Development at
3 to 4 Months

What Your Child Should Be Doing

  • While on her back, brings hands together over her chest, moves head side to side.
  • Lifts head and chest when lying on her stomach.
  • Follows moving object or person.
  • Grasps rattle when it is given to him.
  • Wiggles and kicks with arms and legs.
  • Makes cooing, gurgling sounds.
  • Repeats sounds when adults imitate her.
  • Smiles at familiar adult when smiled at.
  • Welcomes familiar adult by waving arms and legs, wiggling body.
  • Cries or makes faces to communicate hunger, discomfort or fear.
  • Stops crying when parent or familiar caregiver returns to the room.
  • Laughs at peek-a-boo games.
  • Turns head toward bright colors, lights, noises and voices.
  • Smiles at self in mirror.
  • Follows a toy with his eyes when you move it up and down, and side to side slowly in front of him.
  • If you dangle a toy above the baby while she’s on her back, she waves her arms towards it.
  • When you put a toy in his hand, he puts it in his mouth.

How You Can Help

  • Use bath time or any quiet time to gently move his arms and legs to encourage bending and stretching the muscles (after 6 weeks).
  • Talk to him while you feed, bathe and diaper him.
  • Avoid leaving her for long periods of time in a car seat/carrier or infant swing—she needs to be held and cuddled frequently.
  • Listen and respond to cries by feeding, holding, changing diaper, talking softly, stroking, rocking or walking with baby. Notice what he likes.
  • Sing, play soft rhythmic music, or use soft sounds like a fan whirring to help soothe him.
  • Provide black and white or colorful mobile (hang 12” from her face and directly above her head. Do not string anything across crib*).
  • Place a small stainless steel mirror about 6” to 7” from her face.
  • When babies need a break from an activity, they may look away from it. Remove the stimulus, and be quiet for a moment.
  • Keep baby’s clothing loose enough to allow freedom of movement while playing.
  • When awake, change his position (back, tummy, side) so baby gets a variety of views.

Always put baby to sleep on her back to prevent Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.