Below we will talk about some of the changes that happen when your baby is 4 months old.
a) Feeding less frequently
At 4 months, your baby’s stomach is bigger and can accommodate more. He need not feed very frequently and can make do with feed four to five times in a day. Though he continues to add on weight, the need to feed starts decreasing in intensity and his habits start becoming similar to that of older children. He now wants to divert his attention to people and other objects even as he is eating and that can create problems for you. Feeds take more time to get completed and due to these distractions, you have to put in so much more effort to get his attention to the food once again. To avoid this becoming a daily problem, you must look for a quiet place to feed him and transfer him to another location within the house only once he is finished with the feed.
b) A new talent for rolling over
Your baby now starts displaying a new technique of lifting his head by utilizing his arms as levers, when you place him on his stomach. This sort of a mini push-up enables him to have a better look at what’s in front of him. He is able to roll over front to back and vice versa and this soon develops into a game for him. You can spur him on by dangling a toy at his side (which you can get 50% off with this coupon) so that he has to roll over to get at it and when he is successful, you must acknowledge his efforts by smiling at him. This reassurance is the key in providing him with the confidence to try such new stunts the next time and is an important facet of his development.
c) Time for solid foods?
Mother’s milk provides all the necessary nutrients in the initial five to six months, yet parents are anxious and wish to introduce the baby to solid foods. While some soft and pureed types of cereals are okay and can be digested easily by your baby, you must wait for at least six months to put him on solid diet. You would have noticed that by now he has better control over his tongue and his digestive power has vastly improved. Waiting for six months ensures that your baby gets the full benefit of breast milk and since this milk contains a lot of antibodies and nutrients, it serves to protect your child from many infections and allergies that he would have otherwise contracted quite easily.
d) Reaching out and mouthing objects
Though he is not often successful the first time, your baby can now reach out and hold on to objects and the inquisitive nature of his surfaces every time he is able to fasten his hands onto something. He is bound to look at it closely and will try to put his mouth to it. At this stage, he is bound to experience a lot more dribbling and that may be due to the fact that some babies start teething as early as into their fourth month. The first tooth however makes its appearance only after the fifth month.
You can now expose your baby to diverse objects, which he can hold on and try putting his mouth to. It is up to you now to provide him with different stimuli in the form of objects and watch his behavior with each of them. His behavior towards a rattle may be different compared to a cloth or a ball. Enrolling in an activity center where the folks know how to engage children of this age can be a useful and educating experience.
e) Able to play alone now
Your baby now realizes that he can amuse himself with his own hands and feet and you will be the first one to notice this change. That is because, all of a sudden, there is quiet and your baby is no longer dependant on you for amusement and company. You now have the luxury of finishing that book.
f) Beginning to understand the role of language
Studies have indicated that by the time your baby completes four months, he is able to make out the basic sounds constituting his mother tongue. In the period between the fourth to the sixth month, he starts making sounds like “ma-ma” or “pa-pa”. It is still not possible for him to know that these sounds connect to his parents, though he is very likely to engage in a two way communication with you by repeating along with you whatever you say. You can give this a boost by imitating him and the fact that you do this will provide him the encouragement and knowledge of the tremendous influence that his words or actions have on the opposite person.
g) Appreciation for a full range of colors
Despite the fact that babies are exposed to colors from the time they are born, they would have difficulty in differentiating between red and orange and till they are about two months old, it is only the contrasting colors that they can decipher easily. From the second to the fourth month, the finer differences in colors begin to get understood and your baby starts exhibiting a preference for bright colors. He will now typically reach out for the trendy colored mobile or some wall hangings.
h) Getting more selective about people
By the end of four months, your baby is able to determine your presence, respond to voice and show facial expressions along with waving of his arms and legs. He also starts developing preferences for specific people and when you expose him to a larger unfamiliar group, he could become uneasy. You need to grant him some time to put himself at ease with the babysitter and around this time you will also begin to notice that he gets pretty excited looking at other active older children, safe as he is in the confines of your arms.
i) Is my baby developing normally?
You need to tell yourself that your baby is definitely normal and will cover the said milestones at a pace unique to him. Some minor differences in the time that he takes to achieve them is of no great consequence and that is something that you have to tune your mind to accept. However, it is a different story with premature babies as it is a known fact that they will take longer than a normal baby and their parents need the guidance of a family doctor to see them through this phase.