Four months and growing - What to expect

All of a sudden, your newborn baby isn't, well, a newborn anymore.  The 000 jumpsuits are traded in for 00, your once sleepy baby would rather just stare at you all day and suddenly you actually have to really think about what you leave in grabbing distance!

Four to six months is an age jam packed with fun stuff, and no doubt you will start to get a sense of your little one's personality which really starts to emerge around now.

Here's some things to look out for, and whatever you do, try to have your camera at the ready to capture all of these special milestones.

Language: It's quite amazing but by four months, babies will be developing an understanding of the basic sounds of language.  You can encourage them by mimicking the sounds they make and also by initiating some of your own sounds too.  This helps them interact and recognise more sounds, even if you may sound like you are going crazy!

Chubby checkers: Even if you have a slight baby – as plenty of parents do – they have probably doubled their birth weight by the age of four to five months.  You might put your little one to bed one night only to be certain they have grown over night, and you would probably be right.  Growth spurts are common around three weeks, six weeks, three months and six months which might explain any demand for extra feeds.  By six months their weight gain starts to slow, with the average baby putting on 150g a week from here on in.  But do remember, all babies are incredibly different so don't worry too much if yours is bucking the trend a little.

Heads up: Like a baby turtle, your little one will start craning their head around in a bid to check out the amazing world around them.  Babies develop stronger head and neck control by around four months, and by six months will be able to sit in a supportive chair.  From seven months onwards, babies are starting to learn to sit up unsupported (somewhere soft and safe). .

Oh it's YOU! At four months, babies will be able to recognise familiar people – especially their families, mum especially.

Smiley face: Gone are the days when you interpreted a bit of wind as a smile, at this age the real smiles come in thick and fast, and help you remember that those sleepless nights really are all worthwhile.

Magic hands: Who needs toys when there are these amazing things called 'hands'! These seemingly humble body parts will become a firm favourite of your little ones, whether being chewed or just stared at. 

Captain Curious: Almost overnight your baby awakens to the world and their innate curiosity blooms.  You will notice your baby becomes really interested in anything and everything; birds, noses, cars, even a ball of socks are all fascinating to a little one out to discover the big wide world.  They may even learn how to hold a rattle or a favourite toy.

Little pearly whites: Baby's first teeth usually start to appear from the six month mark onwards but there have been bubs who bloom that little bit earlier (as many poor unsuspecting breastfeeding mothers can attest to!)

Gulp: The extrusion reflex (when food placed on your baby’s tongue is pushed out the front of their mouth) will disappear around six months. When it does, it means that your baby has the coordination to swallow smooth food properly.

Sleeeeep, please!  As you emerge from the newborn haze, some sort of 'eat, sleep, bath' routine usually starts to settle around this age.  Some babies sleep more than others, but usually at this age they will be having at least two daytime sleeps – often one in the morning and one in the afternoon.  Many parents report their babies began to sleep through at this age, but many more report the exact opposite so fear not, you are certainly not alone! 

Bath time: Some babies can sit in the bath with assistance by six months, but you will always need to watch them really carefully and support them to make sure they don't slip.  They might enjoy splashing the water around too so have a few towels on the ready to soak up the mess!

It is a wonderful thing that babies are all so different – your baby might have other plans and be doing things at different times so go with the flow and enjoy your baby’s uniqueness.


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