Four month exam
Diet: Breast milk or formula. Many infants begin solids. See information on feedings towards the end of this pamphlet.)
Carrying baby: Some infants are too heavy to be comfortably carried in the front carrier at this age, but have enough head and back control to be carried in a back-carrier or light stroller. Prop baby up with receiving blankets. Don’t worry if he slumps over. He’ll let you know if he’s uncomfortable.
Mouthing, drooling, spitting: If it hasn’t happened already, it will start soon. Occasionally there are loose or looser stools. Despite these signs, teething usually does not begin for another three to six months. This is the age when babies smell like curdled milk and wear bibs all day.
Dry skin: Infants’ skin easily becomes dry, especially in the winter when the heat is turned up. To re-hydrate your baby’s skin (or your child or teenager) do this:
After a bath and before you reach for a towel- cover the skin with a layer of a thick barrier cream like Aquaphor or Eucerin. These creams glide onto very wet skin to trap water into dehydrated skin. After that, just blot dry.
Bedtime: Your baby may be getting into a better schedule. Baby’s bedtime is a matter of personal preference. In most families, an infant’s bedtime is an hour or so after mom and dad get home from work. Many babies still need a middle of the night feeding and will do so for the next few months. A common evening pattern is this: Bed at 8 p.m., feeding, then back to sleep at 2 a.m., awake again at 6 a.m.
Hair ligature: A common accident occurs when a long hair from a caregiver somehow twists around fingers, toes or genitals and chokes off circulation. If you suspect that this has happened, call us ASAP.
Separation: We urge parents to allow their baby to sleep in his own room as early as they feel comfortable. Every one will sleep better. Find a responsible baby-sitter and go out occasionally without the baby. You have to first go away, before your baby will understand that you will return.
Sleeping: Many babies are used to falling asleep during feedings and know no other way to fall asleep other than by eating. This is a good age to change that pattern. Start putting your baby to bed while he is still awake. If he can learn to fall asleep like this, you have a better chance that he will be able to fall asleep on his own if he should awaken during the night.
Weaning: If you wean at this age, wean to formula. Begin weaning by replacing nursings one by one with formula, saving the first and last nursing of the day. As the mother’s milk supply diminishes, the remaining two nursings can also be phased out, if desired.