4-month Old Baby: Milestones & Development
The first few months of a newborn baby's and parent's life are usually all about feeding, burping, changing nappies, putting them to sleep and comforting them when they are crying. However, the fun, bonding and doing activities together comes a few months down the line. Then, the baby's schedule is more predictable, the sleep and feeding are more streamlined, and the phase of giggles, laughter, bonding & outing begins. This article will discuss everything about the 4 month baby – from milestones to schedules, health, food and sleep.
4 Month Baby Development
By this age, your baby would have doubled their birth weight. The 4 month baby already has the strength to hold the neck steady. During tummy time, your 4 month baby will be able to raise its hands in the air and reach for and grab things. And when on their back, they will play with their toys and even put them in their mouth.
A 4 month baby also starts to babble more clearly and starts to use the combination of vowels and consonants. So, you will hear a lot of gaga baba tata and soon be ready to listen to the sweet sound of mama and dada too!
Growth Milestones Of A 4 Month Baby
Now let us look at the 4 month old milestones that your little one will achieve at this age(1)
- - Your baby will show more interest in playing and interacting with other people.
- - They will start noticing their reflection in the mirror.
- - They will be able to push onto their hands and elbows during tummy time.
- - They will start to recognise the familiar faces of family and people who spend time with them regularly. You would notice the smile and excitement when someone familiar walks into the room.
- - They will reach for objects with one hand. You will notice that their fist is more open than close compared to their newborn stage.
Health Of A 4 Month Baby
At 4 months, you would be visiting your child's paediatrician for their monthly check-up and get their height, weight and head circumference measured to put in their growth chart. You can read about Weight & Height Chart For Kids in our article HERE
Around the 4th month, your baby will also receive their HB1 & OPV vaccines. Read about Baby Vaccines In India HERE
If you notice any change in their appetite, skin issuer, delay in milestones, or health issues, you should discuss it with your baby's paediatrician.
4 Months Baby Food Chart
At 4 months, your baby will still be either exclusively breastfed, on a combination feed or formula feed. Therefore, it is too early to introduce solids to a 4 month baby. At this age, they will be feeding every three to four hours, and each feed will be around four to six ounces. This feed will result in at least five to six wet diapers every day.
However, there would be times when your baby is going through a growth spurt or is sick and will nurse more often for comfort.
4 Month Baby Sleep
At 4 months of age, your baby will need a good 12 – 16 hours of sleep in a day (24 hours). They will be taking around four daytime naps that amount to 3 – 4 hours of sleep. At night they will be sleeping for more than 10 hours with breaks only to feed if they are hungry.
The 4 month baby will start to roll from their back to their tummy. Although it is normal for them to roll on their tummy even in their sleep, it is crucial to put them to sleep on their back. Experts also suggest that parents should move the baby to their own crib at this age if they are still co-sleeping.
4 Month Baby Schedule
Now your baby will have a more streamlined sleep schedule, is active during the daytime and starts to recognise and bond with their caregivers. It is thus essential to create some 4 month old baby activities and to have a proper schedule for them which they can look forward to and find comfort in.
Keep a designated time for reading books together, preferably during their sleep time and let them touch, feel and explore books. You can also invest in cloth books that are washable and hygienic, as kids might put them in their mouth as well.
Similarly, keep a designated place and time for their tummy time, sensory play, massages and bath.
Every child is different and reaches milestones at their pace. So, there is nothing to worry about if they are off by a few days or weeks. But as parents, you know the best. Thus, if you feel like there is something you need to bring to the notice of their paediatrician, do it at their regular check-up visit.
Common Questions Parents Ask
Q1 – Will my 4 month old baby be able to sit on his own?
Your baby is still gaining control over their neck and head at this age. Therefore, he will not be able to sit unsupported. However, they will be able to sit with proper support on the back and sides.
Q2 – Does a 4 month baby need water?
At 4 months, your baby would still be on breastmilk, formula feed or a combined feed. You do not need to give water to your baby till the age of 6 months or till they start solid foods.
Q3 – How long should I give tummy time to my 4 month old baby?
Start with a few seconds and build up to three to five minutes per session. You can read about Tummy Time For Babies in our article HERE