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Baby's 4-Month Checkup: What to Expect

Reviewed by Sabrina Felson, MD on November 03, 2021
Mother holding a baby in an examination room with

By now, your baby may be smiling, laughing, and cooing. They are also growing fast. Their birth weight may have almost doubled. You'll probably have a lot of questions for your baby's doctor at this visit.

Here's what to expect at your baby's 4-month checkup.

You Can Expect Your Baby's Doctor to:

  • Check your baby's weight, length, and head circumference
  • Perform a physical exam of your baby
  • Give your baby a 2nd round of vaccines (DTaP, Hib, polio, PCV, and rotavirus)

Questions Your Baby's Doctor May Ask

  • Is your baby rolling over one way yet?
  • Is your baby able to push up onto their forearms and lift their head yet?
  • Does your baby have good head control when upright?
  • Is your baby cooing or babbling yet?
  • Does your baby respond to loud noises?
  • Does your baby follow an object with their eyes?

 

Developmental Questions You May Have

  • When will my baby sit up?
  • When will my baby start crawling?
  • My baby drools a lot. Are they teething?

 

Baby Development Tips

  • Don't expect baby to sit up or crawl for at least 2 more months.
  • Your baby may be able to roll from front to back soon.
  • Your baby can probably grab objects, including your hair or earrings.
  • Your baby can also put objects into their mouth, so be aware of choking hazards!
  • Give your baby different textures to explore, like a wooden spoon or furry toy.
  • Hold a toy in front of your baby so they can reach for it and grab.
  • Read and sing to your baby a little each day. Your baby will love it!

 

Questions You May Have About Solid Foods

  • Is it too soon for my baby to eat solids?
  • Should I cut back on nursing when my baby starts solids?

Tips for Starting Solids

Your baby must be able to sit up with support and hold their head and neck up properly before you start solids. Other readiness clues include drooling, mimicking eating by opening their mouth while watching you eat, and reaching for items on your plate.

  • Try starting with an iron-fortified infant rice cereal mixed with breast milk or formula.
  • Don't worry if baby only takes one to two spoonfuls.
  • Be sure to use a small, baby spoon as baby's mouth is still very small.
  • Your baby may push the spoon right back out with their tongue! This is normal at first.
  • Expect to continue nursing or bottle-feeding through baby's first year.

 

Safety Questions You May Have

  • When should I baby-proof the house?
  • What should I do first?

Baby Safety Tips:

If you haven't already, start child-proofing now. Babies can develop new skills overnight!

  • When your baby pushes up on their hands, take down mobiles.
  • Continue to put your baby on their back to sleep.
  • Never leave your baby alone on a sofa or bed. They may be able to roll off soon.
  • Don't leave small objects lying around that baby can put into their mouth and choke on.
  • Put up safety gates around stairs and any other unsafe areas.
  • Put your baby's crib at its lowest height.
  • Be sure to move cleaning and other toxic products out of baby's reach.

 

Teething Questions You May Have

  • What can ease my baby's pain from teething?

Teething Tips

  • Teething may make your baby drool and become cranky and usually starts around 6 months of age.
  • Rubbing your baby's gums with a clean finger may ease the pain.
  • To relieve pain, let baby chew on a clean, wet washcloth that has been in the freezer for a half hour. NOTE: Make sure to supervise your baby.

You may be feeling a little more relaxed now since you're beginning to understand your baby's reactions. Be sure to continue encouraging baby's development by playing peek-a-boo and making faces and different sounds. See how your baby responds.