The developmental characteristics of babies at this stage

Video on development of 4-7 months

Your baby is already 4 months old. By now, you must have developed your own daily routines and interaction patterns with your baby. Keep interacting and playing with you baby as much as possible as it can facilitate the cognitive and social development of your baby.

Development from 4 to 7 Months – Cantonese version with English subtitle only

Heading: Development from 4 to 7 Months

Scene: The father is playing and talking with his baby. The baby smiles at him and stretches out his hand to touch him. He also turns to his head towards the sound made by his father.

Narrator: By the fourth month, both you and your baby will have adjusted to each other. Your baby will feel secure. During this period, he will learn to coordinate his movement, vision, sense of touch and hearing to adjust to his surroundings.

Scene: Two seven months old babies lying prone and support their bodies using their palms.

Narrator: By the end of the seventh month, when lying on his tummy, your baby can push his head and body up with their palms.

Scene: The baby sits on the floor with supports from his own hands.

Narrator: He can sit with the support of his hands,

Scene: The mother holds his baby up to stand on the sofa.

Narrator: and support his full weight of his body with his legs when being held upright.

Scene: The baby sits on the sofa and reaches out his hand to grasp a toy in front of him. He then picks up the toy and play with it. Another baby sits in his stoller playing with a toy. He explores the toy by passing it from one hand to another.

Narrator: He reaches out his hands to grasps toys, explores them with both hands, or passes them from one hand to the other.

Scene: The baby sits on his high chair carefully explores the toys in his hands. Another baby sits in his stroller and recognizes and looks at his mother and sister coming over to him from a distance.

Narrator: As for vision, your baby can fixate and follow small objects at near, and recognize familiar people readily at a distance.

Scene: The baby quickly turns his head to find his mother when he hears her calling his name from one side.

Narrator: As for hearing, he turns his head readily in response to a voice produced on either side.

Scene: The baby carefully examines and explores different parts of the toy in his hands.

Narrator: Considering his cognitive development, he continuously absorbs information from the surroundings and applies about it to his day-to-day activities.

Scene: The baby plays with a toy in his hand. He shakes it and hears some noise. He finds this interesting. He then repeats the same action repeated to make out more sounds.

Narrator: He also begins to grasp the concept of “cause and effect”. For example, shaking a rattle can make it sound. Realising that he can cause these interesting reactions, he will continue to experiment with other ways to make things happen.

Scene: The baby sits in his stroller is playing with a toy in his hands. The toy suddenly drops to the floor. The baby quickly follows and looks where it has fallen, and tries to reach for it. Another baby is playing hide-and-seek with his mother. He pulls down the towel to find his mother hiding behind it.

Narrator: Before then, your baby assumed that the things that he couldn’t see just didn’t exist, and would not bother looking for them. But now, he begins to acquire the concept of “object permanence”, realizing that things hidden do not vanish after all, he will try to look for them.

Scene: The mother plays with her baby in the sofa. The baby makes different sounds to express his feelings.

Narrator: Concerning his language development, he can distinguish your emotional tone of voice. He starts to make and imitate different sounds. However, the sounds produced in fact have no specific meanings.

Scene: The baby cries when she can’t see her mother around. She calms down quickly once her mother comes and picks her up. Another baby stands in front of a mirror. He is interested in his own image in the mirror and touches it with his hands.

Narrator: As for social development, your baby will start to develop anxiety towards strangers, but he shows great interested in his own image in the mirror.

Both nature and nurture affect every child’s development. While nature is important in determining your baby’s capabilities and abilities, the role of a nuturing environment is of equal importance in your baby’s learning and emotion development.

Development is a continuous process and has a certain sequence that children would go through. However, parents should remember that every child is unique. Children have their own pace in development and vary in their abilities. If you are unduly concerned, talk to your doctors or nurses.

Few kids holding differenet toys

What you can do to help your baby’s development

What babies can do

What you can do

I am stronger in my physical ability

I want to play with you

When I am lying on my tummy, I can support my body with my forearm and lift up my head

Baby lying on his tummy and lifting head and chest with straightened elbows
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You can put me on my tummy and call my name in front of me, so that I can raise my head to look at you

Baby supports his body with forearms and tries to lift up his head as mother is calling him

I can play with my feet when I am lying on bed, too!

