Welcome to the exciting world of a 4-month-old. By now you have probably noticed that your infant is much more active both physically and verbally. Not only does your child respond to your approaches, he or she actively participates with family members in play and initiates some of the interactions. This is your baby's way of learning about the world.
Your baby might be so interested in what is going on that he or she seems uninterested in eating. A change to a quieter room might help. Be aware that infants this age can become overstimulated or "overloaded" with activity. Your infant might give subtle clues that he or she is tired of playing and activity. Your baby should be calmed at these times.
Your baby might be ready for solid foods. Waiting until he or she has good head control and can turn away when he or she has had enough is recommended.
Start your baby on an iron-fortified cereal (whole grain rice cereal, barley or oatmeal) mixed with breast milk or formula, and feed with a spoon. Your baby will find the new texture and consistency very interesting. Introduce pureed vegetables and fruit one at a time, every three to four days, to give your baby time to adjust to each new food.
As your infant becomes more mobile, some additional safety issues become important. Please refer to the safety information listed below.
- Make sure smoke detectors are in good working order by testing them once a month. Change batteries every six months.
- Always use a car seat. Make sure the car seat is properly positioned (rear-facing) in the back seat of the car.
- A playpen is a safe place for your baby to play and learn to amuse himself or herself.
- Walkers are unsafe at any speed and at any age. Never put your infant in a walker.
- Never leave your infant alone with siblings or pets.
- Never leave your infant alone on a bed, couch, changing table or infant seat from which he or she can fall.
- Install guards on electrical outlets. Infants can roll across the room quickly. Use electrical tape to secure electrical cords along baseboards.
- Put small objects, knick-knacks and poisons out of reach or in a locked cabinet. Infants love to taste things that can easily choke or poison them.
- Make sure that your infant cannot pull down lamps or other electrical objects by the cords. Secure cords on blinds and drapes to prevent accidental strangulation.
- Adjust the hot water to less than 120 degrees Fahrenheit to avoid burns.
- Inspect toys for small parts that can be pulled off and swallowed.
- Never leave your infant alone in the bath water, not even for a second. Store small appliances, such as hair dryers and radios, away from bathing areas.
- Keep a flashlight in your bedroom in case of a power outage.
- Keep your child away from TV and other digital media.
- Avoid secondhand smoke. If there are any smokers in the home, they should be encouraged to quit smoking.
- Limit your child’s sun exposure. Make sure your child wears protective clothing (hats, SPF-protective clothing) if he or she will be in the sun for a prolonged period of time. (The FDA has not approved sunscreen for babies under 6 months old.)