The newborn in the 4th month

In this period of the child’s life the cause-effect relationships become clearer to him, and games serve above all to stimulate him to develop this ability of association.

Definitions

The term newborn refers to a child from birth to 28 days, or 4 weeks, of life. The first week of life is called the early neonatal period . To refer to the child from the 29th day to the 6th month of life it is more correct to use the word infant . The term child is more generic and is used in both situations.

In everyday language, and therefore also in the searches you do online, the term newborn is used as a synonym for infant. For this reason, on some occasions we have used the word newborn instead of infant.

The baby in the 4th month of life

In this moment of his life, the newborn should already be able to recognize the parents and the faces of the people closest to him (or her). Interest in other people around him may also increase.

His sociality made up of screams, body contortions and laughter is much more accentuated than in the past weeks.

His increased coordination ability, and more developed musculature, allow him to grasp, move and move objects: all things he was not able to do until just a few weeks ago.

His direct interest in that object – complex and wonderful – which are his hands still remains alive.

The newborn’s vision, especially that from afar, improves with the fourth – sixth month of age.

Therefore, in this week or soon, you will see that distant objects begin to intrigue him almost as much as those closer to him.

The development of the newborn in the 4th month

13th week

In this period the baby could already indulge in long “speeches” made of monosyllables.

He probably isn’t able to combine consonants and vowels yet, but he’ll try it shortly.

14th week

The rattles and variously shaped objects that dangle from his mobile give him a chance to hone his coordination skills.

But if he’s going to do it – because he knows for example that by shaking a rattle he’ll get a sound – these toys also give him the opportunity to grab them.

15th week

Up until now the baby has been stationary (not moving), but around this time he begins to roll over.

This fact, on the one hand is his great achievement and your great satisfaction, on the other it implies that you must begin to be more careful where you put it.

16th week

A four-month-old baby gets stronger day by day, and continues to develop muscles in the neck, chest, arms and even the abs.

So, even if he doesn’t like it so much, it’s good that you put him on his stomach every now and then: this is the ideal position to let him do some exercises, perhaps playing a little with him and enticing him to move, to roll over and try to lift yourself up.

In any case, by the end of the fourth month, when lying down he should already be able to turn onto his side.

His weight and nutrition

In the fourth month, the baby generally weighs between 5.4 and 7.8 kilograms:

  • if it’s a boy, it weighs an average of 6.7 kilos,
  • 6.3 kilos if it’s a girl.

Even during this period, the baby must continue to take breast milk or formula (formulated milk), but you may already be starting to see the first signs that he is ready to take solid foods as well.

These first signals consist of the fact that the child,

  • shows a disinterest in liquids and an interest in what you are eating;
  • he is strong, is able to sit (with his back supported) and support his head.

In any case, until the sixth month it is advisable to normally maintain a liquid diet.

However, it is the pediatrician who follows the child who must decide on a case-by-case basis when is the right time to switch to solid foods.

Games for 4 months old babies

It is important that the newborn can have at his disposal those toys, those other things or objects that are most suitable for him month by month. In the fourth month it could be useful for example:

  • rattles, which help him develop coordination, imitation and communication skills,
  • a small gym,
  • a soother,
  • a gum massager.

When to start reading him a book

As we said in a previous article, you can start reading for the newborn from its birth. There is no need to wait until the child is able to speak.

Even in his first months of life, reading to the child is a useful thing to help him recognize sounds, the rhythm of language, to feel pampered and in company.

Reading is a great way to strengthen their bond with the child even for fathers, grandparents, older brothers.

Many studies have shown that children to whom a book is usually read from an early age develop greater language skills, a greater interest in reading and – consequently – also a better availability for school.

It is also helpful to recite to him the story you are reading to him, intoning different voices for the different characters, to make it more interesting.

In his first months (between the third and sixth month) of life, the newborn will probably make sounds and will want to touch the images he sees in the book you are reading.

Therefore, it is better to give preference to books that have interesting images for him, and perhaps with written texts that are perceptible to the touch.

Katherine Johnson, M.D., is a board-certified obstetrician-gynecologist with clinical expertise in general obstetrics and gynecology, family planning, women’s health, and gynecology.

She is affiliated with the Obstetrics and Gynecology division at an undisclosed healthcare institution and the online platform, Maternicity.com.

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