4 Month Old Baby

Now that your baby is 4-month-old, he will be more alert, active, and engaging than ever. You will find out more about your baby's unique identity as he builds his strength and skills required for sitting, reaching, and rolling, so don't forget to enjoy this time.

Baby Development Milestones

As your baby grows up, you may find life a little less hectic while you have set some established daily routines. However, your little wonder is still keeping you on your toes! During this time and for the upcoming months, you will find your little one honing the newfound motor skills, where he will be able to roll over, grasp objects, and even sit up on his own. The month is full of surprises, read on to find out more.

Growth and Physical Development: Steady and Strong

Your 4-month-old baby is growing at a fast pace (about 400-500 gms per month); however, it is important that your baby grows at a steady rate rather than any specific gains in weight or height. You should consider learning more about the way your baby's paediatrician uses baby growth charts to track his growth. Many cognitive and physical developments are taking place, and you will probably begin watching more deliberate actions from your baby when he learns concepts like cause and effect.

Senses: Developing Distance Vision

As your baby's distance vision improves steadily, he is now able to see the world around a little more clearly than past few months. He may now recognise you and the familiar faces, and his eyes may also be able to follow the moving objects from side to side easily. Apart from his eye-sight, his colour vision is improving too, where he seems to favour shades of blue and red.

You may notice that your little one is fascinated by himself. You can get him an unbreakable mirror so that he can see a wide range of colours and shapes along with the reflection of his movements. Along with his sight, you will see his language skills are also maturing due to the improved hearing and cognitive development. Your baby will also be able to mimic a few of the tones, rhythms, and words you usually speak to him. You may notice that his cries sound different based on his various needs. Although it may sound like a baby babble, he is setting a foundation for later speech.

Movement: Almost on a Roll

In the fourth month, your baby will be to control his muscle and hand-eye coordination better. Make sure you keep away sharp and hazardous things out of your baby's reach, as with his vision improving, he will be able to put things in his mouth. Moreover, he might be able to grab and shake rattles and toys and might soon begin passing objects from one hand to another.

Your baby is now on the move! You will see him working on strengthening his chest and back muscles and holding his head up during his tummy time. Soon he will have the body strength to roll over from one side to the other.

d 1 87 icon

4-Month-Old Baby Development Milestones

You may notice your baby doing some of the following by this month:

  • Holding up the head independently

  • Taking his hands to his mouth

  • Sitting up by taking support

  • Reaching for and grasping objects of interest.

Personality: Knowing Your Little One

At 4 months old, your baby will be even more curious about the world around him due to his increased mobility and cognitive awareness. He may be more sensitive to your voice tone now. When you speak in a soft, gentle tone, it will soothe and reassure him, whereas a harsher or angrier tone will let him know something is wrong. You may notice him imitating your tone through his coos and babbles. If you use certain sounds or syllables frequently, he may also be able to mimic them.

Although these are some generic personality milestones for babies, worry not if your baby doesn't seem to be easy-going or inquisitive. Since every baby is unique, sometimes a baby who seems shyer may need more comfort and attention from the parents. Pay attention to your baby - if he seems overstimulated, overwhelmed, or withdrawn in certain situations, let him get comfortable with any new faces or new 4-month baby activities in his life, as he may need some time.

d 2 87 icon

How to Support Your Baby's Development

Although your paediatrician or other parents may suggest some ways to help foster your baby's development, here are some 4-month-old baby activities that may help you get started.

Encouraging visual development:

  • Hang a colourful toy safely over your baby's crib that is beyond his reach

  • Get him an unbreakable mirror and let him gaze at his image and movements

  • Peekaboo is a great way to help him learn about object permanence, and he also enjoys watching your face appear and reappear.

Promoting movement and motor control:

  • Let your baby enjoy tummy time while you are close by. You will notice him lifting his head and chest while on his tummy. This will strengthen his muscles required for rolling over and sitting.

  • Let your baby practise sitting with your support. This gives him a better range of motion to reach for and grab objects.

  • Hold your baby under his arms, pull him into a standing position, and practise standing. This will help him work those leg muscles.

Aiding language development:

  • Read and sing to your baby

  • When your baby babbles or coos, mimic his sounds

  • If your baby mimics you, respond to his sounds positively.

d 3 87 icon

Feeding Your 4-Month-Old Baby

During this month, your baby's nutritional needs are still met from breast milk, formula, or a combination of both. You can know about your baby's feeding time by looking out for hunger cues that include him acting fussy, sticking his tongue out, licking his lips, or sucking on his knuckles. Generally, your baby may need up to 120 to 180 ml of milk every three to five hours. However, still, keep track of your baby's wet and dirty diapers along with the stool frequency and consistency to ensure he's eating well. Your doctor will also check whether your baby is eating enough by tracking his growth over time. Read here for few tips on how to burp your baby.

Since your baby goes through a lot of diaper changes, her skin might be prone to diaper rash. So, make sure you use the one that is suitable for her delicate skin. You can try from a wide range of Pampers® diapers like New-Baby if you haven't already. Also, did you know you can now turn your diapers into rewards like gift cards, cashback, and more? Download the Pampers App for more. Read on to know more about how to change a diaper, and you will surely get the hang of it. You can also check the ultimate diaper bag checklist for your newborn baby.

d_4_87 icon

How Much Sleep Does a 4-Month-Old Baby Need?

