How To Care for a 4-7-month Baby, #3 will Make You Gasp
To watch a baby grow up is an amazing thing. But as parents, you probably wonder: “What does my baby need?” or “Is she developing normally?”. To help you, I’ve compiled a short list of the most important things you should know and keep in mind when you care for a 4-7-month-old newborn baby. Read and enjoy!
1. Milestones to expect
If you think the first three months were hard - then think again! New and exciting things are coming. Let’s see what milestones your baby must reach during the first seven months of his life!
Boys - 60.0 – 67.8 cm/ 5.6 – 8.6 kg
Girls -58.0 – 66 cm/ 5.1 – 8.1 kg
Boys -61.9 – 71. 6 cm/ 6.1 -9.7 kg
Girls - 59-70 cm/ 5.5 – 9.2 kg
Boys -65.1 - 73.2 cm / 6.7-10 kg
Girls – 62.9 -71.6 cm/ 6.1 -9.6 kg
Physical skill and cognitive thinking
-Plays with her hands and feet
-Put things in her mouth
-Holds her head up
-Distinguish colors and follows object
-Distinguish small objects
-Tracks moving objects
-Rolls and sits
-Motor skills development – starts to transfer toys from one hand to the other
-Baby rolls both ways
-Sits without support -Tries to grab objects out of reach
-Pincer grip - uses thumb and first finger to grab things
Social skill and language development
-Takes pleasure at the company of others
-Adds consonants to her vowel vocabulary
-Imitates facial expressions and sounds
-Starts to babble and makes a variety of noises to show happiness or displeasure
-Recognize her name
-Responds to emotions
-Responds to her name
-Responds to “no”
-Enjoys to play
-Interest in mirror images
-Distinguish emotions by tone of voice
-Makes a wide variety of baby expressions
What to do?
-Provide a variety of materials to explore
-Encourage her to play with different object
-Speak to her
-Talk constantly to your baby, make noises and show her pictures and books
-Encourage motor development by placing a toy out of reach
-Play games to reinforce that vanishing objects come back
-Introduce a simple shape sorter
-Sing and talk
However, you must remember that every baby is different and if you have any concerns regarding your baby’s development – you should consult with your pediatrician.
During this time, you may also notice some baffling behavior:
- The baby is rubbing her feet together. – There is no exact answer, unfortunately. The reason might be itchy skin or a way for your child to comfort herself
- The baby is frowning. It’s completely normal
- The baby is turning head side to side. In most cases, it’s nothing to worry about – babies shake their head to control their body or to imitate you. But it also could be a sign of an ear infection.
- The baby is scratching her head. – Probably irritated, itchy, dry, or inflamed skin, especially if she is constantly scratching herself.
- The baby is rubbing her face. – She is itchy or tired most likely, but it could also be a symptom of teething.
- The baby is scratching her ear. – A sign of ear infection or teething
when do babies roll from back to front ?
If you are also wondering exactly at what age babies roll from tummy to back, the answer is: Some babies can roll as early as four months, while others will start to roll when they’re five. But it your baby doesn’t roll one way or the other by the time he is six, talk with your doctor.
2. The exciting world of solid food
It’s recommended that you breastfeed your baby for the first six months of his life. But it’s all right if you want to bottle-feed her. The formula also has its advantages – it’s more convenient for working parents since you can leave the feeding to the babysitter and your baby will need to eat less often because the formula is less digestible than breast milk.
Nowadays most formulas are made from cow’s milk or soybeans, and they have five important components - carbohydrate, protein, fat, vitamins, and minerals, and other nutrients. Formulas mainly differ in the specific carbohydrate and protein used, and some are specially designed for lactose-intolerant babies or ones that have a low-birth-weigh.
When choosing a formula, you should pick one that is iron-fortified to prevent anemia and talk to your doctor. For more detailed information, you can visit: http://www.babycenter.com/0_how-to-buy-baby-formula_1334669.bc?showAll=true
Breast milk, formula 24-45 ounces
Every 2-4 hours
Breast milk, formula 24-37 ounces every 3-4 hours
Fruit and vegetables
Pureed apples, bananas, pear, avocados
sweet potatoes, squash, beans
Mashed and pureed fruits and vegetables, carrots, peas, plums, peach, apricot, prunes, pumpkin
Cereal and grains
Semi-liquated, rich in iron cereal –barley, oatmeal, rice
Rice cakes, rice, barley, wheat, oatmeal
Soft, cooked meat – chicken, tofu, turkey
Nevertheless, you should avoid giving your baby cow’s milk because it doesn’t have the necessary nutrition in the right proportion and it’s hard to digest. And you should in no circumstance add anything to the formula, without consulting with your pediatrician.
