The fourth month of baby is often that of two major stages: the end of maternity leave and the beginning of food diversification. We also take stock of baby’s sleep, wakefulness and development at 4 months.
At 4 months, baby experiences great upheavals. His emotions are extreme, between the happy discovery of salt and especially the pleasure of sweet, and teething, which can make him grumpy and inconvenient. Also, with the end of mother’s maternity leave, he changes childcare and has to adapt to a new rhythm.
Big program therefore, for the fourth month of baby!
How does a 4 month old baby behave?
Since last month, baby has made a lot of progress, especially motor. He holds his head better and better, just as he raises it more and more and longer, when he is on his stomach. It does not sit still and it is not recommended to install it in a seated position by wedging it with cushions. His back does not yet have the necessary muscle strength, there is no point in skipping the steps! In addition, baby uses his hands more and more. He seizes the objects that are within his reach and those that are handed to him. He then brings them to his mouth. You will also notice thathe begins to assert his tastespreferring certain toys. Baby starts also to roll over from belly to back. He also knows how to step aside. Furthermore, he communicate more and more with those around you, which he knows how to recognize. It now makes different sounds and squeaks, to show it’s there. You can show him new ones so that he tries to reproduce them. As Doctor Nathan, a pediatrician in Montreuil, explains, your baby may start to be a little wary of strangers. : “This is the start of separation anxiety. This period often coincides with the moment when the mother returns to work and when the child is looked after. His parents are no longer with him permanently and he may have minor anxieties when he finds them in the evening..”
What does a four month old baby do?
At four months, the baby’s day is busy. Normal, he is more and more active and curious about his surroundings. If the nap is still his favorite activity, at the rate of two big naps a day, he also loves walks and playtime. He particularly appreciates the exchanges with mum or dad, but he also takes pleasure in handling his first rattles. And since he now knows perfectly how to connect his hands and his mouth, everything he catches has a good chance of being tasted! And to calm baby down from his busy days, baby particularly likes to take a bath in the evening…
What if a four-month-old baby doesn’t roll over?
At four months, baby begins to want to change position and tries to roll over. He may not be able to do this, or he may turn only the upper body. Don’t hesitate to give him a little push by slapping his buttocks to get him used to movement. Thus stimulated, the reversal will be quickly acquired. On the other hand, if baby still can’t do it at 5/6 months, or if he can only do it on one side, do not hesitate to talk to the pediatrician about it during the monthly visit.
Naps and sleep: what is the rhythm of a 4-month-old baby?
At 4 months, baby naps are getting longer. His sleep pattern is changing and he now goes to three naps a day of about 45 minutes. On your side, take the opportunity to rest, when baby sleeps, you may be able to recover the short nights you spent.
Diversification: what meals for a 4 month old baby?
The 4th month can mark the arrival of a big step for baby: that of food diversification! Again, there is no obligation at this time. If you and your baby prefer to wait a little longer, that’s okay. Your baby may already have grown up to four meals a day. His bottle is, on average, 210 ml. If there are five, the feedings are then, on average, 180 ml. Again, these are averages! Try to detach yourself as much as possible from the doses listed on the cans of artificial milk! The most important thing is to follow your child’s needs.
To get him to eat his purees or his first soft morsels, babies need to be in a seated position, with real support that does not skimp on comfort either. You can just as well put it without its deckchair, if it has a multi-position backrest that lowers or raises on several inclinations, or quite simply inaugurate a high chair. There are even seat adapters, functional and less intrusive, which can do the job just as well: the main thing is that baby is well strapped in, and his back is completely supported. For safety, avoid raising a low deckchair by putting it on the table. If you’re short on space or don’t want to spend too much on items with redundant functions, consider from birth deckchairs that have sliding bars to adjust in height.
How much milk at 4 months?
If you have the impression that your baby is suckling more, rest assured, it’s absolutely normal: “It is possible that at 4 months, your baby will start splitting his meals and even to wake up at night to eat. He spends himself and needs more energy“, explains doctor Noémie Nathan.
