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Baby - The fourth month

Parentree-editors 2008-08-14 23:31:58

Your baby is now three months old and entering the fourth month.

In this series of articles, we are focusing on physical, mental and behavioural characteristics that are typically exhibited at each stage.  However, remember that every child is unique and that is what we love about them. Some will exhibit certain behaviours early and some later. Just learn to enjoy parenthood and your children and go on the journey with them.

Also, when you read this series of articles, don't leave after reading one entry. Look at the entries for earlier and later periods also. This series of articles is written as a continuum and not as distinct entries for each period. For example, if your baby is six months old, read all entries from four to eight months.

Do bring it to your doctor's attention if there is an abnormal delay in reaching a developmental milestone. Regular visits to the paediatrician are required to ensure that your baby is progressing normally.

From the mouths of babes

  • When lying on my tummy, I can hold my head up and look
  • I can track people by moving my head
  • My vocabulary of babytalk is increasing and I can make more sounds, including laughing
  • You may not know this, but I can distinguish between different members of my family
  • I have different expressions for happiness, sadness, discomfort, hunger etc. and I am learning more, mostly from you.
  • My foot seems interesting. I like to taste it.

Physical

  • In general, your baby will start to sleep for longer periods at night, though each baby is different.
  • Your baby will use about 7 to 10 diapers per day. Bowel movements may decrease to one per day as the baby's digestive system improves.
  • Your baby's neck and shoulders are strong enough that his head may not need support any more
  • The baby's legs are getting stronger and she maybe able to stand, with you holding her

Nurturing

  • Continue to breastfeed. You are helping your baby's immunity.
  • If you are working, pump breast milk and store it in the refrigerator. Breast milk can be refrigerated for up to 48 hours and frozen for a longer period
  • Let your baby watch what you are doing. Talk to her as you are doing your work.
  • Sing to the baby, including nursery rhymes.
  • Flip through a book with them, one with lots of pictures
  • Babies learn by repetition. So help them by doing the same play activity many times, like pushing a ball back to them so they can hit it
  • Your baby may have taken to sucking his thumb or a pacifier a lot. They may do this to calm themselves down. So don't try to stop this habit abruptly. 
  • Your baby learns from you. So make sure your behaviour is something you want him to emulate.

Toys

  • Toys which allows the baby to feel different textures
  • Plastic keys and disks on a ring
  • Interlocking plastic rings
  • Soft blocks
  • Toys with mirrors

Mommy care

  • Find other mothers with babies of the same age, and arrange for play dates. It can help you socialise. Parentree groups will be a great source.

Daddy dearest

  • Take the baby out to natural area like parks (as long as they are clean and not too crowded) and let them see and hear birds, trees and plants.
  • Flip a picture book with him
  • Sing nursery rhymes to her

References

1. Healthy Start, Grow Smart, Your Three Month Old, U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Department of Education and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Washington, D.C., 2002

2. Indian Academy of Pediatrics, IAP Policy on Infant Feeding

3. Toy Safety Publications of the US Consumer Product Safety Commission

 

Child development - Baby, Toddler & Preschooler

Developmental milestones
Age appropriate toys
Physical development
Tips to nurture your child

 


 

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