Around the 4th month, you also should delve into the world of solid food. According to pediatricians you should start introducing solid food when your baby is 6 months old, but you might start as early as four months, if:
- your baby shows interest in foods
- hold her head well and can sit upright
- makes chewing motions
- has the necessary motor skills
- doesn’t push food out of her mouth with her tongue
- has double her birth weight
Let’s see what your baby can eat:
- Begin with a single ingredient pureed food and then move to pureed meals
- Pick a time when the baby is not cranky
- Don’t give up if your baby rejects the offered food. Try again in a few days
- Introduce food one at a time, so if your baby develops an allergic reaction (rash, vomiting, diarrhea, etc.), you would know the culprit
- There is no specific order in which you should offer the new food, but some parents like to start with the vegetable first, then fruit, cereal, and meat
- Start by nursing or bottle feeding her and then give her one or two tablespoons of pureed solid food. By the time she is 7-month-old, she should eat two or three solid meals a day
- Start introducing the sippy cup
- Don’t give honey and cow’s milk
3. A good night’s sleep equals a healthy baby
Hurray! Your baby doesn’t wake up as often as before, and you can enjoy a good night sleep once more.
In general, 4-7-month-old newborns sleep around 14 hours with at least two naps during the day (around 3-4 hours of sleep during the day).
If you think that your baby is getting too much daily sleep and that this interferes with her nighttime, you might wake her up earlier from her afternoon nap, but a tired baby will have troubles sleeping.
Baby rubbing eyes a lot
Usually, your child will get tired after two-three hours of being awake, so let’s take a look at the signs that will tell you that it’s time for a nap:
- fussiness, whining, crying, screaming
- pulling ears or hair
- a clingy baby
- a baby that is rubbing his eyes a lot
Gentle sleep training
Since your baby has a more regular sleep-wake cycle, you might start to sleep training her so she would learn to fall asleep on her own in her crib and stay asleep during the night. To achieve this and make bedtime easier you should:
- Follow a predictable daily routine to keep your baby relax
- Establish a bedtime routine and stick to it– a warm bath, a book, and a lullaby before bed
- Try to put her to bed at a consistent bedtime – usually between 7 and 8 pm when your baby isn’t too tired
- Check for underlying medical conditions like sleep apnea that could affect her sleep
Now, when you have set the stage, you have several options for sleep training:
- The Ferber cry it out method –The main point is to teach your child to soothe herself back to sleep and crying is the undesired side effect. You shouldn’t leave the baby to cry for long and should occasionally comfort her without picking her up. For naps, you can use the cry it out naps approach but remember than a baby can cry more during the day than during the night and she can miss her nap entirely
- The no tears approach – It involves soothing the baby to sleep and offering immediate comfort
- Fading – The principle is that you start to diminish your bedtime role. For example – you comfort your child every five minutes until she falls asleep
Baby fights sleep
But why do babies fight sleep? I bet you’re asking this particular question. There are four main reasons:
- Overtired baby
- Baby isn’t tired enough
- Separation anxiety
- Personality and temperament
To deal with these, consider adjusting the bedtime, sleeping, and feeding schedule.
Baby keeps waking up
The other problem, of course, is the baby waking up in the middle of the night. By this age, most babies should sleep through the night, but they might occasionally wake up – that’s why sleep training is such a good idea. But, if your child is waking up more than you think is normal, consider:
- Teething pain
- Dirty diaper
- Room temperature
- The position of the crib
4. Time to play
Playing with your baby is imperative for her healthy development. At this age, you should consider the following activities:
- Tummy time – It’s crucial for building back, neck and arm strength. This would make it easier for her to roll over when she is ready.
- Start swimming lessons – most baby swimming classes start at six weeks, and swimming improves self-confidence and intelligence.
- Give her a massage. She would love it, and it’s a great way to bond. For detailed information visit http://www.babycenter.com/slideshow-baby-massage
- Ask her “yes” and “no” questions to make her babble
- Play music, read, point and name objects
- Since your baby has a sense of object permanence, hide a toy and encourage her to find it
- Play "Peekaboo."
- Provide moving toys or ones that make a sound
Adequate toys for a 4-7-month baby include lightweight rattles, activity bars, soft stuffed animals and dolls, squeaky rubber toys, toys to manipulate.
Always choose age-appropriate toys, which are well-made and check for anything that could be snapped or chewed. Also, always consider whether the toy can fit in your baby’s mouth and be on the lookout for toxic toys.
As you see caring for a 4-7-month-old baby is both challenging and amazing because slowly, but surely your little one is growing up, and even more exciting things are on the way. I hope that you have enjoyed reading this list and that you’ll share your story. Don’t forget –if you have learned something new, give us a like and share the article.
Goodbye, until we meet again.