For many new parents, the birth of their baby is the start of a race to developmental milestones. They compare their kids with those of friends, bragging about or envying the milestones achieved or yet to be conquered.
Most kids will reach their milestones according to their own internal schedule. But when should you worry? Are you tracking developmental milestones for your 2-4 month old?
We’ve assembled some of the commonly recognized developmental red flags, by age. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests contacting your child’s doctor or nurse if you see these signs of possible developmental delays.
It is important to remember that this is not a definitive list, and babies develop at their own pace. If your child has not reached a particular milestone — emotional, physical, or cognitive — it doesn’t mean there’s a problem.
|Age 2-4 months|
|Your baby may be able to:||You may want to talk to a healthcare professional if by 4 months your baby:|
|Smile at people||Doesn't smile at people|
|Move head toward sounds||Doesn't respond to loud sounds|
|Make smoother movements with arms and legs||Doesn't bring hands to mouth|
|Hold head up and begin to push up when lying on tummy||Cannot hold head up when pushing on tummy|
|Try to turn toward parent||Doesn't watch people when they move|
|Follow things with eyes and recognize people||Doesn't watch things as they move|
|Coo, make gurgling sounds||Doesn't coo or make sounds|
|Bring hands to mouth||Doesn't bring things to mouth|
|Push down on legs when feet are on a hard surface||Doesn't push down with legs when feet are placed on a hard surface|
|Follow moving things with eyes from side to side||Has trouble moving one or both eyes in all directions|
Reviewed by Dr. Sara Connolly, August 2019