Developmental milestones for 4 to 7 months by UofL Health Louisville KY

Are you a new or expecting parent? Many parents wonder what is normal for their newborn when it comes to developmental milestones. This is part two of a three-part blog series. Throughout the week we will post a  list of developmental milestones submitted by Deborah Winders Davis, Ph.D., professor of Pediatrics in the School of Medicine at the University of Louisville. To read part one, developmental milestones for 1 to 3 months, click here.

If you are concerned about your child reaching certain developmental milestones, please make sure to discuss any issues with your child’s pediatrician. If you need a pediatrician, click here to learn more about UofL Pediatrics.


  • Pushes up on extended arms (5 months)
  • Pulls to sitting with no head lag (5 months)
  • Sits with support of his hands (5-6 months)
  • Sits unsupported for short periods (6-8 months)
  • Supports whole weight on legs (6 months)
  • Grasps feet (6 months)
  • Transfers objects from hand to hand (6-7 months)
  • Uses raking grasp (not pincer) (6 months)


  • Looks for toy beyond tracking range (5-6 months)
  • Tracks moving objects with ease (4-7 months)
  • Grasps objects dangling in front of him (5-6 months)
  • Looks for fallen toys (5-7 months)

Hearing and speech

  • Distinguishes motions by tone of voice(4-7 months)
  • Responds to sound by making sounds (4-6 months)
  • Uses voice to express joy and displeasure (4-6 months)
  • Syllable repetition begins (5-7 months)


  • Finds partially hidden objects (6-7 months)
  • Explores with hands and mouth (4-7 months)
  • Struggles to get objects that are out of reach (5-7 months)


  • Enjoys social play (4-7 months)
  • Interested in mirror images (5-7 months)
  • Responds to other people’s expression of emotion (4-7 months)

Developmental red flags

  • Seems very stiff, tight muscles
  • Seems very floppy, like a rag doll
  • Head still flops back when body is pulled to sitting position (by 5 months still exhibits head lag)
  • Shows no affection for the person who cares for them
  • Doesn’t seem to enjoy being around people
  • One or both eyes consistently turn in or out
  • Persistent tearing, eye drainage, or sensitivity to light
  • Does not respond to sounds around them
  • Has difficulty getting objects to mouth
  • Does not turn head to locate sounds by 4 months
  • Doesn’t roll over (stomach to back) by 6 months
  • Cannot sit with help by 6 months (not by themselves)
  • Does not laugh or make squealing sounds by 5 months
  • Does not actively reach for objects by 6 months
  • Does not follow objects with both eyes
  • Does not bear some weight on legs by 5 months

 Adapted from Early Childhood Direction Center, C/O Women & Children’s Hospital of Buffalo, 219 Bryant St., Buffalo, New York 14222

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Deborah Davis, Ph.D.

Deborah Winders Davis, Ph.D., has been involved in pediatric and neonatal healthcare for more than 35 years. She has a bachelor’s and master’s degree in nursing and a doctorate in nursing and developmental psychology. She is a tenured professor of Pediatrics in the School of Medicine at the University of Louisville. Her research areas include understanding the developmental processes that result in individual differences in children's cognitive outcomes, especially in children who are “at-risk” (eg. children born prematurely and those from low-income families). Of particular interest is the development of attention regulation skills within the context of parent-child interactions. Additionally, she has an interest in promoting positive parenting skills and parent health literacy to improve developmental and health outcomes, especially in low-income families.

All posts by Deborah Davis, Ph.D.
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