Baby Growth and Development: 4-7 Month Milestones
Develop Full Color Vision
Babies typically develop full color vision as a 5 month milestone. Infants at this age seem to prefer red or blue over other colors. Make it a point to read colorful picture books or magazines with bright pictures to your baby, since she'll have fun noticing the subtle differences in shade. Note that your baby’s distance vision will also improve during this time.
Respond to Name
Your baby also stores memories around this time, so he’ll start to recognize his own name. To encourage language development, say the names of the items your baby encounters the most, such as mommy, daddy, grandparents, family pets, stuffed animals, etc.
Roll Both Ways
Within the first few months of life, babies learn to roll one way—usually from front to back. By 6 or 7 months of age, though, your little one probably mastered the art of rolling both ways. To help Baby practice her rolling skills, place bright toys just beyond her reach when she’s on her back; she'll learn that rolling over will help her reach them.
Find Partially Hidden Objects
Your baby is learning “object permanence”— the idea that objects still exist outside her sight. While this concept will develop further in later months, she should now be able to find partially hidden things, like a toy that’s sticking out from underneath a blanket.
During these months, you may notice a dramatic change in Baby's personality. He may grow bored with toys and prefer your attention over anything else. Introduce him to more friends and children you trust and let them play with him.
React to Sound
Babies learn by imitation, so when you talk, he might respond with noises as if you are having a conversation. You'll even notice Baby raising and lowering her voice to copy real-life dialogue! It’s important to note, however, that even though she may begin understanding more words, it could be past her first birthday before you can understand any of the babbling.
Love His Reflection
Baby doesn't yet realize the image is his, but he'll love watching his reflection moving and smiling. Encourage his curiosity by putting a large unbreakable mirror low on the walls so Baby can watch himself playing.
As a 6 month milestone, your baby might sit with support. Then, a few weeks later, he’ll sit on his own. To help your little one get comfortable prop him up with several pillows, cushions, or a C-shaped pillow for support. He will probably prefer sitting in the "tripod position" at first: leaning forward with his arms extended for balance.
Put Support on Both Legs
Your baby's growing understanding of the function of her legs and feet is an important step on the road to crawling and walking. Around 7 months, she should press down and lock her legs when held upright on a firm surface. She may also have fun bouncing up and down as she relaxes and locks her knees.
In these months, your little one will begin to detect your emotions from the tone in your voice. Let Baby see your face when you talk so he can watch your mouth and facial expressions. Talk to him in a comforting voice when you are trying to soothe him. Speaking in anger or in a raised voice tells him something is wrong.
Reach for Objects
Thanks to developing upper body strength, your baby can reach for nearby objects. To help him practice, place coveted toys just out of his reach so he needs to stretch to grab them. Make sure that everything Baby plays with is unbreakable, lightweight, and large enough to prevent swallowing or choking.
Transfer Objects Between Hands
Develop Raking Grasp
“Raking grasp” happens when your baby reaches for an object, spreads out his fingers, and pulls the object closer to him. Soft balls, toys that have finger holds, and baby books are appropriate toys to practice this skill.
Tune into the differences in your baby's cries. What does she sound like when she is hungry, uncomfortable, or scared? Responding to all her needs helps Baby feel safe, secure, and trusting. Also pay attention to her body language and facial expressions; just like adults, babies can smile, frown, and can look confused, interested, or surprised.