Month 4 With Your Baby!
You now officially have a most curious youngster in your house and he wants to know what’s happening around him at all times. That’s great for you because the more things he sees and experiences, the more he learns. With such rapid development occurring in your bub, you can expect to see some shake ups to the sleeping arrangements in you house, which his completely normal and we’ll guide you through how to cope below.
Month 4 Of What To Expect From Your Baby
As your baby grows much more interested in the word around him, he loves touching things that feel different and he is also listening to sounds more keenly now. This is the time to bring out the musical toys or the rattles that help him understand ‘cause and effect’ – he moves his arm and the rattle makes noise- this can give him hours of play time.
His vision has developed now so that he can differentiate between shades of color better. His play gym is probably his favorite place to be now because it has so many different shapes, colors and textures for him to look at, feel and practice his grabbing skills on.
Feeding Pattern Changes
Getting more efficient at feeding now, the frequency with which you need to feed him may reduce, or at the very least, he’ll be getting faster at feeding. At this stage, he is getting all the nourishment he needs from your breast milk or formula and breast milk or formula will remain the primary source of nourishment, even once solids are started, right up until at least 6 months. Prior to 6 months, any solids given are purely given to introduce baby to foods and textures, not as a source of energy unless you’re otherwise advised by your healthcare provider.
What we mean by this is, you may wish to start to slowly introduce solids from around 6 months and not before 4 months, and continue feeding baby breast milk/formula as required ( do not drop milk feeds in place of solids at this stage). The ideal age is 6 months however some babies show an interest at 4 months. Babies should not have solids introduced before 4 months. While it may be a little while off yet, here’s a handy article on how to prepare baby food for when the time comes.
Try this: keep placing baby on his tummy and you’ll see he is far more comfortable now than he was last month. He may be able to push himself slightly up and look around from this new perspective. If he doesn’t like being on his tummy, don’t leave him in this position for long but keep doing it for a few minutes a day until he gets accustomed to this posture.
The 4 Month Sleep Regression
Sleep (or lack thereof) is a hot topic for all new parents. The truth is, baby’s sleep may overall get better with time, but it has many setbacks along the way. These set backs are actually not true setbacks as such, but rather a reflection of your baby’s development and all the wonderful milestones he is reaching. At 4 months, your baby moves into sleep cycles much like adults, where there’ll be a lighter sleep, followed by a deep sleep and this pattern continues during the entire sleep phase. When baby transitions between the light and deep sleeps, they now may have trouble getting back to sleep. Hence you may have gone from a baby doing a stretch of 6 hours per night, to one waking every couple of hours or even every 45 minutes! Just know this is completely normal for many babies and it’s now that we can use gentle sleep associations to help them get back to sleep such as patting, rocking, a pacifier, white noise machine or comforter.
There is a myriad of advice online of what to do and what not to do. Here’s the thing: you really need to allow yourself to do what you need to do, to get the most sleep for you and your baby and your whole family. And just know that whatever you decide to do, can always be changed at some point. You do whatever you need to do, until it’s no longer working for you. Then try a new approach, if it’s not.
“ We tried introducing a comforter, but our babe didn’t take to it. A dummy worked as a sleep association for him, and we only used it at bedtime for that reason. We introduced a white noise machine late in the game, second time around I’ll be using that straight away because it made a huge difference.” Beth
Week 1 Of Being Prepared!
At 4 months and onwards, babies can have solids introduced slowly if they are showing an interest in food, are able to sit upright without much assistance and have lost the ‘extrusion reflex’ where they will push food out of their mouth with their tongue. If this is your little one, it’s time to start thinking about a feeding chair option.
If you don’t want another bulky baby item taking over your house that will also make feeding a breeze, many mums have loved using the ‘easy seat’ which turns an existing chair in your home, into a safe feeding chair for your baby. It’s a fuss free, affordable and easy option for feeding, that can be taken anywhere. Check out the 5 fashionable colours and prints available in quite possibly, the easiest feeding chair around: Easy Seat Portable Travel High Chair
Month 4 Of What To Expect From Yourself
The more your baby likes to explore, the more you may find it difficult to keep him focused on the activity at hand. And if the activity is feeding or changing the diaper, then his distracted mood can be quite a problem for you.
Thankfully, he can’t run off to explore yet so you still have a good few tricks to try. For example, if he is getting distracted at feeding times, hand him a brightly colored tactile activity book that he can mess with or wear a teething necklace that he can grab for while he’s feeding. While not always an option, a quiet dim room can help curb distractions during feeding too.
The good news is that he can be distracted from his crying bouts just as easily too provided you have something that will really interest him. Give it a try this week and see if it makes a difference for you.
This month is the last of the primary immunisations, so be sure to book in so bub can get his needles on time.