Caring For Your 4 Month Old Baby
Your little one is already 16 weeks old! It might be hard to believe, as it probably feels like your 4 month old baby was born just a few days ago. Time flies, especially when you’re sleep deprived.
While you’ve certainly become an expert at most baby-care tasks, like giving your little one a bath and changing dirty diapers, you may have a few questions about your 4 month old baby’s development. Babies grow up fast, and sometimes it’s difficult to know what’s normal.
That’s what the baby experts at Mustela are here for. In this post, we will explain all the facts about your 4 month old baby’s development, senses, motor skills, eating schedule, sleeping habits, and immunizations. Then we’ll close with some general childcare tips and a few potential warning signs to be aware of.
Caring For Your 4 Month Old Baby
In four short months, your little bundle of joy has almost doubled in weight and has become far more active during waking hours. Now, your 4 month old baby can babble, squirm, kick, and grab. Let’s have a look at all the major aspects of your baby’s growth.
Your 4 Month Old Baby’s Development
Whereas holding your baby used to be easy, it may be a bit of a workout at the four-month mark. Your child has been growing at an incredible rate for the last 120 days.
On average, four-month-old girls weigh 13 pounds (5.9 kg) to 15.2 pounds (6.9 kg) and are 23.8 inches (60.5 cm) to 25 inches (63.5 cm) in height. Baby boys are a bit bigger at four months of age, weighing between 14.2 pounds (6.45 kg) and 16.5 pounds (7.5 kg), on average, and ranging in height from around 24.6 inches (62.5 cm) to 25.7 inches (65.2 cm).
Bear in mind that these figures represent the median 50 percent of babies. It’s definitely not problematic if your baby is bigger or smaller than the numbers we’ve mentioned. Just like adults, babies vary greatly in height and weight.
Your 4 Month Old Baby’s Senses
When your baby was first born, their senses were very basic. Now, your little one’s senses have developed quite a bit and they are far more alert.
Your 4 month old baby can see clearly up to 12 feet away. This means they’ll be able to recognize familiar faces at more of a distance. They can distinguish between similar colors and can also tell the difference between shapes.
While your little one still can’t say words, they can certainly make sounds. You’re probably hearing plenty of basic consonant and vowel sounds, such as “bah,” “muh,” and “doo.” All this baby babble means that your 4 month old baby’s first words are coming soon.
You can talk to your baby often to help their communication skills develop. They may not understand everything you’re saying, but they are beginning to learn how verbal communication works. If your baby makes noises, respond as if you understand and are having a real conversation.
Since your baby is still consuming only breastmilk or baby formula, their sense of taste has not developed much yet.
Finally, your baby’s sense of touch is becoming more advanced as they gain the ability to hold objects. You’ll notice your baby developing a sense of curiosity because they’ll try to touch everything within sight. Be careful with your hair and jewelry, as your little one may try to swipe at these things.
Your 4 Month Old Baby’s Motor Skills
It’s amazing how quickly motor skills develop in the first several months of a child’s life. Your 4 month old baby may have developed a number of motor skills by now, including the ability to:
- Support their head while being held or while in a seated position
- Lift their head and shoulders off the ground while lying on their belly
- Grasp and hold small objects with their hands
- Kick their legs and push their feet down when held just off the ground
- Roll from their tummy to their back and vice versa
It’s important to note that not at all babies will reach these milestones at the four-month mark. So if your baby hasn’t yet rolled from their tummy to their back, for example, it’s nothing to be worried about. Just give your little one plenty of tummy time and they’ll be rolling and crawling before you know it.
Your 4 Month Old Baby’s Feeding Schedule
Around four months of age, your baby is probably feeding less often than in previous months. This is because your little one’s stomach has grown bigger, allowing them to consume more during each feeding.
However, your 4 month old baby still needs to feed every four hours or so. If you’re breastfeeding, your little one may need to eat more frequently than if you’re formula-feeding. Breastfed babies can be hungry as often as every three hours.
This is perfectly normal. Simply feed your little one until they seem content. If you’re giving your baby formula, they will need around four ounces every four or five hours.
Many parents wonder whether solid food is OK for a four month old. Medical professionals suggest waiting until the six-month mark to introduce solids to your baby’s diet. The same is true for water—your 4 month old baby doesn’t need water yet. Breastmilk or baby formula provides all the nutrients and hydration your little one needs.
Your 4 Month Old Baby’s Sleeping Habits
By the time your baby reaches four months of age, they are probably sleeping well through the night. Most 4 month old babies will sleep seven to eight hours in a row at night. This gives you the chance to get some much-needed rest! Infants will often sleep a total of 10 hours at night, with one major wakeup for a snack or diaper change.
In addition to the 10 hours slept at night, your baby likely sleeps another four to five hours during the day. This is usually in the form of two naps, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. In total, your 4 month old baby should sleep about 15 hours per day.
Your 4 Month Old Baby’s Immunizations
At four months of age, your little one should have already received several immunization shots. This includes two rounds of Hepatitis B vaccine as well as one round of Polio vaccine (IPV), Rotavirus vaccine (RV), Diphtheria, tetanus, and acellular pertussis vaccine (DTaP), Haemophilus influenzae type B vaccine (HIB), and Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV).
If your 4 month old baby isn’t up to date on their vaccinations, schedule an appointment with your doctor ASAP. It’s best to get caught up now before your little one gets too far behind on their immunizations.
If your baby is current on their shots, then at four months they’ll be ready for a second round of:
- Rotavirus vaccine (RV)
- Diphtheria, tetanus, and acellular pertussis vaccine (DTaP)
- Haemophilus influenzae type B vaccine (HIB)
- Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV)
Immunizations are extremely important for your baby’s health, so do your best to stay on schedule.
General Childcare Tips
Below are some important baby safety tips that you should always keep in mind.
- Never leave your baby unattended, not even for a moment.
- Keep small objects out of your baby’s reach, as they will try to put everything in their mouth and small objects present a serious choking hazard.
- Babyproof your home to make sure your child’s environment is safe.
- Always put your baby down to sleep on their back, never on their tummy.
Your baby has soft, delicate skin, so it’s also essential to use safe skin care products. Mustela offers a wide variety of baby-friendly products made from natural ingredients, like cleansers, shampoos, oils, and hydrating creams and lotions.
When To Be Concerned
Your 4 month old baby may have a developmental delay if they:
- Do not smile or laugh
- Are unable to support the weight of their own head
- Do not recognize you and your partner by sight
- Don’t respond to loud noises
- Seem unable to track close objects with their eyes
- Don’t hold eye contact with you when you’re in close proximity
If your child is showing any of these signs, head to the doctor’s office immediately.
Remember that every child follows their own individual path of growth and development. If your 4 month old baby is sleeping and eating well, then continue to shower them with hugs and kisses and your little one will always be on the right track.