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Between 4 and 6 months, your baby will continue to grow at a fast rate and you will begin to see more of your baby’s unique personality.

Every baby grows at different rates, but average growth measurements are listed below:

  • Head size: average growth of ½ inch each month
  • Weight: average gain of 1 to 1 ¼ pounds each month between 4 and 5 months
  • Height: average growth of ½ to 1 inch each month

Cognitive Milestones

During this age, it is common for babies to develop a stronger awareness of their surroundings and people other than their parents. They are very observant and will begin to understand more about the world around them. Some common cognitive milestones include your baby:

  • Beginning to understand "no"
  • Recognizing his or her name
  • Showing displeasure when a person or object goes away
  • Beginning to understand cause and effect (the noise a toy makes when it is pressed)
  • Learning concept of object permanence (understanding a partially hidden object is still there)
  • Recognizing familiar people and things
  • Holding out arms to be picked up

Physical Milestones

At this age babies begin to become more social in their interactions and more purposeful in their behaviors. Common physical milestones for babies between 4 and 6 months include:

  • Sleeping longer at night (6 to 8 hours consistently)
  • Napping 2 to 3 hours a day, typically for 1 to 3 hours per nap
  • Drooling (with or without teething)
  • Seeing at longer distances with full color vision
  • Swimming motions with arms and legs when on abdomen
  • Grabbing feet and toes when lying on back
  • Sitting with support (often back will be rounded)
  • Balancing head without support
  • Rolling over by 6 months
  • Moving objects from one hand to another
  • Supporting body with legs when held in standing position
  • Disappearance of grasp, moro, root and tonic neck reflexes

Communication Milestones

As your baby begins to do more physically, they will also begin to communicate more. This is a fun time for parents to watch their babies become more social. Every baby develops speech and communication skills at different rates, but below are some common milestones:

  • Laughing
  • Squealing
  • Blowing bubbles
  • Making single syllable sounds (da, ma, bah)
  • Babbling, imitating sounds
  • Cooing and gurgling when spoken to

Emotional Security and Development

You can continue to foster your baby's development and encourage a sense of security in your baby by:

  • Setting toys near your baby to encourage reaching and grasping
  • Laughing during play such as when making funny faces or blowing on baby’s belly
  • Introducing your baby to other people
  • Dancing with your baby
  • Playing peek-a-boo games
  • Showing your baby new objects
  • Reading books and looking at pictures with your baby
  • Holding and cuddling with your baby
  • Comforting your baby
  • Playing on the floor with your baby
  • Repeating sounds your baby makes or returning smiles

Emily Bendlin, MD

Methodist Physicians Clinic - Gretna

Dr. Bendlin loves working with kids and their parents. She has always enjoyed caring for kids.  "I've always liked medicine, but more importantly I've always liked kids," Dr. Bendlin said. "During my pediatric rotation it was the 'aha' moment. It was so fun and I was so excited when I went home. I knew at that time this is it for me – pediatrics is where I’m supposed to be." According to Dr. Bendlin, "Working with kids is fun. What other ...

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