Healthy Kids 4 Months
Healthy Kids
4 Months
WHAT YOUR BABY CAN DO
At this age your baby can probably:
Roll over (one way)…
Hold head steady when held upright...
Follow an object with her eyes and maybe reach for it…
Hold a rattle…
Squeal, coo, babble, laugh out loud…
Maybe raise chest when on stomach, supported by her arms…
Put her fist or other objects into her mouth…
Sleep through the night…
WHAT YOU CAN DO WITH YOUR
BABY
Talk to him. When he makes a noise, answer him.
Imitate the sound he makes.
Play with him. Show him bright objects. Let him
explore safe areas. Babies this age often love noisy toys
like pots and pans or rattles.
Make sure he has plenty of chance to see the world,
both indoors and out. Take him for a walk outside and
show him flowers and trees.
This is a good time for your baby to get to know
relatives and brothers and sisters.
Hold him.
Being a parent is enjoyable but hard work. There is so
much to learn! Sometimes it helps to talk to other
parents or get some advice from someone outside the
family. If you would like to find out more, call this
number and ask about parenting programs in your area.
LIFELINE 275-5151
FEEDING YOUR BABY
By now you may have started your baby on solid foods
or are ready to try. Talk to your doctor or nurse about
what to feed her. Here are a few tips to remember:
-Formula or breast milk is still the most
important at this age
-start with iron-fortified rice cereal, unless
she has problems with hard stools then
use barley or oatmeal
-next try vegetables and non-citrus fruits
-add new foods slowly and one new food
every 2-5 days
-stay away from desserts and junk food—your
baby doesn’t want or need them and they
are not good for her
-your baby does not need juice at this age
-don’t put food in your baby’s bottle
-all food should be pureed at this age—YOUR
BABY IS NOT READY FOR TABLE FOOD YET!
Pay attention to your baby’s appetite. She knows best
when she needs to eat or is full. If she spits up a lot or
turns away from her bottle, she has probably had
enough. Don’t worry—she will let you know when she
needs to eat again. It is important not to over feed your
baby. Don’t offer the bottle every time she cries.
Children cry for many reasons and crying won’t hurt
your baby.
Feed your baby like a baby. She doesn’t eat like an
adult. She doesn’t need junk food.
SAFETY
Remember, car crashed are the biggest danger to your
baby’s life and health.
MAKE SURE YOU HAVE AN APPROVED CAR SAFETY SEAT
AND USE IT. THIS IS THE LAW!
-Don’t leave your baby alone in a car.
-Don’t smoke or drink hot liquids while you are holding
your baby. She might get burned.
-If you baby does get burned, call your doctor. Put cold
water on the burn.
-At this age a baby will put anything and everything in
her mouth.
-Don’t leave small objects around. Don’t feed your
baby hard pieces of food.
Remember never to leave your baby on high places like
beds, sofas or chairs. If you do, she may fall.
Call your doctor if your baby falls and hits her head, or if
she does not move her arms and legs normally after a
fall.
If you’re thinking about getting a walker, think hard.
They are not always safe and many babies get hurt
using them. If you do decide to use a walker, don’t use
it all the time. Give your baby some time to explore on
her own on the floor.
All doors to stairs should have a safety chain and a
spring loaded hinge! Both items are available at most
hardware stores and are inexpensive!
Poison Control Center:
Remember to keep the number on or near your phone:
1-800-222-1222
EAR INFECTIONS AND COLDS
Until now your child has had some protection from
infections due to factors that were passed from mother
to baby during pregnancy.
These factors are lost in your baby by 4 to 6 months of
age.
Now is the time you may see your baby start to have
more frequent colds and ear infections. A baby may
normally have 8 to 10 “colds” per year and some of the
“colds” can lead to ear infections. An ear infection can
cause a fever and can make your child wake at night
from the pain.
If you baby has cold symptoms for a few days and then
runs a fever or becomes more fussy, you should call
your doctor.
Limit unnecessary exposure to sick children and practice
good hand washing.
