4 Month Old Baby

image001As your child reaches 4 months, they will start to develop more regular feeding patterns and sleep for longer periods of time which is much easier on their caregivers. Mothers are also completing their post-pregnancy recovery and getting more experience caring for their child, which is also easing some stress of being a new parent. As you move into this stage of development there are more challenges to come, but knowing what to expect can help you take them on more easily.

How Is Your 4 Month Old Baby Developing?

1. Body Growth

Do not worry if your child isn’t gaining height. As long as they are gaining weight on the right schedule, you know they are getting nutrients and digesting properly which will promote overall good health. Here are the average height and weight for 4-month babies (WHO standard): height for boys is 63.8 cm, and for girls is 62 cm; weight for boys is 7 kg, and for girls is 6.4 kg.

2. Other Development

In addition, 4 month old baby can also develop in other aspects. The chart below can give you a clear checklist to refer to during your baby's growth.

Development

Description

Sensory development

Increase eye contact with things around them;

Established close vision;

Begin to develop hand-eye coordination.

Physical development

Push legs down when feet touch a hard surface;

Can hold hands steady without support;

May roll from tummy to back;

Bring hands to mouth;

Swing at toys dangling in front of them;

Shake toys they are holding;

Push up on elbows when lying on their tummy.

Social and emotional development

Enjoy playing with others and may cry when play stops;

Smile spontaneously or smile at people;

Copy facial expressions or movements others are making.

Communication development

Copy the expressions or inflections they hear;

Begin babbling;

Differentiate crying to indicate needs like hunger, being tired or pain.

Cognitive development

Can display happiness or sadness;

Can use one hand to reach for a toy;

Respond to affection;

Move their eyes side to side to follow objects;

Can use hands and eyes together to go after objects around them;

Recognize familiar things or people at a distance;

Watch faces closely.

Watch this to learn more about the development of your 4 month old baby:

How to Take Care of a 4 Month Old Baby

1. Feed Your Baby Properly

Some pediatricians do not think children younger than 6 months can manage solids, but this will vary based on the size of your child. If your doctor says it’s safe and your baby has the neck control to sit upright, you can start to introduce solids. Start with iron-fortified rice cereal which is mixed with their usual breast milk or formula to help your child get used to it. Your child may push the spoon out of their mouth with their tongue. If this happens, wait a few weeks then try solids again.

During bottle or breast feeding, your child should be latching well and overcome any initial difficulties. Your child is still quite prone to allergies and will have a hard time digesting more solid food, so bottle or breast feeding should still be their main source of nutrition.

2. Sleep Pattern and How to Cope with It

Your 4 month old baby (younger or older than 4 months) should be able to sleep through the night for around 7-8 hours. They should also take two naps during the day, which should bring their total amount of sleep up to 14-16 hours daily.

Some believe that you need to encourage your child to stay awake during the day so that they will sleep at night, but this is not true. Working to create a consistent routine for naps and bedtime will be much more effective. Avoid feeding or rocking to get your child to sleep, so they can start to learn to relax and fall asleep on their own.

3. Safety Always Comes First

Your baby will start kicking. You can work to create a clear range, so they do not strike objects around them. Keep your floors clean so children do not ingest dust or grime, but studies show that a sterile environment will limit your child’s ability to develop a healthy immune system. Also take care when exposing your child to animals that could carry disease.

4. Take Care of Babies’ Health

Your child is ready for their 4 month immunizations. Let your doctor know if they had an inverse reaction to their initial vaccinations and be prepared for your child to be uncomfortable during the procedure. Just remember the benefits of vaccinating your child, then it is not too difficult to complete the appointment.

5. Pay Attention to Nappy Rash

Bacteria from your baby’s feces can accumulate on clothing or your baby’s skin and when mixed with the ammonia from urine it can cause a rash. Plastic pants or rough nappies can also cause discomfort. If you notice a rash developing, use warm water to clean your child’s skin when changing their diaper and try to keep the skin as dry as possible. Avoid rough, plastic pants and allow your child out of their diaper some time each day. Barrier creams such as zinc or castor oil can help prevent rashes from returning. If this is ineffective, talk to your doctor.