4-Month-Old Baby — Development Milestones, Sleeping, And More
You’re in for a real treat, because your baby is 4 months old! Say hello to fun — this month baby is laughing, playing, babbling, and more. They’re looking cuter every second and, well, suffice it to say you’re basically just going to be putty in their chubby little baby hands. Of course, with all of this change, there are some 4-month-old milestones you want to keep an eye out for.
Whether you’re curious about how much you should be feeding your 4-month-old or what to expect at this month’s routine checkup, we’ve got you covered. Here’s a rundown of the typical developmental, cognitive, physical, and social changes at 4 months old.
Your 4-Month-Old Baby’s Development & Growth Milestones
How much should a 4-month-old weigh?
Real talk: Worrying about your baby’s weight has become part of your new normal. Are they gaining enough? Are they gaining too much? How much should a 4-month-old weigh? Let’s start by reiterating what your baby’s doctor has likely already told you — health babies come in all shapes and sizes. Since babies follow a natural growth curve, the most important thing is that baby is seeing consistent growth.
Having said that, there are some general benchmarks. Per the World Health Organization, the average weight for a 4-month-old baby girl is 14.2 pounds and the average weight for a 4-month-old baby boy is 15.4 pounds. Just this month, your snuggly little nugget may have gained an extra 1 to 1.25 pounds.
How much and how often do you feed a 4-month-old baby?
Your little one has likely changed in looks so much by 4-months-old that you may start to wonder if you need to change their feeding schedule. Fortunately, baby usually takes the guesswork out of this by letting you know when they’re hungry. In general, though, a 4-month-old formula-fed baby will take around 4 to 6 ounces per feeding between 4 to 6 times per day.
If your baby is breastfed, you may notice that feedings still occur every 3 to 4 hours. If they’re going through a growth spurt (which is definitely possible at this age), that may kick into high gear — otherwise known as “cluster feeding.” It’s hard to say precisely how much milk a breastfed baby is getting during feedings, as each breastfed baby may differ slightly. But if you’re pumping breast milk, just know that your little one should be getting around 25 ounces of breast milk per day.
If you’re wondering whether your baby is getting enough milk, check their diapers. At 4-months-old, a healthy and hydrated baby should have about 4 or 5 wet diapers per day.
Can I give my 4-month-old food?
Do you ever feel like someone is watching you… while you’re eating? With a tiny, sweet set of eyes and super-drooly mouth? If you haven’t before, you probably will this month. As baby continues to grow, their appetite will, too — and this means they might be showing more interest than ever in what you’re chowing down on.
Experts usually recommend gradually starting baby on solid foods at around 6 months, but some babies may be ready as early as 4-months-old. At the very least, you may be wondering if you can give your 4-month-old a banana, right? No matter how safe you think testing solid foods with your baby might be, always check with their doctor first.
How much should a 4-month-old be sleeping?
In the last month, your baby has transitioned from a newborn to an infant. And with that transition may have come both welcome and irksome nighttime changes. On the plus side, the National Sleep Foundation states that most little ones start to establish sleep patterns around this time. So, hallelujah, you could potentially sleep 10 hours at night if you wanted (and, really, what sleep-deprived mama doesn’t?) since baby could be snoozing in five-consecutive-hours stretches. In total, a 4-month-old baby should be sleeping between 12 to 15 hours per day.
On the flip side, baby’s daytime sleep habits may be getting more difficult to predict. With 9 to 12 hours of sleep taking place during the night, the rest is spread throughout the day in naps. But those naps can be anywhere from 30 minutes to three hours in range, and they may happen even less as baby gets older and more alert.
Your 4-Month-Old Baby’s Physical, Social, And Cognitive Milestones
How much can a 4-month-old baby see?
Just as your little chicharron will learn to do things like walk and talk over time, their vision will improve gradually too. At 4-months-old, your baby can focus on objects without going cross-eyed, follow objects with their eyes and exhibit improved hand-eye coordination. They may still have a little trouble with depth perception, but that’s normal. Babies eyes usually don’t work together well enough to form a three-dimensional view of the world until around 5-months-old.
Is my 4-month-old teething?
You’re probably used to baby drool by now, right? But if your little one seems to be drooling like a Saint Bernard these days, they might be teething. Granted, some babies won’t start teething or show any teeth until much later. If your baby starts to, though, just know that it’s well within the normal range. The two front teeth, either upper or lower, usually pop through first. Not surprisingly, the opposite front teeth then typically follow.
Teeth may lead to a fussy, crying, uncomfortable baby, which can be a tough adjustment period for them and for you. Rubbing your little one’s gums and giving them something firm to gnaw on may help soothe them. If they are running a low-grade temperature, the Mayo Clinic advises that an over-the-counter remedy like baby Tylenol or Children’s Motrin might help (it’s always a good idea to consult your doctor before giving baby any over-the-counter meds, though).
How alert should a 4-month-old be?
It’s nearly impossible not to overanalyze every little thing when you’re living with an infant. Maybe you noticed that your friend’s baby could do something with their hands that your baby of the same age isn’t doing yet. Before you freak out, don’t. Comparison is the thief of joy on a good day — when you’re a mom, it’s the stealer of sanity too. You’ll drive yourself crazy if you try to stack every little thing your baby does up to another child.
Your baby is one big bundle of preciousness, so just focus on them. As for how alert a 4-month-old should be, there are a few markers you can look for, per the CDC. By this age, most babies are more expressive. They may even be melting your heart routinely by smiling spontaneously. They probably like to play, and they might be into copying people’s movements and facial expressions. Your baby is probably babbling a bit, and parroting sounds they hear. When someone comes close, your little one likely watches their face closely.
How do you play with a 4-month-old baby?
We told you this month was fun, and a large part of that is because baby probably loves to play right now! Your little bundle recognizes you and other familiar faces and wants to actively engage with you. Happily, there are lots of 4-month-old-friendly activities the two of you (and anyone else you invite to the playdate) can enjoy. To help baby explore their surroundings, give them things to reach for in various colors, patterns, shapes, and textures.
Since baby can possibly sit up supported right now as well as roll over, think about toys that you can play with together on the floor. A baby gym or Bumbo can both be good tools for engaging play, as long as you are always present when baby uses them. Playing “peekaboo,” reading books to your baby, and singing nursery rhymes are other ways to play with your 4-month-old.
Your 4-Month-Old Baby’s Health
Does a 4-month-old need a checkup?
You got a reprieve from the pediatrician’s office last month, but not this one. It’s back to the doctor for you and baby. There are several things you can expect at your child’s 4-month-old wellness checkup. As they did in baby’s early months, the doctor will record baby’s weight, length, head circumference, and heart rate. They’ll do a physical exam with your baby undressed that will include checking baby’s eyes, ears, hips, movements, and responses to stimuli.
And, you know the drill — the doctor will ask you questions about baby and offer advice. Prepare to give them deets about how frequently (and what) baby eats, how many wet and dirty diapers they have, how much they’re sleeping, and any concerns you might have.
What immunizations does a 4-month-old get?
As much as it sucks to watch your baby squirm in pain, shots are a pretty routine part of baby’s early months. Your baby will receive vaccines at 4-months-old according to the immunization updates schedule being used by your doctor. According to the CDC, a 4-month-old will typically receive vaccines against Diptheria, tetanus, and whooping cough (DTaP, 2nd dose), haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib, 2nd dose), polio (IPV, 2nd dose), pneumococcal (PCV13, 2nd dose), and rotavirus (RV, 2nd dose).
Written by Julie Sprankles.
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