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Checkups at 4 Months

What Can Your Baby Do?

  • Your baby will change very rapidly in the next few months. Enjoy these changes in her.
  • He has steady head control when sitting upright.
  • Your baby may be rolling from her tummy to her back or her back to her tummy.
  • He plays in the tub with his hands and waves his arms and splashes. He holds his own hands and grasps a rattle.
  • She will tend to put everything in her mouth. Usually this is not due to teething since teeth normally erupt at 6-7 months of age, but is merely a normal stage that babies go through.
  • He is old enough to sleep through the night most of the time.
  • You do not need to call us if your baby has fever and no other symptoms. Merely give 0.8 cc of acetaminophen drops (Tylenol, Tempra, or Panadol) to her and look for other symptoms. If she has fever of 101 degrees or higher before 6 months of age she should be seen the next day.
  • His alertness and activity level is higher than ever before.
  • She holds her head high and raises her body when lying on her tummy.
  • She smiles, coos, laughs, and squeals.

What Can Your Baby Eat?

  • Your baby does not need to begin solids before 6 months of age. However, if you want to begin now, start her on rice cereal followed by other cereals for the next 2 months. Vegetables may be started at 6 months. Advancing her too quickly to other foods might cause her to develop respiratory and food allergies.
  • Give her 4 ounces of diluted apple juice each day. This will help soften her stools and give her a little fluoride in her diet.
  • Do not feed her honey until at least 12 months of age since honey may lead to infant botulism, a serious and often deadly disease.


  • The following immunizations are given in the first year of life:
  • Polio- a viral infection that yearly caused paralysis in thousands of children in the 1950's. The polio vaccine is given in an injection (dead) and oral (live) form. It is usually given initially in the dead (safer) form, later in the live form which is a little more effective.
  • Diphtheria- a respiratory and heart disease that used to kill thousands every year.
  • Pertussis- also known as whooping cough, this respiratory illness is particularly dangerous for young babies and is always in the community in a low number of cases.
  • Tetanus- a bacterial infection of dirty wounds that can be life-threatening.
  • Hemophilus- the bacteria that was the most frequent cause of meningitis and other serious infections of the blood and lungs until the widespread use of this vaccine.
  • Hepatitis B- a liver illness that kills thousands every year. Hepatitis B can be spread from an infected mother to her baby at birth, sexually, and through blood in transfusions and IV drugs.
  • These vaccines are usually combined together to reduce the number of injections. Improvements in the vaccines have reduced the fever and other side effects that babies often had in times past.

Accident Prevention

  • Do not hold your baby and hot drinks at the same time. Burns occur frequently this way. If he has a minor burn, put his burned skin in cold water for 5 minutes to reduce his pain.
  • Do not smoke indoors, since it leads to more colds and ear infections in your baby. Place smoke detectors in your home. Even if you smoke outside, when you come inside you will bring tobacco smoke with you that will increase his rate of infection somewhat.
  • Do not let your baby hold objects that are small enough to swallow because he might choke on them.
  • Do not use a walker that falls over easily or one that collapses easily since she might be injured while using it.
  • Babysitters should be 12-years-old or older.
  • Do not feed your baby while she is lying flat on her back. She will develop more ear infections and be more prone to choking if you do.
  • Never leave your baby unattended, except in her crib or playpen with the sides up and locked. Do not leave her alone in your home even while she is sleeping.
  • Use car restraints for your baby. Do not place him in the front seat of a car with airbags.
  • Your baby can move around a lot more at this age, so keep sharp objects off the floor. She can become tangled in cords if they dangle too low.
  • A sunscreen or insect repellant can irritate the skin of your baby. Avoid them, but cover his skin with clothing to avoid sunburn and insect bites.

Emotional and Social Development

  • Your baby will tend to travel well since he is likely to sleep a lot on the trip. However, he might have difficulty sleeping in a new bed.
  • Be careful not to sacrifice attention to brothers and sisters for the sake of your new baby.
  • Verbal stimulation will be important for the language development of your child. Your baby will like to be held and hear the voices of others.
  • Your baby should be sleeping better at night. Let her cry for 1-2 minutes before you go and pick her up to see if she will go back to sleep. Do not feed her in the middle of the night since this will promote her waking up.
  • He should sleep in a different room from you if possible. Your baby and you will sleep better this way.



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The information contained within this website is no substitution for timely medical care.

Feel free to copy the information on this web site and give to friends and family. Contact Dr. Glenn Wood at Carousel Pediatrics (512) 744-6000
We are located at 7112 Ed Bluestein Blvd., #100 - Austin, TX 78723

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