Touch is another way to support Baby's early brain development while enhancing your loving relationship. Cuddling your baby or stroking his head as he falls asleep actually releases hormones that are important for his growth.
Studies show that babies who are regularly massaged gain weight faster and have deeper periods of sleep. Cortisol, a stress hormone that inhibits growth, is produced less by infants who are regularly massaged. Read more about the surprising benefits of infant massage.
While there is a huge age range as to when babies roll, around this time, some babies might roll over. Some studies suggest that babies are rolling over later because of the current emphasis on putting them to sleep on their backs as a prevention for SIDS. Still, it is important to keep putting Baby on his tummy for short periods of play time to build his muscles.
The first time a baby rolls over is usually from tummy to back. The round shape of Baby's tummy allows for fun side-to-side rocking and then a roll over. This feat can be startling, and some babies will immediately roll over again while others may not repeat the milestone for weeks.
You can encourage rolling by placing Baby on his tummy and placing one of his favorite toys just out of reach. By stretching to get it, he may roll over again.
Baby's first pearly whites usually don't show themselves for a few more months, but some babies teethe as early as three or four months. Heredity is a strong factor, so look to your family history for an indication as to when your baby's teeth might appear.
Some babies have a bulging gum or ridge for weeks before a tooth appears, while others have teeth that just seem to appear. The degree of discomfort associated with teething varies from baby to baby. Signs of teething include:
- Drooling (which may go on for weeks before the tooth appears)
- A facial rash as a result of excessive drooling
- Biting objects to satisfy achy gums
- Irritability (often expressed in the middle of the night)
- Refusal to nurse or take a bottle
- Pulling on an ear or rubbing a sore cheek
- Loose stools
More Development Help
As you're considering your child's development, keep in mind that all babies are unique. Whether your baby reaches milestones early or late, he has his own developmental path to follow. The dividing lines between these months are very fuzzy. If you have any concerns or questions about your baby's development, please check with his healthcare provider.
- Use our Development Tracker to check off Baby's 4-7 month milestones.
- Stay organized with our new-parent To-Do List.
- What's the most common medical concern for babies this age?
Now...Let's Take a Closer Look at Each Week
- Week 14: Understanding Cause and Effect
- Week 15: Evidence of Memory
- Week 16: Improving Vision
- Week 17: Paying Attention to Patterns