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Twelve 4-5 Month-Old Baby Activities For Child Development

If you’re a parent of a 4-5-month-old, you can probably relate to the hectic yet incredibly joyful nature of the past few months. By integrating a few small 4-5 month-old baby activities into your regular routine, you can help support your baby’s growth and development.

Your baby is rapidly growing and taking in more and more of their surroundings daily. We’re here to cover some key milestones at this stage, some of our favorite 4-month baby activities to nurture development, and when to reach out for support. If you’ve read our top baby activities for 2-3 month-olds, you’ll notice some familiar essentials like reading to your baby, tummy time, and continually talking and engaging with them.

Mom and baby using Boppy tummy time pillow prop and playing on play mat

Learn more about what to expect during baby’s milestones from month to month.

What Your 4-5-Month-Old Baby is Learning

At 4-5 months old, you probably notice small changes in your baby daily. It’s an exciting yet overwhelming time, and it can be hard to keep track of all the important milestones and to-dos. 

When we think about activities to support the learning and development of your 4-5 month-old baby, many are just a continuation of the recommended 2 to 3 month-old baby activities. It’s about making sure you foster the sense of exploration and curiosity they have with age-appropriate toys and a loving environment. All five senses are being engaged and developed, so create a safe environment for them to learn and hit those 4-month baby milestones.

4 Month Old Baby Learning and Development

At 4 months old, your baby is growing quickly and engaging more and more with everything around them. Your baby is more alert and awake for longer periods and enjoys social interaction. Your baby is probably beginning to vocalize by babbling away or chuckling. You may notice 4-month-old behavior changes like copying your facial expressions and unprompted smiling.

When it comes to physical development, 4-month-old baby milestones include starting to rock side to side and eventually rolling over. At around 4 months, a baby can see several feet away and is beginning to develop their depth perception. Below we’ve outlined some of the key milestones for a 4-month-old.

  • Physical Development: Baby is bringing hands to mouth, holding up their head without support while being held, and pushing up onto their arms while on their tummy
  • Sensory Development: Baby turns their head toward your voice or other sounds
  • Cognitive Development: Baby shows more interest in their hands, objects, and faces, and starts to open their mouth when hungry
  • Emotional and Social Development: Baby tries to gain your attention with smiles or chuckles

5 Month Old Baby Learning and Development

The milestones for a 5-month-old are very similar to those of a 4-month-old, with some key distinctions. Baby is continuing to grow and become even more engaged and alert. They love grabbing onto objects and bringing them to their mouths as a way to explore.

Physically, 5-month-old babies are often starting to roll from their tummy to their back, gaining strength in their core and back muscles. In addition to being able to see several feet away, babies at 5 months can distinguish color and their eyes are fully tracking together. Below are additional 5-month-old baby milestones you’ll start to experience at this age.

  • Physical Development: Baby starts to roll from their tummy to back, and push up with their arms during tummy time
  • Sensory Development: Baby loves to reach for and explore objects, especially those with various textures
  • Cognitive Development: Baby starts to close their mouth and refuse food when done, and continues to show interest in hands and objects, often putting them in their mouths
  • Emotional and Social Development: Baby recognizes familiar faces and offers smiles and chuckles

Check out our tips for boosting your baby's brain to get the most out of playtime with your baby.

Twelve 4-5 Month-Old Baby Activities For Play Time

Fun activities for babies in the 4-5 month range involve supporting exploration and developing their fine motor skills. The goal is to encourage their sense of wonder about the world around them through activities such as introducing texture, sensory bottles, and “on and off” exploring.

Activities for a 5-month-old will look very similar to activities for a 4-month-old, so you can continue to build on the activities below as your baby grows. Each of the baby activities we’ll introduce supports development in some capacity, whether that be cognitive, social, emotional, or physical.

