Our Success By 6 Pediatrician, Dr. Mary Kay Wagner, gives parents an idea of what they can expect of their 4 month old baby.
Q: What physical milestones do babies reach when they are four months old?
A: Babies at 4 months can push their chest to the height of their elbows. They have good head control, demonstrate equal movements of arms/legs, begins to roll and reach for objects. This is the time they begin oral exploration of their world in that they will bring everything to their mouths.
Q: When is it time to start solid foods?
A: Between 4-6 months of age. A key step is to determine when your baby is ready for solids. One of the signs of being ready to eat solids is when the baby no longer has a tongue-thrust reflex (pushing food out of the mouth). Another sign is that the baby can elevate her tongue to move pureed food to the back of her mouth and, as she sees a spoon approach she opens her mouth in anticipation of the next bite. Another indicator that your baby may be ready for solids is if the baby is taking more than 32 oz a day of formula or breast milk.
Q: What advice would you give to parents of four month olds?
A: Take some time for yourself and your partner. Maintain social contacts and spend time with your other children, in addition to the baby. Hold, cuddle, talk/sing to your baby. Continue regular feeding/sleeping routines and put baby to bed awake but drowsy. Position the baby to sleep on her back; don't use loose, soft bedding. Use both quiet (reading, singing) and active ("tummy time") playtime; provide safe opportunities to explore. Don't share spoon or clean pacifier in YOUR mouth! Avoid bottle in bed and propping the bottle. Always use rear-facing car safety seat in back seat. Don't ever leave baby alone in the tub, high places, beds, sofas, and keep your hand on baby at all times in these places.
Q: What ideas can you give to parents to help them interact with their baby?
At 2-4 months of age, have both active ("tummy time") and quiet (reading, singing) playtime. Hold, cuddle and talk to your baby. Learn your baby's responses, temperament, likes/dislikes. Be silly, laugh, dance (gently of course) and have fun with your baby! Walks outside on a sunny day can be great fun.