Your Child's Health and Development at Four Months
Immunisation: The next recommended immunisation is due at four months.
Safety: Increasing mobility can raise the risk of falls or accidents
Block off dangerous areas of the home, such as laundry or stairs
Keep hot things and dangerous areas out of baby's reach
Avoid using overhanging table cloths
Ensure your baby is not exposed to hazards such as leaded pain dust
Provide adequate protection from the sun
Ensure your baby is in a smoke free environment
Consider transferring babies to a forward facing car restraint once they weight between 8 and 9 kilograms.
Health Visits: General health and development check up
Discuss concerns or questions with your Maternal and Child Health Nurse.
Nutrition and Growth: Breastmilk or formula is the main source of nutrition
Frequency of feeds continues to reduce – night feeds may reduce to one
May introduce solid foods at around six months but this should be discussed with your Maternal and Child Health Nurse
Don't add sugar and salt to foods and drinks
Don't give fruit juices, cordials or syrups.
Movement: Moves more deliberately as reflex movements decrease
Lifts head and chest by supporting weight on arms when lying on stomach
Increases in neck and head control
May roll from stomach onto back
Clasps hands together and takes them to mouth
Attempts to pick up object using both hands.
Language: Laughs and babbles with increasing tone and intensity
Enjoys being read to and looking at picture books.
Learning and Understanding: Takes greater interest in surroundings
Tries to prolong interesting happenings discovered accidentally.
Emotional: Starting to develop wariness of strangers and parent separation anxiety.
Sleeping: Sleeps less during the day.
May be ready to sleep in a cot.
Toileting: Type of bowel motion depends on diet.
Relationships: Recognises familiar faces and starts to interact more with others.
Behaviour: Vocalises to get attention and have needs met.
Things to Look At: Provide a wide variety of objects colours and textures for your baby to experience. Some suggestions are:
Coloured cellophane panels on the window
Leaves moving in the wind
Clothes flapping on the clothes line
Rain on the windows; and
Sunlight on the flowers.
Learning About Movement: Babies like to kick and turn their heads for side to side. They will roll to one-side and grasp things. Baby will hold a rattle for a few seconds. They can clasp hands, and suck their thumbs and fingers. They can reach out to touch things but they are not yet aware they can cause things to happen.
Claps baby's hand and lift his or her arms slowly up and down. Bounce baby gently on your knee.
Give baby the opportunity to stretch and kick during bath time. Talk to them about parts of their bodies as they stretch and kick and give opportunities to play on the floor.
Babies learn their physical skills through practice. Place your baby on the floor on the back, tummy and sides, with plenty of space and opportunity to explore the surrounds. To assist movements take off the nappy and limit clothing when playing. Babies need to make their own decisions to move. They soon learn to stop for rest when required, and then play and move again. Given lots of opportunities the baby, with practice, gradually becomes stronger and enjoys spending longer times on the floor.
Give your baby lots of opportunities to explore your home, your garden or the local park. Walk using the pram, sling or carry baby facing away from you. Place a rug on the ground and enjoy watching them play.