Your Baby’s Development: Ages 4 to 7 Months

Between the ages of four to seven months, your baby will go through many important developmental changes. Here is a look at what to watch for in terms of social, physical, sensory, language, and cognitive milestones in your four-to-seven month old baby.

Social Milestones
Some of the social milestones babies reach between four and seven months include the concepts of action, reaction, cause and effect. It is at this stage your baby realizes that the things she does – making faces, dropping objects, waving a rattle, crying – get a reaction from her audience. Thus, for the first time, she recognizes that she has an impact on her world. In a sense, your baby is testing herself against her environment. Between four and seven months of age, you will notice your baby smiling, laughing, becoming aware of colors and experiencing anxiety and shyness towards strangers. Socially, your baby has begun to model and imitate the behavior and faces of those around her. Now is the time to create a safe, age-appropriate, and interesting environment for your child to experience.

Physical Milestones

Some of the physical milestones between four and seven months include:
• The ability to turn over
• Sitting up while gaining balance
• Holding a rattle
• Putting everything in her mouth
• Starting to hold her bottle
• Reaching for objects changing hands
• Scooting forward on her tummy while using legs for traction
• Gaining more control of her body and head
• Holding feet and putting toes in her mouth while at rest.

By seven months old, your baby’s gross motor skills allow her to:
• Put all her weight on her legs
• Bounce while standing
• Support herself by holding onto her crib or furniture
• Almost sit alone while extending her arms to be picked up.

Sensory Milestones
Some of the sensory milestones between four and seven months include responding to warmth, cuddling, and all forms of affection. Your baby has an awareness of others around her, including an anxiety toward strangers. Emotions may run high from four to seven months old. Your baby will be curious and moody. She will let you know her feelings in a heighten way. She may display assertive behavior, and she may cry if a toy is taken away or playtime disturbed. And, though stress begins to be moderated, as your baby matures, anger can be easily evoked over a loss of a possession. You will begin to see humor as baby responds to funny postures and faces.

Language Milestones
Between four and seven months old, your baby may begin to make vowel sounds, double syllable sounds, and join consonants and vowels. At this stage, babies pay attention to and imitate the movements of others’ mouths while speaking. Your baby will also create new sounds by moving her mouth into different shapes. She will start to notice tones and the way others use inflections and she will respond to familiar sounds by modeling what she hears, often imitating sounds in one breath. Being exposed to complicated language can help increase IQ at this stage.

Cognitive Milestones
At this stage, your baby begins to recognize the permanence of objects: she is beginning to understand that if you leave, you will return, that her favorite toy will not disappear the next day, and that if she hides something, she can find it. Games such as hide-and-seek and peek-a-boo are age-appropriate at this stage. Also, your baby will anticipate seeing something that she may have only seen partially. Further, she will manipulate objects and will be stimulated by color and feeling. Thus, objects she can manipulate, touch, and stack are all developmentally helpful at this stage, as your baby starts to sort toys and blocks by category.

At just about seven-months-old, your baby will start to challenge authority. This will be become evident when she deliberately ignores or refuses to take direction. Also, your seven-month-old baby will display more intimate behavior. For example, she may greet you in the morning with her hands up, wanting to be taken out of her crib, hugs you when retrieved, or even give you that much looked-for kiss.

Red Flags
Some red flags to watch out for at this age range include: developmental delays, physical birth defects, hearing impairment, Autism, Down Syndrome, Asperger syndrome, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, and congenital problems, such as heart defects. Be sure to talk with your child’s pediatrician about any concerns you may have.