It doesn’t take much to make your baby happy these days. (And a flash of that toothless grin makes you feel like just maybe you’ve got this whole parenting thing down!) At 4 months, your little one is continuing to discover their world. They may start rolling, putting everything in their mouth and playing that “game” of throwing toys onto the floor for you pick up at least 35 times (consider it an impromptu workout).

Related: 4-month-old baby milestones

Sensory activities for 4-month-old babies

Tovah Klein, PhD, director of the Barnard College Center for Toddler Development and author of “How Toddlers Thrive,” has simple tips for helping your baby learn, laugh and grow.

1. Nursery rhymes

You’ll be amazed at what you remember from your own childhood—and you’ll be setting the stage for helping to cue baby’s brain for musical melodies for decades.

2. Kitchen play

Give your baby safe objects from the kitchen to explore that aren’t toys, like a wooden spoon, or a silicone container to hold, mouth and look at.

3. Extra snuggles

Remember, you can’t spoil your baby. Holding and comforting a baby when they cry makes them feel loved, not spoiled. Your baby counts on you soothe them, feed them (only if they are truly hungry), and figure out what they need.

Related: Sleep like a baby: Your expert guide to 12 months of rest

Developmental activities for 4-month-old babies

To encourage your baby’s new cognitive and motor skills, try the following 4-month-old developmental activities.

1. Tell baby what you’re doing

When your baby babbles, talk to them as if they really know what you’re saying. The more you talk to your baby, the more language they hear, and the better they learn. (They also love to hear your voice more than anything else!) Tell them what you’re doing. “I have a ball and you are looking at it. Do you see the ball?”

Related: Why you should be talking to your baby—even if they can’t respond

2. Toys at tummy time

Put your baby on their tummy in a safe spot with toys nearby to look at and reach for. This gets their muscles ready for sitting and crawling. Be sure to sit with them while they play (you’re still the best play partner and audience).

Soon, they may be able to get up on her hands and knees and rock back and forth, and begin to move objects from one hand to the other.

Related: The surprising way tummy time as a baby helps preschoolers

3. Real reflections

Babies love to see themselves! They’ll smile and even laugh as you point out the baby in the mirror (they don’t yet know it’s their own reflection). Tell them, “See the baby? Hi sweet baby.” Point to their nose, mouth, ears, and name each body part.

Related: Bringing baby to day-care? 8 ways to ease the transition

Things to do with a 4-month-old

From the play mat to real-world outings, child development psychologist Dr. Holly Ruhl has week-by-week tips for making the most of month four.

Week 1: Hello, me

Baby is getting a stronger sense of self these days, noticing that they can move their body in different ways to get what they want. Playing songs and physical games such as “Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes” can be a fun way to keep engaging baby in learning about themselves. We also love “Open, Shut Them” and other singable rhymes with coordinating movements for babies to copy and delight in. So fun!

Week 2: Dance party

Soaring through the air (while safe in your arms) is a great way to teach baby about moving through space. Turn up the tunes (pop on your favorite playlist, mama, so you can really get into it) and have a dance party. Twirling around and moving your hips while carrying baby or babywearing is a thrilling way for them to develop muscle tone, rhythm foundations and spatial awareness.

Week 3: Expand their world

If you haven’t yet signed up for baby storytime at the library or got a playdate under your belt quite yet, now’s the time. Your tiny tot is ready to soak up more social outings.

Week 4: Get the ball rolling

Exercise baby’s sense of hand-eye coordination by helping them roll a ball across the room. This also shows the foundations of cause and effect. What happens if you gently kick the ball? What happens if you push it softly? Your lovebug may not be able to fully participate in a game of catch just yet, but they’ll be amazed just by watching the action.

Related: 12 baby memory books you’ll actually fill out

Our favorite products for 4-month-olds

Baby Einstein Glow & Discover Light Bar Activity Station

Baby Einstein


Glow & Discover Light Bar Activity Station

As your little one begins to work on and master their sitting skills, toys like this Glow & Discover Light Bar Activity Station from Baby Einstein are a top pick. (It can also be used during tummy time if that’s more their speed right now!) The lights and sounds are easy to activate with their slaps and pokes and we love that you can switch between English, Spanish and French to hear colors and animals in multiple languages.

Sassy Developmental Bumpy Ball



Developmental Bumpy Ball

This widely-loved toy checks so many boxes for 4-month-olds! The chunky bumps make it easy to hold and a variety of textures, colors and materials makes it fun to explore. Give it a shake, and the bumps with beads make a satisfying rattle. During playtime, place it just out of reach and see how motivated they are to pull, shimmy and scoot their way toward it. It’s pretty enticing!

Lovevery Montessori Rolling Rattle



Montessori Rolling Rattle

Shake, rattle and roll! We love this classic rolling rattle style which is perfect in its simplicity. The wooden design is easy to grip and shake but makes a great rolling toy as well. As a bonus, it comes with a digital play guide to help parents boost baby playtime.

Scholastic Old MacDonald Hand-Puppet Board Book



Old MacDonald Hand-Puppet Board Book

There’s something about Old MacDonald that just crushes with this crowdBust out your best animal sounds, add in this popular hand-puppet board book and you’ll have a captive audience in no time.

Manhattan Toy Company Skwish

Manhattan Toy Company



Babies have loved this colorful classic for decades. A clever atom-esque arrangement of wooden dowels and sliding beads are held together with elastic, it’s fun to hold, squish and throw. Even the sound of the beads as they thunk back and forth is satisfying!

Look ahead: Activities for an 5-month-old: Fostering baby’s development

A version of this story was originally published on Nov. 24, 2015. It has been updated.

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