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Your Four Month Old - What You Need To Know

Ages and Stages

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Updated March 27, 2011

A four month old baby.

A four month old baby.

Photo (c) Eugeny Shevchenko

Infant Nutrition

At this age, breast milk or an iron fortified infant formula is the only food that your infant needs at this age and he should be nursing or drinking about 5-6 ounces 4-6 times each day (24-32 ounces), but over the next month or two, you can start to familiarize your infant with the feel of a spoon and start solid baby foods.

Cereal is the first solid you should give your infant and you can mix it with breast milk, formula or water and feed it to your him with a spoon (not in a bottle). Start by feeding one tablespoon of an iron-fortified Rice cereal at one feeding and then slowly increase the amount to 3-4 tablespoons one or two times each day. This is a very important source of iron for your growing infant (especially if you are breastfeeding). You can then begin vegetables and fruits at about six months of age.

Your infant will probably have given up middle of the night feedings by this age (although some breastfed infants continue to have a feeding in the middle of the night). If not, and your baby is gaining weight well, slowly reduce how much you are putting in the bottle each night and gradually stop this feeding all together.

Feeding practices to avoid are putting the bottle in bed or propping the bottle while feeding, putting cereal in the bottle, feeding honey, using a low-iron formula or heating bottles in the microwave.

For more information on your baby's nutrition:

Infant Growth and Development

At this age you can expect your infant to roll over (front to back), bear weight on his legs, sit with support, hold up his head and chest and support himself on his elbows if he is on his stomach, pull to a sitting position and hold on to a rattle. Over the next few months your infant will start to imitate speech sounds, reach for objects and sit without support.

If using a pacifier, try and restrict its use to when your baby seems to need the self-comforting behavior of sucking. Avoid using it every time your baby cries and to be safe, use a one-piece commercial pacifier and do not hang it around your baby's neck. After six months of age, you should restrict pacifier use to when your baby is in his crib.

Most babies take at least two to three naps (length of naps are usually very variable between different children, but naps are usually 1 1/2 - 2 hours each) during the day at this age and are able to sleep for the majority of the night. If not, check to make sure that your baby has a good bedtime routine and has developed the proper sleep associations.

For more information on your infant's growth and development:

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