As eye-hand coordination improves, your four-month-old will enjoy greater interaction. Play simple games or offer activity toys to help your baby start to understand cause and effect.
She may recognize familiar faces and take an interest in others
With your help, he can reach for things
She laughs, squirms and squeals with delight
He's interested in watching his hands move
She can grasp toys that she touches
Shake it. Place a rattle in baby's hand and gently shake it. Your baby will probably be interested in grabbing, shaking and dropping it.
Hear that? Help baby exercise coordination skills by holding a toy in front, shaking it, and letting him reach for it. Put the rattle in baby's hand, shake it and say, "Hear that sound? You did that!" Emphasizing the reward will make him want to try again.
Hand to hand. Choose a rattle that's big enough to let baby hold on with both hands. Place it in baby's hand; she'll grab on with one hand, then the other, and then let go. This action will develop into the skill of being able to pass an object from hand to hand.
What do you see? Get down at floor level to get baby’s view of overhead toys. This will help you know where to position her for the best vantage point. Change your baby's position every once in a while to freshen the view.
Play together to encourage communication and add fun to playtime. Pick a time when baby is in an active play mode, not sleepy or hungry or overly stimulated. You'll be able to tell; if the toy looks too busy for him at the moment, he'll close his eyes.
Talk about it. To help your baby learn there's a connection between words and actions, move the parts and talk about them as you go: "Shake-shake-shake. See the silly little face smiling at you?"
Hum or sing along to the music on the gym and point out light-up features. The more you talk to your baby and directly engage him, the more you're benefiting his development.
Calm down. Help your baby learn to self-regulate—to stop crying and calm down. A soother with gentle sounds, music and sights helps baby understand when it's time to wind down and go to sleep.
See that? Point out the motion and lights to help baby focus on them.
So peaceful. Switch through the sound settings until you find one that's especially soothing to you and baby, then take a few minutes for yourself: listening to the soothing sounds as baby drifts off can be a peaceful time for you, too.
Colors and high-contrast patterns are a great way to stimulate your baby's visual sense. Point out the colors and name the animals; even though your baby won't understand the meaning yet, she’ll learn that she can switch her focus, too.
Did you hear that? If a toy plays sounds, take advantage of this opportunity to stimulate your baby's sense of hearing. Take baby's hands in yours and gently clap them together to the music. Make expressive faces as you playfully sing along or imitate the sounds.
As skills and learning progress during the first year, baby does more and more things independently, enjoying time alone to refine these new abilities. Your little spy is also carefully observing you and the world around you and making mental notes.
Babies love to play—and few things make them happier than a new toy. In addition to entertaining your baby, toys help develop motor and social skills.
Babies make huge strides in their physical development at this stage; the most striking of which is mobility. Your baby will be able to move slowly a few feet at a time.