Baby playing with her feet
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Put ankle bands on my feet and let me play with them. This enables me to be active in exploring about my body

I try to roll from tummy to back and back to tummy

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Do not leave me alone on your bed or sofa to avoid me falling down and getting hurt

I can reach my hands for the thing placed in front of me, grasp it and play with and release it

Baby holding out his hand to reach for a toy
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Encourage me to shake a toy rattle with my hand

Place a toy in front of me to make me reach out to touch or grab it. This can facilitate my hand-eye coordination

Baby grabbing and playing with toys placed in front of him

I love touching and exploring objects in my hands

Let me touch and sense different objects!

I love to touch objects in different textures

baby is holding mother's hand with one hand and reaching out for mother's face with another hand
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Let me play with toys in different textures, e.g. toys made from plastic, wood and cloth etc. This can stimulate my sense of touch

Let me play with toys in different textures

Apart from loving to touch, I like being touched, too!

I can see farther and clearer

Catch my eyes

I love looking at moving things. My sight can reach farther now. I can see you even if you are standing 1-2 metres (a few feet) away, and my eyes will follow you wherever you go

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I am curious about my surroundings. Let me face outward when carrying me. When I am sitting in my baby chair, position me at where I can see you doing chores

Take me out to let me see more things and more people

Father taking baby out to the park to see other children play

I can find where the sound comes from!

I want to talk to you

If you talk to me nearby, I will know where you are and turn my head to you

Baby is responding to mother with sound
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You can play and talk with me while doing housework 1-2 m (a few feet) away from me. Encourage me to learn different sounds. Talking with me can stimulate my language development and bring us closer in relationship

Play soft music to me

My brain development is getting more complex

Encourage me to explore and testing out

I can integrate the senses mentioned above to learn about the world around me through different means. For example, if you place a rattle in front of me, I can reach out for it accurately. When I shake and mouth it, I will discover all of its properties such as it has sounds, it can be shaken, it is round and smooth etc

Baby exploring a rattle, thinking if this can be shaken and make sound
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Many activities can stimulate my senses. The most important is having you to play with me!

Father playing a rattle with his baby

Do multi-sensory activities e.g. laugh and dance in front of the mirror together with me

Baby playing with his image in the mirror

Hang colourful mobile over my cot for me to touch or kick it (But when I am 5 months old or when I can lift up my body, you should remove the hanging mobile to avoid accidental strangling)

Baby touching a mobile hung above her cot

Place a multi-sensory activity board that can make sounds on the side of my cot

I have emotions, too

Understand me

I like looking at people’s face and play with them

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Spend more time with me and observe me to learn about my temperament

My attention span is still short; thus I will turn my head away when I am tired

Showing 4 babies with different emotions
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When I have lost interests or tired, please let me take a break

Are the toys of your baby safe?

As babies like to explore with their hands and mouth at this stage, parents should pay serious attention to toy safety.

So you think that pricey toys should be safer? There are many different toys available in the market, but parents should choose toys that are safe and facilitating babies’ development. As babies under 1 year old like putting toys into their mouth, parents should take into consideration the design and materials of toys when shopping for babies. Let’s learn how to pick the safest toys for our babies!

When choosing toys for your babies, you should bear in mind:

  • Rattles with small parts will be easily swallowed by babies and may lead to suffocation.
  • Pay attention to the safety labels on toys; make sure that the colours and paints used on the surface of toys comply with the safety standards. Colours that are not up to standard may contain heavy metal (e.g. lead). If children lick the colours constantly, they may suffer from chronic heavy metal poisoning.
  • Pick toys that are light in weight for babies. Do not pick the ones that are inflammable, fragile or rust easily.
  • Avoid stuffed toys. Stuffed toys are difficult to clean and they may lead to suffocation when covering the baby’s face.
  • The edges of toys have to be smooth. Check often to avoid any sharp edges or cracks hurting your baby.
  • Clean the toys frequently, as babies like dropping them onto the floor and putting them into their mouth.
Big cross for small parts such as screws, springs, and small bells
Mother is cleaning baby toys with disinfectant

All you need in your first-aid kit

Home accidents do happen. Babies are vulnerable and are dependent in protecting themselves. So parents need to exercise home safety precautions as well as knowing how to reduce the degree of the accidental injuries at home. Having a first-aid kit at home is essential to treat minor injuries. Parents should also equip yourselves with first-aid skills to protect your vulnerable baby in emergency. If the condition serious, consult a doctor as soon as possible.

A standard first-aid kit should contain:

  • Sterilized cotton
  • Sterilized gauze
  • Dressing Pad
  • Adhesive bandages
  • Elastic bandage (2″/5cm wide and 3″/7.5cm wide each)
  • 70% alcohol
  • Mild disinfectant
  • Safety pins
  • Round-ended scissors
  • Triangular bandage
  • Disposable gloves