Here are some suggestions from Bright Futures experts that may be of value to your family
How You are Feeling
- Taking care of yourself gives you the energy to care for your baby. Remember to go for your postpartum checkup.
- Find ways to spend time alone with your partner.
- Keep in touch with family and friends.
- Give small but safe ways for your other children to help with the baby, such as bringing things you need or holding the baby's hand.
- Spend special time with each child reading, talking, or doing things together.
Your Growing Baby
- Have simple routines each day for bathing, feeding, sleeping, and playing.
Put your baby to sleep on her back.
- In a crib, in your room, not in your bed.
- In a crib that meets current safety standards, with no drop-side rail and slats no more than 2 3/8 inches apart. Find more information on the Consumer Product Safety Commission Web site at www.cpsc.gov.
- If your crib has a drop-side rail, keep it up and locked at all times. Contact the crib company to see if there is a device to keep the drop-side rail from falling down.
- Keep soft objects and loose bedding such as comforters, pillows, bumper pads, and toys out of the crib.
- Give your baby a pacifier if she wants it.
- Hold, talk, cuddle, read, sing, and play often with your baby. This helps build trust between you and your baby.
- Tummy time—put your baby on her tummy when awake and you are there to watch.
- Learn what things your baby does and does not like.
- Notice what helps to calm your baby such as a pacifier, fingers or thumb, or stroking, talking, rocking, or going for walks.
- Use a rear-facing car safety seat in the back seat in all vehicles.
- Never put your baby in the front seat of a vehicle with a passenger air bag.
- Always wear your seat belt and never drive after using alcohol or drugs.
- Keep your car and home smoke-free.
- Keep plastic bags, balloons, and other small objects, especially small toys from other children, away from your baby.
- Your baby can roll over, so keep a hand on your baby when dressing or changing him.
- Set the water heater so the temperature at the faucet is at or below 120°F.
- Never leave your baby alone in bathwater, even in a bath seat or ring.
Your Baby and Family
- Start planning for when you may go back to work or school.
- Find clean, safe, and loving child care for your baby.
- Ask us for help to find things your family needs, including child care.
- Know that it is normal to feel sad leaving your baby or upset about your baby going to child care.
Feeding Your Baby
- Feed only breast milk or iron-fortified formula in the first 4–6 months.
- Avoid feeding your baby solid foods, juice, and water until about 6 months.
- Feed your baby when your baby is hungry.
Feed your baby when you see signs of hunger.
- Putting hand to mouth
- Sucking, rooting, and fussing
End feeding when you see signs your baby is full.
- Turning away
- Closing the mouth
- Relaxed arms and hands
- Burp your baby during natural feeding breaks.
- Feed your baby 8 or more times each day.
- Plan for pumping and storing breast milk. Let us know if you need help.
- Feed your baby 6–8 times each day.
- Make sure to prepare, heat, and store the formula safely. If you need help, ask us.
- Hold your baby so you can look at each other.
- Do not prop the bottle.
What to Expect at Your Baby's 4 Month Visit
We will talk about
- Your baby and family
- Feeding your baby
- Sleep and crib safety
- Calming your baby
- Playtime with your baby
- Caring for your baby and yourself
- Keeping your home safe for your baby
- Healthy teeth