Your baby is now four months old and entering the fifth 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
- Four months old, I am going to shift my development into a higher gear
- I am going to try to roll over. Looks like it might be fun.
- I may put a lot things into my mouth as I discover what they are. Keep an eye on me
- I am at the peak of my interest in mirrors
- Your baby can easily lift up his body with both arms when lying on his tummy. In this position, he can turn his head from side to side
- With your support, she maybe able to sit. You can also support her with cushions (not too many and nothing too soft)
- Your baby will be grasping more objects and can reach out and use both hands to get an object
- When your baby was born, he could only see things near him. By this time, your baby's vision has improved and he can see things that are all the way across the room
- The Indian Academy of Pediatrics recommends that the baby be breastfed exclusively for the first 6 months. Following that, you can start a mixed diet. Breastfeeding should continue till the end of the first year, as long as you can produce milk. Some mothers even continue it into the second year.
- Observe your child to see what she loves doing with her toys, and do them with her. For example, she may like to pull a glove from a doll's hand. Help her play that game, by putting the glove back on every time she pulls it off.
- Place some toys just out of your baby's reach and watch him move towards the toy
- As her development has gone to a higher gear, she is also learning a lot of social skills from you. This includes expressions, tones, taking turns in a conversation, etc., Unfortunately, all of us have ups and downs. Try to keep the baby's exposure to the downs minimal.
- Keep talking to your baby. Use more gestures including pointing at things when mentioning their name.
- Your baby is also learning about feedback. If you show appreciation for something he did, he will try do it again.
- Toys which allows the baby to feel different textures
- Plastic keys and disks on a ring
- Interlocking plastic rings
- Soft blocks
- Toys with mirrors
- Colourful toys
- Keep physically active.
- Get some down time for yourself, all alone
- Play with your baby a lot
- Talk a lot with your baby and show her all the things you do around the house
1. Healthy Start, Grow Smart, Your Four 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