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Your 4-Week-Old Baby – development & growth

Table of Contents

4-Week-Old Baby

Table of Contents

Your baby's fourth week after birth

We are sure that you are now more confident in terms of the baby’s development and growth. The babies are also now aware of your presence and are more alert to your voice. Isn’t that just amazing and beautiful to acknowledge?

However, there are many more things that are yet to come your way, but you’re likely starting to feed, burp, bathe and handle your baby with more ease. We at Parenthood Bliss are excited and happy for you, and have also prepared this article for you to ace this week too! Way to go!

4-week-old baby's development and physical growth

Let us look at what is happening with your baby and in their body in terms of their physical development in the fourth week after birth.

1. Your baby's weight:

  • A 4-week old baby has a rather spurt rate in terms of its growing capabilities. Here, you may often find the little one cluster feeding, increasing the 4 week old baby’s demand for fueling the growth of the body. 
  • These baby growth spurts may surely tend to drain you, but the best part about it all is that it only lasts for two to three days, or in a few cases up to a week or more.

2. Your baby's sleep:

  • Four weeks old newborns up to 3 or 4 months old would need around 14 to 17 hours of sleep in a 24-hour period. This involves waking up every two to four hours to eat. This gives you ample amount of time to interact with the little one, therefore, make sure you take full advantage in the first month.

3. Your baby's diet:

  • Until the baby is under one month old, a breastfed baby would consume roughly around 16 to 24 ounces of breast milk or formula in 24 hours.

Your newborn and 4-week-old baby's reflexes

As parents, you will now be able to decode the cries of a 4 weeks old baby. This includes their whimpers, wails, and shrieks that would now make more sense as compared to what they felt like earlier. Not only this, there is quite a lot more that is taking place:

  • The four weeks old baby would now be able to respond to the loud noises. They would do so by startling, crying, or quieting. The baby will also slowly start cooing and smiling too. Who said that the first few weeks don’t come with excitement?
  • As parents, you must also make sure to encourage the development of all-important motor skills. And, the best way to do so is through supervised tummy time.

Your newborn and 4-week-old baby's health

This is the first step towards the development milestones of the baby. With the concluding month, it is now time for the little one’s checkup! This week’s checkup will help you know the baby’s growth, the neck muscles, and answers to other questions too. Here is what you can expect in the doctor’s visit:

  • The 1-month doctor visit

After 4 weeks, your baby will get a head-to-toe physical exam. This examination includes a check-up of reflexes, belly button, and circumcision. The doctor may notice a need for certain changes in the routine too, such as feeding, sleeping, development, and infant’s safety. Perhaps, you need not worry if your baby is still cross-eyed, as this is the time for you to question the doctor.

  • The hepatitis B shot

As per the general rule, you may experience the little one getting a hepatitis B shot that is the second dose for the 4-week old baby. Make sure you DONOT rub ice at the injection.

  • Gassy Baby

Due to the immature digestive system, the infant is prone to have gas problems quite often, or within a few weeks of birth. The other reason could be the intake of the air bubbles while drinking their formula. The best way to do away with that is to purchase a formula maker that will help eliminate the air bubbles from the baby bottles.

  • Constipation in babies

In babies who consume Exclusively breastfed babies can go several days — or even a week — without pooping, whereas formula-fed babies can go a full day or two. Constipation poops usually look like small, hard pellets. It is normal and the digestion becomes regular after the baby gets on semi-solid feeds.

  • Understanding infant growth charts

The doctor will in the routine checkup weigh and measure the baby as per the infant growth charts.

Postpartum baby tips: Week 4 after birth

If you have questions regarding the postpartum period, especially the 4th week, with reference to the tummy time, the use of pacifiers, nipple soreness, etc. We at Parenthood Bliss have everything you need to know, covering the common concerns and doubts of the baby in the fourth week after birth.

