What to Expect During This Visit
Your doctor and/or nurse will probably:
1. Check your baby's weight, length, and head circumference and plot the measurements on the growth charts.
2. Ask questions, address concerns, and offer advice about how your baby is:
Feeding. Breast milk or formula is still all your baby needs. Iron-fortified cereal or puréed meats can be introduced when your baby is ready for solid foods at about 6 months of age. Talk with your doctor before starting any solids.
Peeing and pooping. Babies this age should have several wet diapers a day and regular bowel movements. Some may poop every day; others may poop every few days. This is normal as long as stools are soft. Let your doctor know if they become hard, dry, or difficult to pass.
Sleeping. At this age, babies sleep about 12 to 16 hours a day, with two or three daytime naps. Most babies have a stretch of sleep for 5 or 6 hours at night. Some infants, particularly those who are breastfed, may wake more often.
Developing. By 4 months, it's common for many babies to:
- turn when they hear voices
- smile, laugh, and squeal
- "coo" in response to your "coos"
- bring hands together in front of chest
- reach for and grasp objects
- have good head control when sitting
- hold up head and chest, supporting themselves on arms, while on tummy
- roll from front to back
There's a wide range of normal and children develop at different rates. Talk to your doctor if you're concerned about your child's development.
3. Do a physical exam with your baby undressed while you are present. This will include an eye exam, listening to your baby's heart and feeling pulses, checking hips, and paying attention to your baby's movements.
4. Update immunizations. Immunizations can protect infants from serious childhood illnesses, so it's important that your baby get them on time. Immunization schedules can vary from office to office, so talk to your doctor about what to expect.
Here are some things to keep in mind until your baby's next routine checkup at 6 months:
Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
© 1995-2022 KidsHealth® All rights reserved. Images provided by iStock, Getty Images, Corbis, Veer, Science Photo Library, Science Source Images, Shutterstock, and Clipart.com