Object Exploration

One of the best 4 to 5-month baby activities is object exploration with everything around them. At this stage, your baby will be reaching for objects, holding on to them, bringing them to their mouths, and shaking them. It’s important to encourage this exploration and discovery by playing with objects of a variety of shapes, weights, and textures. Try incorporating household objects like wooden serving spoons, measuring cups, tennis balls, or washcloths - just be sure the objects are age-appropriate and not choke hazards.

  • Skill Development: Motor skills, sensory development and exploration
  • Duration of Play: daily, as often as desired

Help Baby Sit and Stand

At 4 months old, it’s a good time to start helping your baby sit and stand. A baby at 4 months has better head control and increasing core strength. Try propping your baby against a pillow or cushion and putting objects around them to explore. Hold on to their hands and pull them up to stand. This will allow them to see things from a different viewpoint and gain strength in their core and leg muscles.

  • Skill Development: physical development of the core and leg muscles
  • Duration of Play: once or twice daily 

Tummy Time

Tummy time is an essential activity for 4-month-old babies up until they start crawling around. Place your baby on their tummy with a supportive tummy time mat and pillow and surround them with a few toys to keep them entertained. By intentionally keeping babies on their tummy for a few 10-15 minute stretches throughout the day, you are supporting the physical growth and development of their head, neck, shoulders, and back.

  • Skill Development: physical development of muscles supporting the head, neck, and shoulders
  • Duration of Play: up to 90 minutes total per day

Play With Textures

In addition to object exploration, introducing texture is a fun way to encourage exploration and sensory development for a 4 months old baby.

Present them with a variety of objects with different textures to their hands, feet, or face. They can be household items here too, like a fuzzy blanket, a smooth book, or a bumpy teething toy. You can also try introducing them to items of different temperatures like a cold countertop or a warm washcloth. Your baby will start to learn and engage more with the environment around them.

  • Skill Development: sensory development and exploration
  • Duration of Play: daily, as desired

Find the latest play mats and tummy time pillows to support baby’s playtime development.

Sounds and Play

Another activity to encourage exploration and development with your 4-month-old baby is to use various sounds throughout your playtime. And we don’t just mean putting on music in the background while you play, although that can be fun too! For example, rattles are a great play toy that incorporates sound and helps babies to understand cause and effect (if I shake the rattle, it makes a sound). Bells or a xylophone toy work great for this as well. 

  • Skill Development: sensory development of hearing, cognitive development (cause and effect)
  • Duration of Play: daily, as desired

Blow Bubbles

Blowing bubbles is a fun thing to do with a 5-month-old because they are more interactive and engaged with the world around them. They will not only love to watch the bubbles, but they will likely reach for them and be amazed when they pop. You can let the bubbles fall on their arms or legs, but be sure to avoid the face and eye area.

  • Skill Development: Cognitive and sensory development, hand-eye coordination
  • Duration of Play: a couple of times per week, as desired

Laugh Together

To support the emotional development of a 4-month-old baby, laughing together is a great playtime activity. Face your baby at eye level and be silly! Try making funny faces or noises to elicit a response - the more interactive the better. Laughing together will help to build social skills and increase the bond between you and your baby.

  • Skill Development: emotional, social, and sensory development
  • Duration of Play: daily, as desired

“On and Off” Exploring

As you walk around the house with your 4-month-old, use the opportunity to introduce new things around you. Babywearing can be not only convenient as you work on household chores but also serve as a learning opportunity. Maybe you’re opening and closing the refrigerator door to get some water or turning on and off the sink to rinse a plate.

Whatever you’re doing, start verbalizing that to your baby. Naming everything you are doing will help their language development, and the “on and off” exploring in particular can help babies understand cause and effect. 

  • Skill Development: cognitive, social, and emotional development, cause and effect 
  • Duration of Play: daily, as desired

Narrated Walks

One of the easiest 4 to 5-month-old activities is to go on a narrated walk with your baby. Your first outing with your baby is a big deal, but after that, it will start to feel easier and more natural.

Bundle up your baby and take a quick stroll through your neighborhood. While you do, point out things verbally to your baby. Stop to look at a flower or say hello to the neighbors. While it may seem like a simple activity, your baby is observing and learning about everything around them. 

