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 peopleDoesn't smile at people
Move head toward soundsDoesn't respond to loud sounds
Make smoother movements with arms and legsDoesn't bring hands to mouth
Hold head up and begin to push up when lying on tummyCannot hold head up when pushing on tummy
Try to turn toward parentDoesn't watch people when they move
Follow things with eyes and recognize peopleDoesn't watch things as they move
Coo, make gurgling soundsDoesn't coo or make sounds
Bring hands to mouthDoesn't bring things to mouth
Push down on legs when feet are on a hard surfaceDoesn't push down with legs when feet are placed on a hard surface
Follow moving things with eyes from side to sideHas trouble moving one or both eyes in all directions

Reviewed by Dr. Sara Connolly, August 2019

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  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Important Milestones: Your Baby By Four Months.
  2. National Institutes of Health. Developmental Milestone Records – 4 months.


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