Your 4 Week Old Baby – Development, Milestones & Care
By now, it is nearly a month since you have given birth to your loving child and taken care of him. The cycle of feeding, sleeping and playing might seem like its happening for the longest time. Similarly, you will also spot signs that your baby is growing up really quick and he is slowly becoming the child he will become after a few years.
4 Week Old Baby Development
In about a month, the development of a baby goes through multiple phases and you will barely remember the time he was newly born. At an age of 4 week old baby growth spurt usually happens in a variety of ways. He will start discovering his limbs and try to figure out what they are and how to use them. His response to sounds will be even stronger than before and spatial placement will have improved. Although eyes are getting stronger, they might end up looking cross-eyed at times, as they struggle to focus. Their neck will be stronger which will result in them trying to move their head even more than before.
[Also Read: 1 Month Old Baby Development]
Four Week Old Baby Milestones
The age of a month is when your baby will start discovering gradually that they have a body of their own, too. Around this point, their weight would be substantial as well. A 4 week old baby weight should be increased by around 150 to 200 g every week.
As they start observing the environment around them, the inbuilt reflexes of the body might make them encounter their own hands and feet. They will start looking at their palms, their fingers, but fail to make a connection that these are their own and can be operated by themselves.
This discovery of their own limbs and other things surrounding them will manifest in the form of various sounds and grunts. This is primarily also when a baby starts to making cooing sounds. Now, in order to get your attention, he may realize to coo louder than usual and not cry right away. With this cooing, you can have long conversations that last through an entire afternoon.
[Also Read: 1 Month Old Baby Milestones]
A 4 week old baby feeding is extremely essential in helping him gain the weight that is necessary. During this time, as your baby tends to put out his tongue more often, you might spot small spots of milk in their mouth or around after the feeding. This is normal and not a reason to worry since it primarily occurs due to their stomach still coming to terms with the milk amount. The valve of the food pipe is comparatively relaxed as compared to adults, and can sometimes allow a little milk to flow back into the mouth. It is best to keep wiping this off occasionally.
Due to the increase in feeding, you may notice that your own breastmilk amount tends to go down, especially towards the evening times. This can be fixed by taking a nap in the afternoon or playing with your child while lying down. It is also important that your own meal schedule stays on point and you do not end up delaying any meals just to be able to feed your child. Both food and rest are highly necessary to keep a consistent milk supply going.
[Also Read: 1 Month Old Baby Feeding]
All the novelty and discoveries that a baby undergoes at this stage tend to keep him awake for longer than usual. Once a feeding has completed, your child may lie down quietly and play with his hands or have conversations with you before drifting off to sleep. Around this age, you might start understanding if your child is naturally calm or more of the energetic sorts or even the attention-demanding kind.
Since a 4 week old sleep schedule is still a bit erratic, you should hold your child closer to you for longer and might need to cuddle them and rock them to bring them to sleep. The need to feel safe and secure is important at this stage since your baby starts realizing you might not always be around him or close to him.
[Also Read: 1 Month Old Baby Sleeping Basics]
Through the conversations of the previous weeks, your baby will further realize the different uses of his mouth. Cooing will be more frequent as well as other sounds of grunting and gargling. The social engagement need at this stage is quite high, and babies tend to demand constant attention and communication of all sorts.
Although they may not be able to convey their emotions through facial expressions, their face might bear glimpses of irritation, vague smiles, or even pain. These will help you pre-emptively understand what your child might require. The slow closing of his eyes is a cue that he is about to fall asleep and by laying him down and gently rocking him, you can lull him into one.
Upper body strength continues to develop speedily and more supervised time on the tummy is absolutely essential to get this going. Being able to hold their head and hold themselves up should be a constant effort throughout this age.
4 Week Old Baby Care Tips
- Increased feeding sets in due to a growth spurt and babies require more food than usual. Make sure you get enough rest in the first place so that your breastmilk production stays on point and enough to feed your baby.
- The increased curiosity can result in your baby staying awake for more time. They could constantly demand attention or not fall asleep by themselves as they used to before. It is important to hold your child in your arms and rock them or cuddle them so that they get their daily quota of sleep.
- Keep your baby’s movements restricted when he sleeps so that his exploration of hands and feet does not end up with him hurting them.
[Also Read: 1 Month Old Baby Care]
Tests and Vaccinations
Usually, around the end of the first month of the baby and before completion of the second month, doctors recommend administering a secondary round of vaccination for Hepatitis B. This is primarily to prevent diseases from infecting the liver.
Games and Activities
As your child’s listening skills develop, you can go ahead and develop his auditory experience by playing games around sounds and so. By closing your palms around your mouth and making different sounds, watch him try to figure out what is happening or even gargle in excitement. You can even get close to his ear and whisper gently and talk to him. All these different techniques can get him excited to learn more. This can even cause them to coo at different volumes, and be in sync with how you communicate with them. Snap in the direction of the ear. This will make them realise they can hear sounds from two directions, leading them to understand the presence of two ears.
The only smell that babies are usually aware at this age is the smell of their mother’s breastmilk. This is also one of the important ways that your baby identifies you from anybody else. So, it is great if you can make him smell a bunch of other items that safe for him. Hold him in your arms, nicely cuddled in a blanket so that he is safely secured. Then take a small cloth and dab it in his powder. Don’t take a lot. Bring it closer to his nose and let him understand the fragrance. Same could be done with the sanitizer too. With each fragrance, let him look at your face and communicate a reaction to him. The connection between smell and facial reactions will help them understand what’s good and what’s not and communicate with you accordingly.
[Also Read: 1 Month Old Baby Games and Activities]
Consult a Doctor If
Around a month or so, your baby should already be giving enough signs that show a good and healthy development throughout. Therefore, it is important to note the presence or absence of certain conditions and understand if they need medical intervention.
If a 4 week old baby constipated issue are seen, with bowel movement not occurring for more than a day or so, this could create complications later on and should be brought to the doctor’s notice immediately.
It takes nearly a month for a baby to start perceiving the surroundings and various sounds in a proper manner. But even after that, if your baby does not seem to respond to claps or calls in any manner, doesn’t blink eyes at loud sounds, fails to focus on things or notice your face even when you are in his field of view, has a faded colour in his pupils, these might be signs of a disorder and must be informed to the doctor soon.
Babies tend to make a lot of sounds at this age. They will move around their arms and legs and try to understand various parts of the body. Curiosity and interest are at an all-time high. Many babies are calm and composed too, but still do react to multiple triggers occasionally. Compared to those, if your baby is unnaturally quiet, does not move a lot, shows no interest in his arms or legs, or cries quite different from others, it might be necessary to bring this to the doctor’s attention.
With your baby being a month old already, he would be well on his way to discovering that he, too, is an individual by himself. By keeping a good family time and regular interaction with other family members, you can start developing a good feeling of security and home within your child.
Previous Week: 3 Weeks Old Baby
Next Week: 5 Weeks Old Baby