On average, a 4-month-old baby needs at least 12 to 16 hours of sleep every day. So, your baby may nap twice during the day (morning and afternoon) for around three to four hours each and sleep for a longer stretch at night.

Since your baby has become more active and alert during the day, it can be challenging for him to wind down in the evening. But make sure you still stick to the set bedtime routine. Giving your baby a warm bath or gentle massage followed by rocking or feeding will make baby sleep.

d 5 87 icon

A Day in the Life of Your Baby

Now that your baby is growing and is full of curiosity and alertness, every day with him feels special. You may find yourself at ease as a parent while sharing some simple routines with your little one. Here is an example of a daily schedule that you can follow for your 4-month-old:

A Day in the Life of Your Baby - 4 month
d 6 87 icon

Your Baby's Health: Common Infections

If you notice that your baby is down with symptoms like cough or fever, you need to be aware of different health conditions and illnesses that might show up at this stage, and when you should contact your doctor:

Fever

A fever is a sign of illness. For infants, if the rectal temperature is around 38 degrees Celsius or higher, then it is considered as a fever and may indicate that your little one is currently battling with some kind of infection. A fever can imply different types of infection like flu or colds, ear infections, or pneumonia, so you must call your doctor for advice and watch for other symptoms of illness.

Use a digital thermometer to take your baby's temperature accurately and measure the temperature in your little one's rectum. Gently insert the thermometer no more than 1/2 to 1 inch and wait till it beeps or lights up, giving you an accurate reading.

Cold

Cold is also known as an upper respiratory infection caused by a virus. Although colds are very common and most children have around 8 to 10 colds in their first two years, they are highly contagious. So, take precautions, especially if your baby is in childcare or has elder, school-going siblings at home. You may be familiar with some common signs of cold like low appetite, sneezing, runny nose, cough, sore throat, and mild fever. However, contact the paediatrician if your little one shows any of the following symptoms:

  • Bluish lips or fingertips

  • A persistent cough that lasts longer than a week

  • Extra sleepiness or fussiness

  • Temperature is higher than 38.8 degrees Celsius.

Bronchiolitis

Bronchiolitis is another common viral illness that is an infection of the breathing tubes of the lungs. Since it is highly contagious, you need to be vigilant about hand-washing and other methods of hygiene, especially during the monsoon and winter seasons. In case you notice any of the following signs, you may want to call your paediatrician:

  • Your baby wheezes when breathing

  • Your baby can't drink fluids

  • Your baby has bluish lips or fingertips

  • Your baby shows symptoms of dehydration.

Did you know, your baby’s poop can tell a lot about your baby’s health? Learn all about baby poop with this ultimate baby poop guide.

d 7 87 icon

FAQS AT A GLANCE

  • No, you should not feed your 4-month baby food unless your doctor has advised you. However, your doctor will generally recommend that you feed only breast milk or formula your baby until the age of six months. By then, the tongue-thrusts of your baby will subside, and he can independently hold his head up to indicate that he seems interested in what you are eating. You can look for these signs as they indicate that your baby is ready for solid foods.

  • You can get your baby an unbreakable mirror, some textured toys, rattles or musical toys, or toys with fingerholds that encourage gripping.

  • Some 4-month-old babies sleep through the night without waking for feeding. However, breastfed babies may still need feeding from time to time through the night.

  • Fewer than six wet diapers per day can be a sign of dehydration in infants. However, far fewer than six wet diapers can indicate severe dehydration. You can also look out for signs like fewer tears when crying, sunken eyes and a soft spot on the head. Dehydration can be caused by different illnesses - if diarrhoea, your baby may have loose stools and if vomiting or other fluid loss, there may be fewer bowel movements, in general.

  • Every baby is unique when it comes to the timing and signs of teething. However, your baby's first few teeth could show up as early as this month. Keep in mind that sprouting teeth can be sometimes accompanied by irritability, excessive drooling, swollen-tender gums, and low-grade fever.

d 8 87 icon

Your Life as a Parent: Family Ties

The arrival of a new baby leads to a lot of changes in a family – whether uncles and aunts or cousins and grandparents, everybody wants to feel connected to the newest family member. So, this is the perfect time to get your family involved in caring for the baby. Setting aside special tasks either at mealtime, bath time, or playtime will make them feel included and involved. As a new parent, having your parents, in-laws, or other relatives pitch in for things like cleaning, shopping, and childcare for your older kids will be helpful for you. It will not only take some pressure off you but also help everyone feel like part of the family.

However, becoming a new parent can be equally overwhelming with the torrent of advice you may get from well-meaning relatives or friends and sometimes even strangers! We understand that learning to handle unwanted advice can be tricky, but keep in mind that there is no one 'right way' to raise a child. It is always best to pay attention to your baby's cues and try to make decisions based on his unique personality, your beliefs, and your specific circumstances. Moreover, the best person for expert advice who can solve most of your questions or concerns is your baby's paediatrician.