Your baby does not need to feed often as he reaches four months. His stomach grows bigger by this age and he tends to develop feeding habits that are more like adults. Despite less feeding, he will still gain weight. He may attempt to snatch the food off others' plates. Though he may be unable to chew, due to lack of teeth, he will lick it to test its taste. Parents often mistake this gesture of the baby and encourage him to eat more of the solid food. Parents should keep in mind that baby food for 4 month baby is very different from what we adults eat.
Feeding Your Four Month Old Baby
Whether or not, a four old month baby is capable of having food other than breast-fed milk or baby formula, depends on the health of the baby. If the baby has not experienced any stomach related problems till four months, he can start having solid or semi-solid food in his diet. Generally, smashed food is fed to the baby, as he can swallow it without chewing. Pastes and liquid food can be included in the baby food diet. However, it is advised that nothing spicy or oily should be tried.
Introducing Your Four Month Old Baby to Semi-Solid Food
- First and foremost, whatever you feed the baby, make sure to follow a strict timetable for his meals. By this, you are setting a routine for the baby's appetite from an early age.
- Before starting any solid food, consult your doctor and get a baby food specifications chart done for him.
- Maintain a balance in the baby food diet and in the amount of nutrients, so that your baby neither lacks any nutrients nor gets an overdose of any one nutrient.
- If you are feeding a new solid food item to the baby, feed him only 3-4 spoons initially. If he can digest that item without vomiting it out or without causing any stomach disturbance, you may continue with that food.
- Make sure the baby is sitting while you're feeding him. A four month baby can be held in the lap or can sit in a baby chair, with some support. Sitting position will help him digest his food faster and better.
- Use a small spoon to feed the baby and feed him tiny morsels.
- If the food is warm, you should taste it before feeding it to him, to avoid burning the baby's mouth.
- Maintain a happy and playful environment during the meal.
- Do not make the baby lie down immediately after the meal.
- Make the baby taste a new food item during his meal time, before he drinks his milk so that the baby is not very tired or hungry.
- Homemade baby food is more safe, however, if you are feeding canned food to the baby, check the expiry date as well as the ingredients and avoid food containing 'added salt' or 'added sugar'.
- Do not feed directly from the jar. Remove a small amount of food on a clean dish and place it in front of the baby. This may encourage the baby to finish the meal since he is watching the others at the table finishing their own dishes.
: Cereals like rice, barley, oats etc. can be given to the baby in paste form or mixed with the water of legume porridge. You can also try to feed him rice or oats cereal mixed with breast milk, water or formula.
: Apples, bananas, pears, avocado are the fruits that can be given to the baby. Banana can be smashed easily, however, apples, pears and avocado has to be processed in the food processor along with milk, to make milkshakes of the fruits. Preferably, filter the shakes too so that no big pieces of the fruits are accidentally fed to the baby.
: Potato or parsnip, cauliflower, carrot, acorn squash, sweet potato, green peas, broccoli, butternut squash. Boil these vegetables and smash them to make a soft paste. Do not add any spices, salt or sugar to it.
Development of a Four Month Old Baby
After four months, your baby is going to be curious towards his environment. Anything new and different will excite him. Colors and patterns are more going to occupy his attention. He will try to get up and roll over his side to satisfy his curiosity about what's going on around him. At this stage, sitting with the help of support and bearing weight on legs is commonly seen in babies. Encourage your baby to say different sounds in this month. Your baby can imagine and looks forward to old stimuli if you make him get used to it. Try to limit the use of pacifier and slowly decrease the baby's dependence on it in the months to come. Give the baby a rattle or other toys which make sound and watch him get amazed and happy while playing with it. While playing, the baby will stretch arms and legs which will help him to develop vital muscles in the body. Don't get surprised if your baby tends to grab anything that is within his reach. He is just trying to understand the world around him by touching the different textures of various objects.
At four months of age, your baby's sleep pattern will be more on a schedule than before. He will probably sleep for eight to nine hours at night with or without breaks. Even during the day, his naps will be on track and you might get some shuteye yourself. New sounds, toys or games will easily make him sound out squeals of laughter or rumbling belly laughs. Please remember that every baby grows at his/her pace. Consult a pediatrician if you are worried about anything silly or grave matter concerning your baby.
Crying is the only way for a four month old baby to indicate that his stomach is upset. Generally, many mothers prefer to give Gripe Water to their babies after meals to prevent these stomach problems. Gripe water is a European remedy that always works for gas problems or any other stomach related irregularities. Gripe water is nothing but herbs-fortified water. These herbs are proven to help calm the stomach and even the intestines. For a baby aged 4 months, one teaspoon of Gripe water, 2-3 times a day is recommended. If the baby continues to feel distressed, it is better to consult the baby's doctor immediately. Also, take measures to feed your baby the most balanced and healthy baby food which is suitable for his age. These food will make him strong and stimulate essential growth at the proper rate.