Baby Month By Month

4 Month Old Baby

Your baby is 4 months old!

Life for a 4-month-old baby is all about playtime! Baby’s laughing and reaching—and doing tons of gnawing. While you two play on the floor, baby is probably showing off some newfound athletic abilities, such as rolling and pushing up. Not getting yourself to the gym, mama? Baby is showing you how it's done (and he has the growth to show for it)! Use him as your own little motivator and personal-trainer-in-the-making. Why not get down on the floor and do some exercises of your own?

4-Month-Old Development

Your four-month-old continues to grow and learn new skills.

4-Month-Old Baby Weight & Length
How much should a 4-month-old weigh and measure? The average weight for a 4-month-old baby is 14.2 pounds for girls and 15.4 pounds for boys; the average length (aka height) is 24.4 inches for girls and 25.2 inches for boys.

Of course that doesn’t mean your 4-month-old should weigh and measure exactly that. Remember: Healthy babies tend to follow a natural growth curve, staying within the same percentile as they grow older, and it’s the growth that is an indicator of healthy growth—not the percentile.

Baby probably has gained an extra 1 to 1.25 pounds in the past month, and he’s likely to go through a growth spurt this month.

Five Senses
Your 4-month-old baby is learning about the world through all his senses.

  • Baby’s bringing his hand to his mouth and feeling objects with his mouth too.
  • He’s listening to you talk and imitating you; you’re probably having little “chats.” Play peekaboo and make funny faces to get baby giggling.
  • Baby looks at things in the distance now, not just those close to him.

4-Month-Old Milestones
What should my 4-month-old be doing?

  • Baby may be able to roll from his stomach to his back and push up to his elbows.
  • He loves to reach for toys! Plastic keys, teething rings and soft books are good choices at this age.
  • For a 4-month-old, teething may have begun, which means you’re probably finding drool on everything he touches!

Is My 4-Month-Old Healthy?
Having a baby seems like a never-ending search for answers to health questions. Here are some common things parents ask:

4-Month-Old Baby Food

Just when it feels like you’ve gotten into a rhythm with feeding your four-month-old, things might switch up a bit.

What can a 4-month-old eat?
You should continue to feed your baby breast milk or formula (or both, as some supplementing moms do). But what you might really want to know is: Can I give my 4-month-old baby food? The answer is… maybe.

Different babies are ready for solid foods at different ages. If you’re wondering, Can I give my 4-month-old baby food? talk it over with baby’s doctor. Before you chat, look out for these signs of readiness:

  • Baby holds her head up high and for long periods of time.
  • Baby can sit upright (while propped) in a high chair.
  • Baby has reached about double her birth weight and is at least 13 pounds.
  • Baby’s interested food and opens her mouth to try to taste it.

Once you decide to start, you’ll have to choose a first food for baby. Avocado, bananas, sweet potatoes and single-grain baby cereal are all popular choices.

Wondering how much cereal (or fruit or veggie) for a 4-month-old is appropriate? You’ll have to start slow. Just one or two ounces at a meal is plenty; if baby doesn’t seem interested in finishing, don’t force it. Introduce a new food once every few days, looking out for signs of a food allergy.

How much does a 4-month-old eat? How often should a 4-month-old eat?

Bottle feeding: How much formula for a 4-month-old? Typically four ounces about four to six times a day.

Breastfeeding: How often should a 4-month-old nurse? Feedings are still typically about every three or four hours, but each breastfed baby may be slightly different. What’s important is that baby seems content, your boobs seem to have been emptied (they’re soft) and baby’s gaining weight healthily.

Pumping: If you’re pumping breast milk, you’re probably wondering how many ounces of breast milk for a 4-month-old is enough. Baby needs about 25 ounces of breast milk per day. So you’ll need to divide that by how many feedings baby typically has. So if you feed baby about eight times per day, he should get about 3.1 ounces of breast milk at each feeding.

To double-check that baby’s getting enough breast milk, you can check her diapers. How many wet diapers for a four-month-old is healthy? About four or five very wet ones per day.

Here’s a 4-month-old schedule for breastfeeding or bottle-feeding.

4-Month-Old Feeding Schedule

Photo: Megan Rubey

4-Month-Old Sleep

Four-month-olds tend to throw us for a loop when it comes to sleep, switching up how long they’re sleeping and how much they wake up at night; and they may even start to roll over in their crib. Here’s how to handle some common sleep dilemmas at four months.

How much should a 4-month-old sleep?
Four-month-olds typically sleep about 15 hours a day; about 10 hours of that sleep is at night, and five hours is during two or three daytime naps.

How long should a 4-month-old sleep?
Many 4-month-olds only wake once or twice during the night. It’s common for a 4-month-old nap schedule to consist of a morning nap and an afternoon nap that are longer, along with a quick evening nap. Some babies at this age just take two longer naps.

4-Month Old Sleep Schedule

Photo: Megan Rubey

My 4-month-old won’t sleep! Why?
At four months, some parents report that their good sleeper suddenly isn’t such a good sleeper. Or maybe their 4-month-old wakes up screaming more often in the middle of the night than they used to do.

There’s a term for this: 4-month-old sleep regression. Babies this age don’t sleep as deeply as they used to; plus, their brains are more active, making them more alert. A soothing sleep routine can help your baby get back to snoozing more soundly. So can getting baby used to falling asleep on his own in the crib, rather than in your arms (we know—easier said than done!). Luckily, 4-month sleep regression usually only lasts about two to six weeks.

Can I sleep train my 4-month-old?
This is a personal choice, but some experts say you can start sleep training between 4 months old and 6 months old. Signs baby might be ready for sleep training are that he’s gotten into regular sleep routine and that he’s dropped most of his middle-of-the-night feedings. Read more about how to sleep train a baby to see if it’s right for your family.

Is it okay for my baby to sleep on his stomach?
You should be putting baby down in the crib on his back, to reduce the risk of SIDS. So if you’ve got a 4-month-old sleeping on his stomach, you’ve got a roller on your hands!

And letting baby sleep on his stomach can be a scary notion after you’ve been taking all of these precautions the whole time. But it’s safe to let your baby sleep on his tummy occasionally, if he’s strong enough to lift his head and to roll completely over.

Another safety tip: You should stop swaddling your baby, if you haven’t already, once he starts rolling over.

4-Month-Old Schedule

Now that you’ve got an active, playful baby on your hands, you’re probably looking for more things to do with a 4-month-old. Check out this list of baby activities that will give you an idea of 4-month-old activities, as well as things to do with baby as she grows.

4-Month-Old Schedule Example
A 4-month-old’s daily schedule might look something like this.

Photo: Megan Rubey

4-Month-Old Baby Checklist / Tips

  • Take baby to her four-month-old checkup.
  • 4-month-old vaccines: The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends a second dose of the pneumococcal (PCV13), DTaP, Hib, poliovirus and Rotavirus immunizations at the four-month visit. Talk to your doctor if you’re concerned about 4-month-old shot side effects.
  • Schedule baby’s five-month checkup.
  • Decide, along with your pediatrician, whether or not to start baby on solids this month.
  • Regularly check the floor for small objects that are choking hazards, since baby’s putting everything in his mouth!
  • Take baby’s 4-month-old baby photo.