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Milestones: 2-4 Months: Cognitive Development

Between the ages of 2 and 4 months, you and your new baby will have started to settle into a predictable routine with set times for sleep, feeding, and play. Right around this time, your baby will start to show intense curiosity about the world. Everything is new and exciting at this age, and you\’ll see your baby watching people and objects with intense interest. Your baby will inspect new objects at first with eyes and later with hands and mouth. At this age reading picture books, playing music, and introducing new objects will stimulate cognitive development.

In addition, speaking to your baby in a gentle and soothing but adult voice will also help learning. Because it can be very difficult to discern cognitive markers at this early age, don\’t be too worried if your child doesn\’t meet all of these milestones. See a pediatrician if you sense a problem with your baby\’s hearing or vision, such as not focusing with both eyes on nearby objects or failing to be startled by loud sounds.

By 2-4 months, most babies will:

Have different cries for different things.

Turn their heads from side to side to hear sounds more closely.

Respond when they hear familiar voices.

Watch people and objects as they move around.

Express interest in new or unfamiliar objects.

Pay close attention to new faces.

By 2-4 months, some babies may:

Enjoy taking rides in cars and looking at the scenery.

Imitate sounds they hear, other than speech.

Become excited when they see a bottle, anticipating a feeding.

By 2-4 months, a few babies can:

Babble in a way that resembles speech.

Figure out simple toys (like shaking a rattle to make sound).

Zero in on the source of a particular sound (a doorbell, running water, etc.).

Show signs of developing a memory (this object is familiar, that toys make a certain sound, etc.).

More in milestones:

2-4 Months: Physical Development

2-4 Months: Emotional Development

Why developmental milestones will make you crazy

Reviewed by Dr. Sara Connolly, December 2018


  • National Institutes of Health
  • Developmental Milestones Record – 2 Months.
    American Academy of Pediatrics
  • Developmental Milestones: 3 months.
    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • Important Milestones: Your Baby at Four Months.

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