You Have A New Person At Home: Baby's Fourth Month Guide
By Michelle Higgins
Baby is into her fourth month now.
Mom's milk is best"
Breast milk is still important and sufficient to take care of baby's needs. If you are a working mom you might need a combo of bottle and breast. Alternatively, you can express milk into a bottle for your baby's caregiver to feed her.
While feeding baby, do watch to see that the nipple and neck are always filled with formula, to avoid baby taking in too much air. And remember to burp her after every feed.
Some babies are ready for solid foods like cereal at this time. Babies at this age do not digest solids very well. Starting solids too early can leave insufficient room for the all-important food: milk.
You get more sleep
Baby begins to sleep less during the day (2-3 naps of an hour or so each) and more during the night, sometimes even 6 hours at a stretch.
Four-five-six'smiles and kicks
In baby's fourth month, he might begin to turn over onto his tummy. He has good control of his neck and can sit propped up. He can bear weight on his legs too. Colorful toys and rattles make him smile or reach out for them. He loves it when you imitate any sound he makes, smile and respond to his expressions.
Happy bath time"
Baby's bath time is real fun time for both of you. Talk to your four month-old baby while you bathe her and it will make her feel less insecure. Make sure her bathtub has a smooth, non-slippery surface. Have all necessary things at hand (soap, towels, fresh clothes/nappies) before you start.
Mummy! Do I still need this pacifier??
Baby explores things by putting them into her mouth, so you need to be careful about what is within her reach. Minimize use of the pacifier (if any). Use it only if you are sure baby is not crying for a particular reason. Never attach a pacifier to baby's clothes with a string.
Your four month-old baby might indulge in some thumb sucking. Some babies do it as a hunger cue and others to soothe themselves. You can allow her the comfort of her fingers or thumb. Rarely, baby may cut her first tooth.
I know you!
He recognizes familiar faces and will coo or respond in some way when he sees/hears mom and dad. He might move his arms to signal, "Pick me up." He tries to imitate sounds, loves being talked to, and spends time looking at objects he is holding. Taking baby around in a stroller is a wonderful way for him to socialize.
Further doses of the triple antigen (DTP), oral polio drops, and hepatitis B shots will be given to baby. A regular well-baby examination will tell you if everything is fine with your four month-old baby. At the doctor's you will be surprised how your little one socializes with other children. Alternatively, of course, she could be put off by strange faces and begin to cry! Don't let that trouble you. Her little world is just beginning to widen.
Baby now has a distinct personality of her own, and this portends an exciting time for you.