Development and Health Care for a 4 Month Old Baby

For a 4 month old baby, the time gap between feeds becomes fixed and regular. The quantity will also increase considerably. The weight will now be doubled compared to that of the day of birth. Although every 4 month old baby has differences, as a rule, the baby will now start to roll over and the muscle throughout their body will be stronger.

Height62.5cm (Boy) 61.1cm (Girl)
Weight6.81kg (Boy) 6.3kg (Girl)
DevelopmentWill start to roll over. Will suck on their hand.
Milk FeedingPowdered milk 180cc 5 times. Breast milk separate every 3 hours.

The Special Characteristics of this Period

1. Weight will be double that of newborn

For the first two months, there will be an average weight gain of 30g per day, this will then reduce to 25g per day and the baby’s weight will quickly be twice than that of when first born. Not only this but the circumference of the head and chest will be of similar size, the height will be around 10cm taller and will look more and more like a person.

From this point on, the weight and height of a 4 month old baby will become a perfect shape. We must keep in mind every child is unique. There is no ‘perfect’ figure. We only pay attention to averages. The most important thing is whether or not the child is growing smoothly.

2. Will Start to Roll Over

When in a prostrate position the baby will start to turn onto their side. When the baby is able to do this, it demonstrates that their neck, shoulders and arm muscles are getting stronger, that they are able to prop up and demonstrates these muscles have developed considerably. It is more accurate to say the child will ‘roll over’, and this will happen before 100 days old for the faster developed children. To roll over and then roll back again will happen after 6 months old. From this point on, the baby will roll back and forth during sleep, so they must be watched over.

If at this point they are still not able to roll over, you can place your hands on their shoulders and bottom and help them begin to roll over.

3. Will put anything into their Mouths

Whatever the baby can grasp onto will be placed into their mouth and sucked on. Therefore, there will be lots of saliva on the face and hands and will consequently develop a sour smell. When the hand grasps on to something such as a small bell, the baby will right away put it into their mouth and will not stop sucking on it. When exercising the hands and feet, they will not favor one side, but will exercise both sides equally.

Points to Note: Food for a 4 Month Old Baby

1. Check if the Milk is Sufficient

For those children raised on breast milk, you must check if the quantity is sufficient. Gradually the thirst for milk will increase, so the quantity required will likewise increase. If the mother cannot provide more, then the quantity will be insufficient. If the baby doesn’t gain weight, then you must check if the baby has other medical conditions. If not, then the milk quantity is lacking and it must be supplemented by powdered milk.

2. Set a time for weaning off breast milk

At this point you must prepare to wean off breast milk. The first thing to do is restrict the breast milk feeding times to 5-6 times per day, the same as 100 day old babies. Step 2 is to stop the night feedings. If the baby is breast fed every time they wake up during the night, then it will result in feeding times failing to achieve a fixed routine. If it is the case that they wake up wanting feeding, simply use the milk bottle to feed them water, this will comfort them as some will be afraid to sleep without their bottle.

Intellectual and Emotional Development

1. Can Distinguish Color

Vision has now improved considerably. The child will look in the direction of any movement and will even turn their head to look. After the fourth month, the baby can already see everything and will enjoy colorful toys.

2. Laughing Sounds

As the baby becomes more interested in their surroundings, they will enjoy more contact with people. So if the mother draws near to speak to the baby, they will respond with a mumble or smile. Whenever they see mother, they will have an obvious happy reaction and gurgle happy sounds. Until this point, the baby cannot fully distinguish mother’s face, so when other people come and coo over them, the baby will be equally happy and will mutter happy sounds. These sounds will sometimes be surprisingly loud. When they see things they like, they will be able to clearly express themselves.

Health Care

1. Wash Hands Clean

Frequently sucking on fingers leads to lots of saliva and dribbling which can cause inflammation around the mouth or even stomach pain. Therefore, you must frequently wash hands and try to keep fingernails cut short. If you force the babies to stop sucking their fingers, this can cause them to develop a nervous disposition. It is best to transfer the baby’s attention to something else.

2. Further Stimulation through Gymnastics

To accommodate the infant’s development and give them direct stimulation, it is most effective at this stage to help them do some simple gymnastics. It will help to develop the muscles throughout the whole body and is beneficial to their crawling and walking abilities. Avoid doing these exercises just after feeding or on an empty stomach. The best time is after bathing when the baby’s mood will be particularly good. First, place a blanket on an appropriately hard floor. When doing gymnastics, it is best to wear thin clothing or even perform nude.

3. Hand Grasping Toys

Now, hands are getting stronger and can take hold of bells and toys, so the hand will want to grasp all the time. When things are dropped and fell to the ground, the baby will no longer pay further attention to that item. This will give the child good levels of new stimulation. During this period, the happiest activity for the baby is to suck on their hand. If they are given a new toy to hold, this will transfer their curiosity and will further develop their muscles.

4. Shaving the Baby’s Head

Around 100 days old, the baby’s hair will start to fall out and typically around 6 months, old they will lose a lot of hair. This is simply a biological phenomenon. During this period, babies will often roll over and suck on their hands. Their pillow and clothing will also have lots of hair attached, and so the babies will consequently consume a lot of their own hair. Traditionally, people believe that for long and healthy hair, you must frequently shave the head as a baby. I also suggest shaving the baby’s head not for this traditional reason, but purely for hygienic reasons. It is best to take a beautiful photo of the child at 100 days old and then shave the hair completely.

Use Q&A to Relieve Anxiety and Doubt

Q. Recently the feeding quantity has reduced from 180cc to only 80cc and when the baby looks at the milk bottle, they show an obvious dislike. What should I do?

A. 2-3 Months after birth, babies will start to regulate their food intake according to their appetite. As a result, there will be times babies eat less or won’t eat at all; even babies with a particularly good appetite will also start to adjust. If the baby continues to be in a good mood and play happily then there is no need for much concern. Forcing them to eat will result in them having no experience of an empty stomach therefore, cannot develop a sense of hunger which impels them to eat. Do not be so rigid with feeding times, do your best to feed them when the mood is good. However, if the baby does not maintain a smooth weight gain, please check if there are any other complications present.

Q. While busy preparing dinner, the baby will unceasingly cry, but they are not like this during the day…why?

A. Typically, these children have a ‘night crying’ condition. When we look at the reason behind the baby’s cry, the majority reason is due to the atmosphere created by the mother. Because the mother is busy preparing dinner, what was at first a peaceful feeling has now changed into something else. The mother’s rhythm has become different to the baby’s and this causes the baby to start crying. After a short while, the baby will gradually settle down and when this happens, it is best for mother to stop what she is busy doing and play with the baby for a short while.

Q. Until now, the neck is still unable to prop itself up, so when going out for a walk, how to care for the baby?

A. You must wait until such a time as the baby is able to lift its own head before carrying them on your back whilst walking. Only then can the baby’s neck support the head and be firm. It is best to use a baby carrier to attach to your back or your abdomen. When choosing a back carrier, it must suit the mother’s condition. If there is pain in the lower back, then it is best to use x-shaped design, if there is pain in the upper back, then it is best to use v-shaped design.

That’s it when it comes to the details needed to know about a 4 month old baby.

Stephanie
 

Editor in Babiology, mother of two, highly passionate about sharing the pregnancy care and post delivery care learning with the readers.

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