HELPING YOUR BABY LEARN
At this age your baby is beginning to use his hands more
and more to explore the world around him. He may like
the feel of a soft blanket or a smooth kitchen floor. You
can help him learn by giving him different textures to
play with.
Here are some ideas how you can help your baby learn:
Give him something soft and something hard to play
with at the same time. You might use a soft toy or
piece of material and something hard like a block or a
plastic jar with the lid on. As you give them to him, talk
to him. You might say, “This is a blanket. It is soft,” and
touch it to his cheek. Or “This is a block. It is hard, “
and knock your hand against it.
Find things that have different textures for your baby to
play with. Some useful things you might find around
the house include something smooth (a rubber ball or a
piece of wood), something rough (a piece of sandpaper
or a brush), something soft (a piece of cloth), something
heard (a metal spoon), or something squishy (a clean
sponge).
Let your baby play with different fabrics. You might try
leather, corduroy, flannel, and something smooth like
rayon or silk, which does your baby like best?
At this age your baby is also probably starting to bring
his hands together in front of him. These motor skills
are important for your baby’s development. Here is a
simple way you can help your baby learn; find two
brightly colored socks and put them together, see if you
can find other ways to help your baby learn motor skills!
THINGS YOU MAY BE WORRIED
ABOUT
“My baby drools a lot. Is she teething already?”
Drooling is common for babies at this age. It does not
mean they are teething—just that they have started to
make saliva and may not know how to swallow it yet.
Trying to chew on objects also doesn’t mean he is
teething. Babies are just exploring by putting things in
their mouths. Most babies don’t start to teethe until
they are about 6-7 months old.
QUESTIONS ABOUT SLEEP
Sleeping through the night
Is your baby still not sleeping through the night? At this
age, this may be because he has gotten into the habit of
waking at certain times to be fed. By responding less
quickly to his cries, and gradually adjusting the amounts
you feed him, you should be able to teach your baby to
sleep through the night.
Try to stretch the time between nighttime
feedings.
Instead of going to get him as soon as he starts crying,
wait a few minutes. Give him a chance to fall asleep
again on his own. Or try to soothe him without feeding
him, by holding or rocking him. Keep the room dark.
Try to add a half hour each night onto the time between
feedings. Gradually your baby will learn to wake up at
a later time, and you will learn to wake up at a later
time, and you will both get more sleep.
Let him cry. Sometimes parents have a hard time
letting their baby cry. But try not responding as quickly
when he wakes at night. Give him a chance to fall back
to sleep on his own.
Naps
By 5 months of age, most babies take 3 or 4 hour-long
naps each day. But each baby is different. Some may
nap 2 or 3 longer ones. This is fine, as long as your
baby is getting enough sleep. You may want to teach
your baby to take fewer longer naps if he wakes often
at night, or so that you can get more done while he
sleeps. To do this, make sure he has a comfortable
place to nap, like a stroller or a crib. And make sure the
room is not too hot or too cold. Don’t let your baby fall
asleep right before mealtime or when his diaper needs
changing. Also, try to keep your baby awake for longer
periods between naps.
COMING ATTRACTIONS
Before your next checkup, your baby may start
to:
Smile…
make more noises…
roll over both ways…
turn his head on hearing a noise…
bring everything to his mouth…
play with a busy box or cradle gym…
scoot around…
Another reason your baby might have a hard time
sleeping through the night is that he hasn’t learned to
fall asleep on his own. It is normal for a baby to wake in
the night. But he can also learn to fall back asleep on
his own, without having to get up. Here are some tips
to help your baby fall asleep on his own:
Try to put your baby down to sleep while he is still
awake. This may be hard if he regularly falls asleep on
the bottle, but it is important. If he always falls asleep
feeding he will probably want to be fed in the middle of
the night to fall back asleep. Likewise, if you are always
there as he falls asleep, he will need you when he wakes
in the middle of the night. Give him a chance to learn to
fall asleep on his own.
We encourage you to visit our website at:
www.westside-pediatrics.com
Revised 7/2014
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