You have probably discovered how many amazing changes your child has experienced in a very short time. Hopefully, a schedule has formed for you and your baby has regulated his sleep and wake cycles a bit more and is alert for a much longer time. Take this opportunity to talk, laugh, sing and hold him!
Your Baby’s Nutrition: Breast milk and formula are meeting all of your baby’s nutritional needs at this time. You may be discovering that the frequency of the feedings is stretching to every three or four hours during the day and hopefully longer at night. The amount of formula your baby drinks can vary widely at this stage but the average is four to five ounces up to seven times per day.
Your Baby’s Stools: Bowel movements become less frequent at this stage and some breast-fed babies have only one stool per week. If the stool is soft, your baby is not constipated so there is no cause for alarm.
Your Baby and Sleep: Another area that can vary widely from baby to baby is sleep. If you are very lucky, your baby may have short naps during the day and sleep for seven to nine hours per night. However, do not get upset if the average is more like three to four hours per night.
Your Baby’s Immunizations: Your baby will receive immunizations at this visit. If your child experiences a fever and fussiness, that is normal. Go ahead and administer acetaminophen (Tylenol) for the first 24 hours. Please ask your doctor about the appropriate dosage for your child.
Your Baby’s Motor Skills: Your baby is becoming stronger and more focused. He can now hold up his head for a longer time and follow objects and faces with his eyes. He also will reach and be able to hold things for a short amount of time. He becomes amazed by his own hands and can start to raise his chest from the floor when lying on his tummy.
Your Baby’s Communication: No, it’s not just gas. That’s right, your baby is starting to smile at you and will start to coo and laugh and respond to you by squealing. It’s a wondrous time for you and your baby as he starts to awaken to the stimulus around him.
Safety and Your Baby: Babies at this stage are getting more mobile, so never leave them on a bed, couch, table or countertop. They are getting ready to roll over so don’t leave them unattended. They also may be starting to put things into their mouths, so be cautious about toys that may have loose or sharp parts. Keep your hands washed to avoid passing germs that can cause them illness.
Your Baby’s Socialization: Your baby very much enjoys being around you and the rest of the family, so make sure he is included. Talk to him about everything. Sing to him and play with him. Most of all enjoy him and we will see you at your four-month visit!