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Getting Baby to Sleep Through the Night

Month 4, Week 4

Yay! Your baby may be developmentally ready to sleep through the night. But just because she can doesn’t mean she will.

Remember, all babies are different. So planning on getting a restful night of shut-eye may be premature.

Here’s how you can encourage your baby’s sleep:

  • If you think her afternoon nap is interfering with bedtime, try waking her a little earlier. But remember that an overtired baby doesn’t sleep well at night, either.
  • Don’t rush to your baby’s side the second she makes a peep. You don’t have to let her “cry it out,” but wait a couple of minutes to see if she’s just briefly fussing. If you pick her up, she’ll wake up for sure!
  • Check for external causes if your baby keeps waking up multiple times. Is the room too warm or too cold?  If she still sleeps in your room, is your presence rousing her?
  • If your baby wakes at the crack of dawn, try putting blackout shades in her room. Still a rooster? Leave a few safe toys in her crib to entertain her for a bit after she wakes.

Your Baby's Development This Week

Your baby is ready to get moving! She spent her first four months establishing the muscle control she needs to sit up, roll and scoot, and explore her new world. Now it’s time for her to take those skills on the road.

Movement and muscle milestones you can expect these days include:

  • Rolling over well -- sometime soon, in both directions!
  • Raising her head and holding it up well while lying on her stomach. Encourage this new skill by holding a toy up for her to look at.
  • Rock on her stomach, kick her legs, and “swim” with her arms -- the building blocks of crawling.
  • Sitting up more and more steadily. Keep propping her with pillows, though. Soon she’ll learn to “tripod” -- learn forward and extend her arms to help her balance.

You might wonder about:

  • Picking up toys. She may be able to rake a toy off the ground into her grasp now, but it will be months before she develops the dexterity needed to pick up smaller items.
  • What kind of toys your baby needs at this age. They should be eye-catching, touchy-feely (with lots of texture), and reward her with sound, light, and movement.
  • How to encourage your baby’s growing ability to move. Try an activity mat that she can lie on and grab exciting toys. Or extend a favorite toy just out of her reach and see if she can push forward toward it.
  • Why she’s grabbing her genitals. It’s totally normal for babies to explore their bodies now that they can reach.

Month 4, Week 4 Tips

  • Your baby’s personality is developing. If she seems shy or sensitive, she may need extra attention to come out of her shell, and may be easily overwhelmed.
  • Remove mobiles from your baby’s crib as soon as she can grab and hold them. She might pull it down on top of her.
  • Engage your baby’s interest in new things by taking her on walks and finding exciting items she hasn’t seen before. Name each new thing she sees.
  • Play "mirror" games to encourage her ever-growing interest in her surroundings and help her learn that the wonderful person in the mirror is her!
  • If your baby doesn’t show much interest in looking at new things, it’s a good idea to check in with your pediatrician.
  • Do not put a baby younger than 1 on any kind of cow’s or regular milk. They need either breast milk or formula until age 1.
  • Don’t weaken or dilute formula by adding more water than the label recommends. That can interfere with your baby’s growth.

WebMD Medical Reference

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