Development & Behavior
How should my baby be developing?
When babies are lying on backs, they will raise their heads and shoulders when you take the hand to pull them up. In the last week of the fourth month, your baby may:
- Create a force down on legs when held upright;
- Do sit themselves without support;
- React if you take toys from their hand;
- Move their body to the place of the voice.
How to support my baby?
If you let your baby lay back, they will expand the arms, legs and arch their back up. These exercises are good for strengthening the muscles in the neck and help them develop the ability to control the need to sit.
To prepare for a good sleep at night for your baby, you can let them take a bath or tell stories to them. You should perform these habits in a certain order, such as feeding, taking a bath, help them wear pajamas, reading aloud, singing or playing music for the baby and then putting the baby to bed.
A good sleep preparatican bring you and your baby more time to relax and help both of you become more closely together. You and your partner can take turns to do this routine (the mother’s taking bath for baby, the father’s telling stories…). Or to both of you have time to rest frequently, try to take an alternate responsibility for putting your baby to bed each night.
Health & Safety
What should I discuss with my doctor?
Each doctor will have different methods to examine infant’shealth based on the specific situation. The overall physical tests, as well as the quantity and type of techniques to diagnose and the way to perform procedures will vary depending on the condition of each child. The doctor or nurse will check all or most of the followings:
- Guidance on what should be noted in the next month which is related to issues such as eating, sleeping, development capability and safety problems for babies.
- These reactions may occur with your baby at 2nd vaccination.
- How do you take care of your baby? When should you call the doctor?
- When you should start weaning your baby.
What should I know?
Here are some things you should know about:
Shaken baby syndrome
Shaken baby syndrome (SBS) is a serious condition that causes brain injury. This occurs when someone shakes a baby severely, causing the baby’s brain to move inside the skull. Infants are very vulnerable because the baby’s neck muscles are not strong enough to support the head. If this situation continues, it could cause serious injury, blindness, eye damage, retarded infant, convulsions, paralysis, permanent brain damage or even lead to death.
Shaken baby syndrome may occur when you play agressively with the baby. The normal activities like hitting, slapping and tickling which parents usually use to interact with the child or in the car to run on rough roads are not the cause of this syndrome.
A shaken baby may appear colicky or overly sleepy, be vomiting or have eating problems, have difficulty in breathing or be irritable and fussy. If you suspect your child has got shaken baby syndrome, call your child’s doctor or take them to the emergency room immediately. Baby’s condition may worsen and they’ll have permanently brain damage if not treated promptly. You should talk to the doctor so they can correctly diagnose and treat for the baby in the best way.
Baby’s stool has black color
If the baby has black stool, it is supposed that the baby may have too much iron in the blood. In some children, when the bacteria enters the gastrointestinal tract, the body can release them by excreting the stool, which makes stool dark brown, green or black. This is not a serious condition, some studies show that small amounts of iron in the stool can not make your baby find it hard to digest or discomfort. However, supplementing iron for the baby is not recommended because most infants are getting enough iron from breast milk, infant formula and cereal. If your child has black stools without any iron supplement, please take them to a doctor immediately.
What I am concerned about?
Here are some things you may be concerned about:
How to encourage your child’s physical and mental health
Many parents focus for the intellectual development and that if the baby will develop physically. You should not forget the importance of physical health. Try to spend time with your child in physical activities. At this stage, you can only help your baby sit up or stand up when they are ready, gently lift him up on the first hand, let the baby “ride” by bending their knees on their elbow in a rhythmic way, or raise your baby by holding their hands high in the waist of the baby so they can bend the arms and legs.
Create fun for baby’s body
Please create excitement when you let the baby trained. Talk or sing aloud and describe with the child what you are doing, they will realize the fun of physical activity.
Do not restrict your baby
A baby is always sitting in strollers or car seats for children, they can never have the opportunity to explore the physical activity, which can make them become a staid child. Whatever their age, your baby needs to be active. With dorsal supine position, the 3-4 month old baby will be able to practice flipping. When placed in position that belly is down, the baby will crawl around and explore everything by their hand and mouth, you can push hips up in the air, raise their head and shoulders. All this activity is for your baby’s arms and legs to practice naturally, you should remind that they just may do it with a large space which is not constrained.
Do not be too serious
Infants should get physical exercise in a natural way by appropriate exercises. Many activities can create fun for both you and the baby, , and help them have more interaction with other children. If you decide to let them take part inphysical education classes, consider some of the followings.
- Teachers have been trained or not? Are the exercises safe? You should also ask your doctor before registration. Watchcarefully. Any exercises with shaking movements would be very dangerous. Be wary of classes that may create pressure for children instead of creating more fun.
- Is your baby happy? If they do not smile or laugh out loud when you exercise, your baby does not seem to be too keen. Be careful especially if children seem confused or scared when they are forced to do things makeing them discomfort.
- There is a lot of equipment which is suitable for the age of the baby so they can work together or not? For example, at this age, the suitable equipment should be brightly colored, it may be a drooping carpet, balls, toys to shake.
- They may be given the opportunity to play free or not? Most infant classes should let children discover themself instead of dividing the children into groups.
- Classes focus on music or not? Children often like music and like the rhythmic activity, such as rocking and singing or a combination of both and during exercise.
Let baby set on their own
Pushing baby to do gym, or do whatever he or she is not ready or interested can lead to negative results. Let your baby practice only when you notice that your baby can start and stop when they are lukewarm or uncomfortable. It shows that they do not want to continue anymore.
Keep your baby energized
Good nutrition plays an important role for the physical development in children the same as exercise does. You should always supply full nutrition and minerals to maintain adequate energy.
Be a good example
Be an example for your baby. When you are mirror for the baby, both of you can become healthy. If they see you walking to the market instead of driving, doing eurythmics before TV instead of chewing fries, swimming in the pool instead of just sitting sunbathing on the banks, they will have a good impression with the exercise.
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
Review Date: August 11, 2016 | Last Modified: March 26, 2019
Murkoff, Heidi. What to Expect, The First Year. New York: Workman Publishing Company, 2009. Print version. Page 289-309.