The fourth month is full of developmental milestones and is one of the best times to enjoy with the baby. This is going to be a fun month with your smiling baby. Don’t get stressed over new developments and remember that you are all your baby needs to feel loved and safe.
What can you expect this month?
- Most 4-month-olds can roll over and turn from their back to their stomach.
- Your little one has become a fitness freak this month, now that she can push up her upper body successfully while on her tummy.
- Your baby will be enthusiastically reaching out to grab and hold toys and objects.
- Generally, most babies start teething when they reach the age of 4-months. Get ready to wipe your baby’s drool.
- Some 4-month-olds are able to sit with some assistance and can even start standing upright by holding on to something or someone.
- Your baby’s babble will now include more vowels and consonants.
Your baby’s development in the fourth month
This month is particularly important as your baby will be rapidly improving her cognitive abilities. Your baby will be exploring the world around her with all her improved senses.
- Weight & Length-
On average, 4-month-old girl babies weigh around 14 pounds, and that of baby boys is 15 pounds. By the fourth month, almost all babies are double their birth weight. This month, your baby is likely to gain an additional 1 pound over the last month. Some babies also experience a growth spurt this month.
Your baby’s eyesight and vision clarity has tremendously improved and she can now enjoy things in the distance and not just the things that are close to her. She can also move her eyes from side to side to track moving objects. This improvement is also helping her to become more coordinated in this month. You will find her trying to track and spot objects, and then she will try to bat at it or reach for it.
- The smile-
Your little one has outgrown the sleepy phase and is now a social butterfly. She will start to smile spontaneously at different people, making her an instant hit everywhere. She will smile at you and others even when you are at a distance. She will also mimic facial expressions.
- Playtime lover-
This month, your baby would love to play with you often. Be ready to deal with crying when playtime stops or if she starts getting bored. She will play with her toes and hands. Keep a close eye on her during playtime as babies, in the fourth month, start to feel toys and objects by putting them in their mouths too.
She will try to talk to you and imitate you during your chats. She will be using more vowels and consonants in her babbles. Look out for those adorable “ga-ga-ga”s and “ba-ba-ba”s. Your little one may even erupt in giggles when you start making funny faces at her.
Feeding your 4-month-old
Most parent experiences a major shift in feeding pattern in the fourth month, as babies may start to eat solid food. While parents should continue to primarily feed the baby breast milk, formula or a combination of both, depending on the baby’s readiness, parents can start to gradually introduce solid food in the baby’s diet.
- Solid food-
If you think your baby is ready to start having solid food, you can slowly start feeding baby cereal, banana puree, or apple puree. Remember that your baby will not gain all the nutrition from solid food yet, so will have to continue with either formula, breastmilk, or both along with solid food.
Give only 1 or 2 ounces of solid food initially. Try different foods every few days to find out what she likes best. Look out for signs of any food allergy.
- Bottle feeding-
Typically 4-month-olds will have around four ounces four to six times every day. Introduce a storytime, and make the storytime fun.
In the fourth month, feedings will continue to be about every three or four hours. Don’t force your baby to nurse if she feeds less. Your baby will feed till she is hungry, and as long as she is gaining proper weight, you don’t have to worry about feedings.
If you have been pumping breastmilk, 4-month-old babies require around 20 to 25 ounces of breast milk every day. Divide this by the number of times your baby typically feeds every day. So, if your baby feeds 7 times per day then in each session, you will require around 2.8 to 3.5 ounces of breastmilk. You can then pump accordingly.
If you are particularly worried about your baby’s feedings, check the number of her wet diapers. On average, 4-month-olds have 4 to 5 wet diapers every day.
Sleep of 4-Month-Old
Most 4-month-olds start to change their sleeping patterns. Some of the babies even start rolling over in the crib at night.
- Total amount-
4-month-olds tend to sleep approximately 15 hours a day. They divide that into 10 hours of sleep for nighttime and the rest 5 hours is reserved for daytime napping. Your baby will take a maximum of 3 naps during the day.
Your 4-month-old will wake up only once or twice and thus sleep for longer stretches during the night. The nap schedule of your 4-month-old will have one morning nap and another afternoon nap. The naps will also be relatively longer than before.
- Sleep regression-
Sometimes parents notice that their 4-month-olds suddenly can’t sleep or are waking up more frequently with a scream in the middle of the night.
This may be caused by sleep regression as babies start to lack deep sleep and their developing brain keeps them more alert. To help your baby sleep more soundly, try to introduce a soothing sleeping routine. Ensure that you have been financially preparing for your baby.
- Sleep training-
Some experts suggest that parents can start sleep training babies from the fourth month. The starting time of sleep training is a personal choice. Some signs that your baby is ready for sleep training are that she already has a regular and consistent sleep pattern and she almost doesn’t feed at night anymore.
- Safety tip-
Parents should always put the baby down in the crib on her back as it will reduce the probability of SIDS. However, if you find that your baby is sleeping on her stomach, it means that your 4-month-old can rollover.
As long as your baby can lift her and successfully roll over completely, it will be safe to let her sleep on her tummy sometimes. In case you haven’t by now, you should stop swaddling the baby if you find that your baby is starting to roll over.
Tips and reminders for the fourth month
- Your baby will have a 4-month baby visit. She will receive the second dose of the vaccines which she received during the 2-month baby visit. Ask your doctor about the side effects of such shots.
- Schedule the 5-month doctor’s appointment.
- Ask your doctor to check the baby’s progress and readiness to start solid food.
- Talk to the doctor if your baby hasn’t reached several developmental milestones yet. If she has gained very little weight in these 4 months, has cross eyes, has a bulging soft spot, or seems uninterested in your face, you should discuss them with the doctor.
- The baby will put almost every little thing in her mouth. You should always keep an eye on her and regularly check the floor for choking hazards to prevent an accident.
- Start taking those baby photos now that your baby is starting to sit upright and not moving constantly. Soon you will find your little one crawling away while you try taking her pictures.
Frequently Asked Questions on 4-Month-Old Baby Development
1. Is my baby ready for solid food?
You can discuss it with your pediatrician. Before asking the doctor, you can check if your baby is able to hold her head up high for a long time, can sit upright in her high chair, If she has doubled her birth weight by now or if she is showing interest in solid food by opening her mouth and trying to taste it.
2. How long should a 4-month-old lie on the tummy?
Generally, parents give around 20 to 30 of tummy time every day to their 4-months-olds. If you find your baby can already roll over on her own, you can increase the practice time.
3. What are the signs that my 4-month-old is teething?
If you find that your baby is drooling more than usual and if she is constantly putting her fingers or her fists in her mouth, then she may be teething. However, these symptoms don’t always necessarily mean that your baby is teething.
4. How can I tell if my 4-month-old has autism?
The fourth month can show some early signs of developmental disorders. If you find that your baby still can’t respond to any loud noise, is unable to grasp or hold objects, is not giving any social smiles, is not yet babbling, then she might have autism. Talk to your doctor about your baby’s progress and developments to learn for sure.
This is an important month for the baby. Your little one may start eating sold food for the very first time in her life. You will also find changes in her personality, sleeping patterns, feeding patterns, playfulness, alertness, and interactions. You will keep learning more and more about your little one, and you will continue to grow as a parent.
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Mother of Two children. I’m a former teacher with a background in child development and a passion for Good parenting. I understand child development and know how to develop activities to help children learn and grow. Spare time, I enjoy spending time with my family, reading, and volunteering in my community.