Tummy time

  • The tummy time the playtime on the belly for the baby helps them practice important motor skills, such as lifting their head and moving from one side to the other. This could be from a few minutes in a day, up to 15 or 20 minutes at a time.
  • Speaking of strength, when the baby is in their car seat or infant seat next, try to see if they can hold themselves for a few minutes unassisted. This helps you see how much the baby has developed.

Newborn sleep patterns

Here are a few facts about the sleep pattern of the baby

  • Newborns do not have regular sleep patterns, which means, it generally takes them around 12 weeks to establish a 24-hour schedule. This is the longest period of sleep occurring at night for the 4 weeks old baby.
  • Also, as and when the baby gets older, they tend to sleep less or won’t sleep at all, this reduction marks anything between 3 and 6 months. This also means that a 5 or 6 months old could very well be sleeping through the night. This perhaps gives you time to catch your sleep too!

The use of a Pacifier

Irrespective of the major drawbacks regarding the use of a pacifier, it is known that it tends to reduce tears and prevent the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). It also helps the little one to not sleep as deeply and wake up more easily, making them less susceptible.

Also, remember to pull the pacifier from the baby when you put them down to sleep, and not to put it back in their mouth once your baby has fallen asleep. This would prevent the little one from choking.

The mother's body after childbirth: What is happening in your body in the fourth week after giving birth?

Nursing sore nipples

Nursing moms generally find themselves in a battle against the sore, tender, or even cracked nipples, that eventually “toughen up.” Here’s how you could aid your nipples while you breastfeed the little one:

  • Try to apply ultra-purified, medical-grade lanolin after each feeding of the little one. These breastfeeding nipple creams will help you cure the chapped nipple.
  • Use chilled wet tea bags. This will help you feel extremely comfortable, and remember to keep changing your nursing pads to prevent any bacteria at bay. However, if it occurs, it might take up to a week or more to fully heal.
  • If at all your nipples turn pink, itchy, crusty, or burning, as it could be a sign of thrush — a common yeast infection in the lactose in milk, affecting the mother and the baby. In this case, make sure to get it checked by the doctor.
  • If the breasts feel heavy or sore, it’s important to use heating pads.

Your C-section scar

In case of a C section delivery, you’d probably have your abdomen tapes with surgical tapes. But, you need not freak out, it may seem huge now but will cure within a few days.

  • The section scars are only about 4 to 6 inches long, below your bikini line. This is why you’d need a bandage until your first postpartum appointment with your doctor.
  • Also, in about six weeks post the surgery, your scar and any incision pain would be improved dramatically.

To Conclude

The fully developed 4-week old baby is perhaps the most connected with the parents as compared to the prior weeks and we can assure you that this only builds up with each week as it comes. Therefore, at the conclusion of the first month, we are sure you are now able to decode the new baby’s cries and what they’d need when. Perhaps, we’re sure that this makes you feel more confident and excited about the weeks, months, and years to come. Nonetheless, we can assure the same for us as well!

Your 4-week-old baby FAQs

1. What should a 4-week old baby be doing?

(1) They must start holding their heads up for few minutes
(2) Lift their hands towards their face or mouth
(3) Have strong movements
(4) Keep their hands in a tight fist

2. What does a 4 week old see?

Newborns can focus up to 8-12 inches in distance. They can also only see grey, black and white.

3. Is there a growth spurt at 4 weeks?

There are a lot of changes that you can expect during this 4-week old baby growth spurt. It is likely that your baby's growth has been erratic in the past month. Also, the average weight gain that you could expect is from 4 to 7 ounces in a week in the first couple of months.

Reviewed By-

 Nimrat, Pediatrics

Nimrat, Pediatrics

Dr. Nimrat S Sidhu is a practicing pediatrician for about 5 years now and holds an MD pediatrics degree. She was the topper of her batch, has always had a keen interest in her core medical field, and is specially trained for neonatal resuscitation.

On behalf of the editorial team at Parenthoodbliss, we follow strict reporting guidelines and only use credible sources, along with peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and highly respected health organizations. To learn about how we maintain content accurate and up-to-date by reading our medical review and editorial policy.

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