Recently, a client wanted to know some good activity options for her 4-month old. Her baby had recently transitioned to a different schedule, which allowed for a bigger chunk of awake time. With this new found time on their hands, mom needed some ideas to help change things up and keep her little one from becoming bored, but also to provide a slight distraction so that they could more easily make the adjustment to longer awake periods.
As a general rule, awake times at this age do not need to be crazy involved. Try to keep things simple and not super stimulating. Babies at 4-Months of age are going through a massive brain development (commonly known as the 4-Month regression) and are really becoming more and more interested in the world and the people around them.
So try to keep things more on the basic side and begin to bring them into your world a little bit. If you’re prepping dinner, grab their bouncer chair or Bumbo and set it in a safe place where they can see what you are doing. Folding laundry or putting clothes away? Place them near by where they can see what you are doing and talk to them while you are doing it.
Age Appropriate Activities For A 4-Month Old Baby
- Tummy time
- Back time
- Playing on an activity mat
- Toys with some lights and noise
- Sitting in bouncer chair
- Upright in a swing
- Laying on changing table with mobile over it
- Talking to baby
- Allowing them to watch you prep dinner, put away groceries or fold laundry etc.
- Walks outside
- Going to the park
- Playing with pets or siblings
- Singing interactive nursery rhymes like “Row, Row, Row Your Boat” or “The Wheels On The Bus”
- Looking in the mirror together
- Playdates with friends
It’s super important at this age to allow baby plenty of opportunities on the floor so that they can practice precursor skills that will help them facilitate the ability to soon crawl, sit and roll over. All three of these things generally happen between 5-8 months of age, so now is the time for all of the precursor skills and muscles for these major skills to develop.
Additionally, I do like to recommend that families allow for a bit of interactive awake time along with some independent awake time with each awake period. Doing this allows you time to bond together, but also allows your baby time to explore the world on their own. When doing independent awake time, make sure you can always see your baby and that they are in a safe place on the floor.
Finally, if you are beginning to allow baby some time in a chair like the Bumbo or practicing standing, keep these stints short. Until a baby is able to sit and stand on their own, extended amounts of time in these positions can place undo stress on their joints.
If you have questions about age appropriate activities or proper awake times for you baby, please reach out to us. We would love to help!