  • Skill Development: sensory development and awareness, emotional bonding
  • Duration of Play: daily for twenty minutes at a time

Sensory Bags or Bottles

Sensory bags or bottles are an excellent learning tool for 4 months of baby development, especially for teaching cause and effect. Take an empty plastic water bottle and fill it with dry rice, securing the cap fully. Your baby will enjoy holding, shaking, and observing the rice move around in the bottle and make noise. They’ll start to learn that their action of shaking the bottle results in sound. 

  • Skill Development: sensory and cognitive development
  • Duration of Play: daily, as desired

Keep your baby comfortable during tummy time with Boppy’s Tummy Time Prop, complete with our SlideLine system to always have toys at the ready. 

Play Little Piggy

One of the classic games to play with a 4-month-old is This Little Piggy.

As you recite the little piggy nursery rhyme, touch or squeeze your baby’s toes starting with the big toe. Move on to the second and third toes as the nursery rhyme continues. For the final line, give your baby lots of tickles or kisses before moving on to the other foot. You’ll surely get some smiles and chuckles in response!

  • Skill Development: cognitive and sensory development
  • Duration of Play: a few times per week, as desired

Keep Reading Together

4 month old activities don’t have to be super time-consuming or regimented. The simple act of reading together consistently can have a big impact on your baby’s language skills and cognition.

You don’t even have to read every word on the page or finish the entire book; just be interactive and let your baby engage with the book. Colorful illustrations and books with texture help keep them engaged. In addition to learning, reading has the added benefit of helping your baby wind down and get to sleep

  • Skill Development: cognitive and emotional development, listening skills, and attention span
  • Duration of Play: daily before naps and bedtime

Tips to Improve Bonding and Play Time

When incorporating the activities for 4-month-old babies we’ve outlined above, there are a few tips we’d recommend keeping in mind. Time is precious when you have a baby, but with these tips, you can make the most of bonding and play time to nurture development. 

  • Minimize distractions: make the most of your baby’s wake windows by keeping distractions, including your phone, to a minimum when you are playing with your baby
  • Make eye contact: no matter the activity, be sure to make eye contact with your baby for maximum bonding and connection
  • Be enthusiastic: while it can sometimes feel exhausting, try your best to be fully engaged and enthusiastic when bonding and playing with your baby
  • Shower your baby with love: give your baby hugs and kisses often to demonstrate how much they are loved and cared for
  • Involve your partner or other family members: if you have a partner or other family members involved in the care of your baby, be sure to involve them equally in activities to support growth and development
  • Set up a playdate: in addition to your partner or other family members, introducing your baby to other babies their age will support their social skills and development
  • Never force an activity: if your baby isn’t showing interest in a particular activity or showing signs that they are done, don’t force it

When to Seek Support

It’s important to note that the milestones we outlined for 4 and 5-month-old babies are just a benchmark. They are milestones that most babies meet by 4 and 5 months, but not all babies are the same. It’s normal for skills to be developed at different rates based on several genetic and environmental factors.

With that in mind, you know your baby best! If your baby is not meeting significant milestones and you are concerned, reach out to your doctor. In particular, if your baby does not respond to loud noises or look you directly in the eyes at the 4-5 month stage, let your doctor know and ask for a developmental screening. 

Keep Growing and Learning With Boppy Playtime

When it comes to adding the 4-5 month baby activities we’ve shared into your routine, remember that no parent is perfect, and all babies develop at a different rate. These activities may at times feel futile, but they add up in a big way for your child’s development.

Boppy is here to support you at every step of your baby’s growth and development. Our playtime products make playtime comfortable and hassle-free and are designed to grow with your child from infanthood to toddlerhood.

Give your baby a dedicated play area with our play mat featuring our non-skid backing and foldable design, making it easy to store when not in use. Boppy’s Tummy Time Pillows with our patented SlideLine system for attaching toys are available in eye-catching prints or neutral solid colors to keep your baby comfortable and occupied.


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