You officially have a 4 week old baby!
Wow – you’ve made it nearly a whole month! And while your sweet bundle of bliss (when she isn’t crying or shitting himself) has come a long way from those first few days, she’s still very dependent. It hasn’t been that long since she was tucked securely into the dark confines of your uterus, and she’s still getting used to this whole “being out in the world” thing.
Right now, she needs the security of knowing you’re close, and available to meet his needs – and doing so will give him a sense of trust and confidence, and a bond that will persist far into the future. So for anyone who insists that you’re “spoiling” your baby by holding him too much, or responding too quickly, do this: tell them that’s the dumbest thing you’ve ever heard, and to mind their bidness. Or, you know, just point out that research shows spoiling an infant is literally impossible.
Your 4 Week Old Baby’s Development & Growth Milestones
Your little one is only a month old but she’s already an eating machine, taking in about 4 ounces during each of her eight to 12 meals a day. This is tiring for you, Mama, but don’t worry, there’s a light at the end of this midnight feeding tunnel. Over the next month, your baby will go down to seven to nine meals a day and go longer and longer between meals.
All that eating means your little one grows about half an inch to a full inch a month and packs on 5 to 7 ounces each week. She might look like a little peanut now, but she’ll double her birth weight by the time she’s five months old.
Your 4 Week Old Baby’s Physical, Social, And Cognitive Milestones
There’s a lot of learning going on right now, and that fascinating little mind is making connections left and right, even if they’re not immediately visible. Believe it or not, but your baby is starting to recognize you and other caregivers, they to coo and love concentrating on your face. Most 4 week old babies begin to track objects by moving their whole head from side to side.
Help bolster brain development by providing lots of high-contrast items and patterns to look at (her vision still isn’t as clear as ours). And though she doesn’t yet have the hand-eye coordination necessary to deliberately reach for and grab an item, go ahead and place things in her grasp: she’ll love feeling the variety of new shapes and textures.
It sometimes seems like you’re tethered to your baby, and the last month has been an overwhelming blur of baby-centric everything. But it’s important to remember that you’re not only the mother of a newborn – you’re still you. Do something to remind yourself of that. Spend a little time with your bestie (even if you can’t yet bring yourself to venture out of the house for more than a few minutes). Get a manicure. It is fine – no, crucial – that you make yourself a priority. Even if it means letting someone else “spoil” your baby for a bit.
Your 4 Week Old Baby’s Health
At your baby’s one month well visit, the pediatrician will take stock of your baby’s growth, development, and milestones thus far. They’ll inspect how the belly button and circumcision site are healing; inspect the skin, the genitals, measure for weight, length, and head circumference, and administer the hepatitis B vaccine.
This is also the perfect opportunity for you to ask questions about feeding, sleeping, any any other baby care queries that have come up over the last month. A note of advice: make sure to write down all the questions you want to ask ahead of time. Sleep deprivation can leave you feeling foggy and you don’t want to walk out of the doctor’s office without answers for all your burning questions.
This article was originally published in 2015.