Your four-month old continues to change dramatically each and every day. You will start to notice a true personality peeking out as your baby develops and grows. Life is becoming more “normal” now because schedules have been set. You may notice that your child’s weight has now doubled since birth. If you have concerns about his growth, always feel free to call your doctor and discuss.
Your Baby’s Feeding: Many babies will continue to be breastfed, some exclusively. Others will have formula and the amount that is fed will be determined by your child’s personal growth. If your baby breastfeeds 8-10 times per day or you are giving him more than 32 ounces of formula, your little tyke is ready for solids to supplement his diet. We recommend starting with cereals, such as rice, oatmeal or barley. Talk to your doctor about the proper way to introduce solids. You don’t want to throw too much variety at them at first as that could lead to allergies. A slow introduction food by food will be your best method.
Your Baby’s Bowel Movements: With the introduction of those solids, the bowel movements your child has will change. Color and consistency will be altered due to the solids. If you find that your child’s stools are hard and pellet-like, he may be constipated. This is common because some cereals can be constipating. Discuss with your doctor about how to manage that constipation.
Your Baby’s Sleep: By now I hope you are enjoying a full night’s sleep! Between the nighttime sleep and two naps that are recommended per day, your baby is likely sleeping up to 16 hours per day. Enjoy! Make sure you put your baby to sleep awake. It will save you problems in the future because he will learn to comfort himself to fall asleep. Do not put the baby to bed with a bottle. It can lead to ear infections. Add a soft toy to the crib at sleep time for comfort.
Your Baby’s Motor Skills: Your baby can now hold his head up and turn his head in all directions. When lying on his back, he can lift his head forward and grab his feet. He also can roll from side to side and grasp toys without looking first at his hands. Sitting up is vastly more entertaining to baby than lying down, so support his little body and let him take it all in.
Your Baby’s Socialization: It is said that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Babies at this age will be a little copycat of everything you do! They love to coo, grin and squeal with joy at just about everything. They will know their name and they may even develop a bit of stranger anxiety, so introduce new faces to them carefully.
SAFETY FOR YOUR CHILD:
- Keep using a rear-facing car seat.
- Never the leave the baby unattended or on top of anything. Your baby is very mobile right now and in a flash could roll off or into anything around.
- Keep any and all dangerous objects out of reach. Everything he sees and touches will go into his mouth.
- Keep baby away from smokers…direct and second hand.
- Be mindful of baths. Never turn away from your child while in the bath.
This is a time of great discovery for your baby. Keep holding him often, kissing, talking, singing and reading to him. He wants to be with you all his waking hours and is a little sponge taking in everything around him. Enjoy… the journey keeps getting more exciting and we will see you at your six-month visit.