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Four months is a month of some noticeable development milestones! 4-month-old baby will not be that little and will start interacting even with strangers. Remember those days when you spent hours at once trying to make your baby smile or to respond to games and talking soft toys? Well, well brace yourself for the golden age of upcoming babyhood when your baby will not only begin responding to you in sounds and actions but will also start to show their own baby personality amongst other massive baby milestones!
Your 2-month-old baby milestones and growth
1. Sleeping hours and patterns
Your baby’s sleeping hours will now reduce from 14-17 hours as it was during month 2 and month 3. They will now instead want to sleep for 10 to 12 hours at night, waking up only once or twice in that duration for food. Their day naps will be limited to three to five hours a day, distributed through the day as two or three naps.
2. Feeding requirements
As a 4-month-old baby, your infant would be feeding on at least 24 to 36 ounces of breast milk/ formula milk in a 24-hour period. You can expect to feed them about 5 feeds spread across the day with 6-8 ounces of milk per sitting. While some other parents may recommend feeding your baby with semi-sold/mashed foods, we recommend you first consult your doctor because most pediatricians do not recommend soli foods at least until 6 months of age. It should be noted that your infant will still depend and thrive on breastmilk/formula milk for growth.
3. Your 4-month-old baby weight and height
For baby girls, the average weight at this age ranges between 10 and 19 pounds, and the average height ranges between 22 and 26.5 inches. For baby boys, on the other hand, the average weight ranges between 11 and 20 pounds while the height would be between 23 and 27 inches. While these are the average measurements, it should be understood that all babies follow an independent pace, and as long as your doctor says there’s nothing to worry about, there really is nothing to worry about!
What to expect from your 4-month-old baby's doctor visit?
Like most months and checkups, your pediatrician will once again check the baby’s height, weight, and baby’s head circumference to track if everything is on point and as expected. There will also be a couple of shots your baby will have to be administered. Be prepared to answer a lot of questions about your baby’s naps and food habits as your doctor will use that information to assess the baby’s development and growth.
- Rotavirus vaccine
The Rotavirus vaccine, as against what it sounds like by the name of it, will be administered to your baby in the form of oral drops. There are two types of Rotavirus vaccines namely Rotarix or RotaTeq. Your doctor will recommend either one of these, the first dose of which will be given at the 2-month mark, followed by the final dose at 4 months now.
- Stomach bugs in 4-month-old babies
Infants at this age are pretty vulnerable to stomach bugs owing to the Rotavirus disease which is a contagious bug-causing viral infection. However, if you get your baby administered with the aforementioned Rotavirus shot in time, they are less likely to contract the bugs and to fall sick.
- Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine
The Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine (PCV13) is administered to babies to keep them from being infected by the Streptococcus pneumonia bacteria, a common cause of ear infections, pneumonia, and bloodstream infections in babies. Thus vaccine will be administered in 4 sittings, the first one at month 2 and the following at month 4, 6, and the final one between month 12/15.
- IPV vaccine
Your baby will also be given their second shot of the polio vaccine to protect them against Poliovirus at 4 months old. You may wonder the importance of this vaccine since the US has already been polio-free for more than 40 years, however, do not ignore the fact that a lot of countries around the world are still plagued by polio and so, this vaccine is very important for your baby.
Taking care of your 4-month-old baby: Quick tips and tricks
- Taking care of your hyperactive 4-month baby
At 4 months or 16 weeks old, your baby will be learning a lot about themselves and their capabilities each day, and hence, while playtime may be fun, you will need to be extra cautious about not letting them hurt themselves. it is also recommended that you don’t limit their movement as it helps them develop their muscles. If you are worried, just creating a cushion around their play area to not let them get hurt may be a good idea. A lot of parents may also want to have their baby sit up by the 4th month because babies, on average, do start sitting up by this time.
However, make sure that your child has good neck control before attempting this and that they don’t slump or slip while you try to make them sit. If they fuss or show retaliation, try another day. Do not ever force your baby into something just because other babies are doing it already.
Taking care of your post-pregnancy body changes
Fixing an appointment with the doctor and rediscovering your body by the time your child turns 16 weeks old may be a good idea. You can catch up with your gynecologist and learn about what kind of birth control works best if you want to indulge in sex with your partner. A lot of mothers also suffer from postpartum depression without realizing that they are suffering from it. Visiting your doctor and speaking to them may help you identify and then tackle the blues too.
Talking to your 4-month-old baby: How to encourage baby talk
It may not make a lot of sense when you try to talk to your 4 months old baby because it will be pretty much like talking to a wall and expecting the wall to answer, however it is recommended to keep the conversation (albeit one way) going.
- When you try and talk to your baby, talk about anything and everything. You are basically just helping their mind learn to make sense of sounds and words. Watch their facial expressions change as you converse!
- A lot of times your baby may try to respond in the form of a sound or a giggle. Pause and let them express themselves as they want to as it will help them feel like they are being paid attention to.
- Imagine that your life is on TV and you have to speak out loud whatever you do. Going to take a shower? Tell your baby. Tying laces? Tell your baby. Need to finish pending chores? Tell your baby. Just interact as much as you can.
- It may also be a good idea to help your baby understand sounds and noises. If you hear a dog barking, tell your baby “the dog is barking. You may not realize it yet but babies learn pretty quickly and these childhood conversations might stay with them for longer than you expect.
- You could also set a bedtime routine where you read out from a book to your baby to help them fall asleep as well as to get to them a new source of vocabulary altogether.
Is it a good idea to introduce your 4-month-old baby to a phone?
While the ultimate decision of handing over a phone to your baby or not depends on your decision as a parent, we can suggest why it may not be a good idea to introduce your baby to a phone yet.
More than the worry of a phone causing harm to the baby’s eyes, smartphones carry a lot of germs that may cause illness and diseases owing to your baby’s sensitive and vulnerable immune system. As per a survey conducted in the UK, it was so found that 1 in 6 phones was contaminated with E. coli bacteria (aka as the bacteria found in body waste or poop). You may already know that babies love to put whatever comes their way right into their mouths. In such a case, if you necessarily need to give your phone to your baby, make sure that you thoroughly sanitize it first. Apart from the E. coli, there are in fact several other bacterias and viruses, even the latest coronavirus that you need to protect your baby from!