Return to work and baby weaning
If you go back to work and breastfeed your baby, you will probably have to wean him. Be aware that this step takes a bit of time, so don’t wait until the last moment. Start slowly and gradually one month before the desired weaning date, by introducing a bottle instead of a breastfeed. You can even give 30ml initially, then supplement at the breast, then 60ml, and finally 90ml with a supplement at the breast until you get to a full bottle. It is preferable that a third party gives the bottle to the child rather than the breastfeeding mother. The latter can also manually empty her breasts of the overflow of milk, but without drawing it in order to avoid stimulating lactation. Also, you do not have to delete all feedings and can keep those in the morning and evening, for example. The most important thing is to find the formula that suits you best and with which you feel comfortable.
Puree, soup, vegetables, small jars: what to give to baby?
Your pediatrician may advise you to start food diversification. Some doctors will decide to wait a little longer. In any case, it is better that you wait for his green light. As for the introduction of vegetables, the ideal is to start at the time of the midday meal. Several methods are possible: for example, you can add a vegetable broth to the bottle water which will introduce your baby to a new taste, without changing the consistency of the bottle. The beginnings of diversification are mainly used to introduce baby to the spoon. For example, you can give him the bottle, then a vegetable purée right after. At first, he will only eat a few spoonfuls, and will accept more and more later. Dr. Nathan recommends introducing one new vegetable per day ( the carrot, the white of the leeks, the beans, the spinach.) then move on to fruit 15 days later. The fruits can be introduced at snack time, proceeding in the same way, first the bottle, then the compote. Among the recommended fruits: apples, bananas, apricots, pears… On the other hand, avoid strawberries which can, when the child is too young, cause allergies. If in doubt, do not hesitate to ask your doctor. Finally, for heavy eaters, the pediatrician may advise you to add flour to the evening bottle, in order to thicken the milk. Again, refer to what your doctor tells you because all flours do not have the same properties.
Note that it is essential not to accustom baby to eating foods that are too sweet, from the start of food diversification.
What is the normal weight of a 4 month old baby?
During the 4th month visit, the pediatrician continues to make sure your baby is growing well and gives you advice on his diet. Do not start diversification without his agreement. At four months, a child weighs on average 6.4 kg and measures 62 cm. If your baby isn’t sleeping through the night yet – which is especially difficult when you’re starting to work again – talk to your pediatrician. He will be able to give you the right advice to solve this problem.
Visit of the 4th month of baby: reminder of vaccines
During this 4th month visit, your baby also receives reminder of vaccines received in the 2nd month. Thus, the pediatrician will inject him with the second dose of vaccines against DTP (diphtheria, tetanus and poliomyelitis), whooping cough, HIB, hepatitis B and pneumococcus. As usual, these vaccinations can cause some small reactions (slight fever, pimples, etc.) Don’t worry, unless your child develops hives, has breathing difficulties or has a high heart rate: it’s best to contact your doctor.
When do teething starts?
Baby has red cheeks, he drools, has irritated buttocks? It is possible that these signs mark the onset of inflammatory teething. If your child seems sore and uncomfortable, you can give paracetamol or homeopathy for relief. Some precocious babies have their first tooth (often a lower incisor) as early as 4 months.
At 4 months, baby is now interacting with his surroundings, and only asks to share and have fun. Also, to stimulate his awakening, you can do these activities with him, and buy him his very first toys.
- Listen to music, sing and dancing with baby in arms
- Put baby on belly to play. And turn it gently several times in a row!
- Massage your baby and finish with the famous “little beast that goes up, goes up!”
- Read books, sing nursery rhymes, especially those with gestures
- A flashy, medium-sized ball that bounces
- a very cute and silky plush
- a loud rattle, but with a melodious sound. Forget the moo boxes!
- fabric animals
- A toy teether to relieve teething pain
- Little animals that float in the bath.