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Your baby, at 4-months of age, might slowly be evolving to manifest his unique personality traits. By this time, you would also have concluded your post-pregnancy recovery, and are confident of understanding your baby’s needs a little better. You can gauge what makes him happy and how he likes things in general. Sleeping and feeding patterns will be beginning to form, and that will help you predict your baby’s requirements, and then accordingly, provide with it. Some days this may seem easy while some days can prove no less than a challenge.
Your baby during this phase will display notable development. He would start to gain weight, which implies that he is getting the required nourishment. The height and weight of the baby are highly variable and depend on his growth. But, if the growth has been normal, the average height of a 4-month-old baby is usually 63.8 cm for boys and 62 cm for girls. The average weight generally hovers around 7 kg for boys and 6.4 kg for girls.
Other prominent development may include developing a close vision and eye-hand coordination, rolling onto his sides, carry hands to mouth, shake toys when holding them in hands. Your baby may begin to give responses to affection like smiling at people or copying movement and facial expressions of others. He could also start babbling and exhibit different emotions like being sad, happy, or irritable. All of these will need you to take care of the baby slightly differently than before. Read on to be prepared for your baby’s requirements.
How to Take Care of a 4-Month-Old Baby
With each passing day, you may be gaining more experience in taking care of your four-month-old baby. It can be quite a task at times. Here are a few useful tips that can come handy:
1. Feeding Your Baby
Your baby should be essentially on breast milk as breast milk provides complete nourishment. There is no hurry to introduce solids yet. For working mothers, starting bottle feed at this stage can be a good idea. You can put pumped up breast milk in a bottle and try feeding your baby sometimes.
2. Sleeping Patterns
Try to work out a consistent routine for your baby’s naps and sleep timings for bedtime. You may like to avoid rocking your baby to sleep so that he can learn to relax on his own and fall asleep.
3. Prevent Falls
Your baby would be kicking, rolling onto his side or from the stomach to back. Make sure there are no objects around him that he could kick and hurt himself. Also, always put pillows or cushions around your baby if leaving him alone for a while to safeguard him against any likely falls.
Remember to fix an appointment with the doctor for your baby’s scheduled vaccination. Try diverting your baby’s attention when he is getting a shot. Afterwards, you can soothe the baby by gently rocking or swaddling him. After the vaccination, your baby may become irritable or develop a mild fever. Talk to your doctor regarding these concerns and seek necessary guidance.
5. Dealing With Diaper Rash
You can prevent diaper rash by changing the diaper the moment it gets soiled, keeping the baby diaper-free for some time every day and maintaining good hygiene. Bacteria multiply in moist places. Ensure the diaper area is clean and dry. Use a medicated baby safe diaper rash cream.
Indulge your baby in daily massage as it will help in developing his back muscles, the formation of the spine’s thoracic curvature and promote his overall growth. A gentle massage will not only calm your baby but can also help him sleep well. It is also a wonderful way to express your affection and care, and to bond with your baby. Avoid massaging your baby immediately after a meal.
Your baby could start teething during this phase. He would begin to drool a lot or chew on objects. He is also likely to put all the things he can lay his hands on into his mouth. Therefore, be careful with the toys you provide your baby with for playing lest they become choking hazards. You can also get your baby soft teething rings.
8. Car Safety
Always put your baby in an infant car seat carefully and place it in the back seat while travelling in a car. You should not leave your baby unaccompanied and unaided in the car.
9. Baby Activities
Baby activities are also essential. Go for activities that encourage your baby to move his limbs, fingers, and also exercise his vocal cords. Tummy time is also important for a 4-month-old baby.
When it comes to taking care of your baby, a mother’s instinct never fails. Subtle cues from your baby may guide you to provide the care he needs. In case you feel something is inappropriate, never shy from seeking the advice of your doctor.