Emotional Development: Your Baby at 4 Months

Emotional Development means the development of a full range of emotions from sad to happy to angry, and learning to deal with them appropriately. This helps build self-esteem and leads to such deeper qualities as sympathy, caring, resiliency, assertiveness and empathy and the ability to rise to life’s challenges.

Typical Skills

  • Fusses or cries to gain attention from familiar adults, or when attention or toy is taken away from him
  • Yawns and arches back or turns away when he has had enough interaction or there is too much noise
  • Shows anticipation and excitement by breathing heavily
  • Shows he’s not sure (stops cooing and smiling) or he’s afraid (fusses) if a new person moves toward him; turns his head into shoulder of parent when a new person approaches
  • Stops crying when he hears your voice or caregiver’s; attempts to soothe himself

Emerging Skills

  • Expresses anger when he cannot get desired effect
  • May differentiate between mother’s image and his own in the mirror (knows the difference between mirror image and the real thing); turns to see mother’s “real” face
  • Follows someone with eyes and continues to look at the door when that person leaves the room

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