Age 4-6 Months
FEEDING / GROWTH:
Your baby’s primary source of nutrition is breast milk or formula. If you are breast feeding, make sure you are drinking plenty of fluids. Babies often undergo another growth spurt, and may feed more often.
Formula fed babies should be taking between 20-30 ounces/day. No adult cow’s milk or honey until 1 year of age. Please do not prop the bottle or let the baby go to sleep with a bottle. This will prevent dental cavities and help prevent ear problems.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that beast fed infants start solid foods after 6 months. Sometime between 4-8 months, babies give us signals of readiness for solids: an increase in formula intake, awakening during the night when previously sleeping, becoming interested in family mealtimes, increasing mouthing / chewing of objects, and sitting with support. Eating is a learning experience, and should be enjoyable.
We recommend no more than one new food every 4-5 days. This allows time to tell if your baby will have a reaction to the food. Start with cereals, and progress to vegetables and fruit. Solid food may be given 2-3 times a day. No sweets or “teething crackers”. Avoid extra salt and “allergenic” foods, such as egg whites, nuts, fish, wheat, and citrus.
Most babies are sleeping for 6-8 hour stretches. Your baby’s sleep may become interrupted before each new developmental stage.
URINE & STOOLS:
Your baby should have at least four to six wet diapers/day. Stools may decrease in frequency to as little as 2 times/week.
This is a fun time to be with your baby. Your baby is entering the world of mobility and “child proofing” should be in full swing. Your baby will start reaching for objects and transferring hand to hand. Everything will go into his/her mouth. Cuddle, talk, sing, read and play with your baby. Your baby will enjoy making sounds and hearing you imitate them.
If you have other children, try to set aside a small portion of the day just for them. Fifteen minutes can be enough! Parents need to spend time alone as well.
Most babies are mouthing, gumming, tonguing, and/or chewing on this. Some may be cranky, or have a change in stools. If your child is having pain, acetaminophen (Tylenol, Tempra) may help.
PREVENT BURNS: Prevent burns by turning down the water heater to 120 degrees.
CAR SEAT: A car seat must be used for every journey. The seat should be rear facing until 20 pounds AND 1 year.
SMOKE EXPOSURE: Smoking is very harmful to your child’s health. If you smoke, your child is more likely to get infections of the ears, sinuses, and lungs. If you do smoke, talk with your doctor or other health care provider about getting help with quitting.
HANDWASHING: Wash hands to prevent infections.
CHOKING: Keep objects and foods that can cause choking away from your child, such as coins, balloons, small toy parts, peanuts, and hotdogs. If the object will fit in a toilet paper tube, it will choke a baby.
HOUSEHOLD HAZARDS: Hazards include dangling electrical cords, lamps, tablecloths, electrical outlets, bathtubs, or any bucket with more than an inch of water. Never leave the baby unattended.