stage, which include: lifting the head, sitting upright with support. They can start to interact with adults and understand certain situations that are a ritual in his or her everyday life such as feeding, preparing for bath time, reading, playing, napping, sleeping.

Try to engage your baby by explaining what is happening and what your planned activity is together, though they cannot completely understand, they already have a learned experience about it and they tend to anticipate bonding activities.

Likes & Dislikes of 0-4 Month Olds

Your baby enjoys emotional security at this time. It is important that he or she feels engaged and secure in the environment. Contacts with adults tend to condition their response to other social situations. Try to have a specific time for bonding and spending time together when your baby is most awake and alert, holding him especially if you are a working mother.

  • Likes loving physical contact.
  • Try tickling, touching, gentle massage and cuddling
  • Enjoys being spoken to, especially when accompanied by facial expressions 20-25cm (8-12in) away from the baby’s face.
  • Likes hearing comforting sounds especially those heard while in the womb
  • Try stimulating your child with different textures and colors, and explain and talk about the details that you both see.

Speech & Language Development of 0-4 Month Olds

Language is still being developed although they communicate in a variety of means. Early exposure and consistent encouraging words will help them develop their language skills.  They may not articulate their reply but they tend to make affirmative noises late into their third or fourth month. Act out nursery rhymes and try to stimulate their senses and speech by using toys and objects.

  • Coos, laughs, squeals, grunts, gurgling sounds
  • Babbling vowels and syllables repeatedly
  • Cries to catch your attention, such as hunger, boredom, discomfort, tiredness

Cognitive Development of 0-4 Month Year Olds

Your baby is learning to understand the world through images and his initial experience in the world, try to expose him to what is inside your home as well as your immediate community to expand his world.  Do not take simple activities for granted, each activity that you do together is new to him and although this has been done before he is still learning different things so it will help if you try to talk and try to explain things when you can. Remember your baby is an active listener and learner.  He can also do the following:

  • Can focus attention on people for brief periods
  • Can remember an object or toy once it reappears
  • Recognizes parents voice distinctly from others
  • Starts to understand his identity in a photograph or mirror


Physical Development of 0-4 Month Olds

Try to simulate physical activity by doing gentle massage and knee bends to help them straighten their body.  When they start to motion towards an object, try to move objects a little out of their reach to stimulate their movement and control.  Use each new experience as a way for them to learn about their body for example, enjoying being tickled, massaged, and the feeling of water during bathtime. Your baby also will try to exhibit the following.

  • Can try to manipulate objects once grasping and hand control is somewhat established
  • Repetitive vowel sounds when relaxed, accompanied by sharp repeated hand and leg movements when excited or agitated
  • Grasps, stares at objects, follows moving objects with the eyes,
  • Enjoys being held upright
  • Reaches for toys and food
  • Will try to stare and grab or touch food, toys, books


Social & Emotional Development of 0-4 Month Olds

The bond with the parent is the biggest social and emotional influence on a child at this point. It is also important to remember that bonding happens over time and it is also a social activity which extends to other members of the family.  You will observe the following:

  • Starts to be social by interacting with adults that show an interest in them
  • Engages others by smiling or babbling
  • Chuckles when happy
  • Relaxes and listens when spoken to
  • Starts to show wider facial expressions
  • Begins to understand different situations such as feeding, bathing, dressing, going out
  • May form attachment to certain objects like pillows, toys, etc