4 Week Old Baby Milestones
During the first month of their life, babies go through many changes. Mom and Dad also go through a lot of changes, so it’s nice to take a look at common 4 week old baby milestones. While you’re learning to do pretty much anything you need to with one hand and on very little sleep, baby is making big leaps and bounds in growth and alertness.
When you’re reading the 4 week old baby milestones listed below, it’s important to remember each baby develops at their own speed. Even though something is labeled in the 4 week old baby milestones category, it doesn’t mean your baby will experience this milestone at the same time. In fact, your baby could start knocking items off this list right away while others will need a bit of time to catch up.
For the first year of your baby’s life, it’s imperative to attend all recommended healthy child visits. One of the most important aspects of these visits is to record height, weight, and progress of age-appropriate milestones. While it’s a good idea to keep track of these milestones, it’s not necessary to panic if you’re missing an item or two off the list.
If there’s any concern about a baby’s growth physically and mentally, your pediatrician will go over it at your well child visits. It’s also important to note that children who are born prematurely usually require a bit more time to meet typical baby milestones until they’ve caught up physically and mentally with their peers.
1. Turning their Head from Side-to-Side
When you’re little bundle first arrived, they didn’t have very strong neck muscles. But, now, baby is getting stronger neck muscles and making more intentional moves. For instance, if you can draw baby’s attention with a toy, you’ll probably see them intentionally move their head from side to side.
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You may have seen this before, but it probably wasn’t intentional. At one-month-old, baby will turn towards sounds and look around a room to see who’s talking and making noise.
2. Eating 8 to 12 Times a Day
Have you noticed the late night feedings have slowed down? They probably have. Big 4 week old baby milestones is eating 8 to 12 times a day, which is a bit less than when they were first born. In fact, baby is probably eating more but with less feedings.
3. Late Night Sleep Stretches
Another exciting of the 4 week old baby milestones is sleeping longer stretches at night. At this point in their life, baby is probably only waking once or twice during the night, which equals about two long stretches of sleep. During the day, baby is probably still sleeping quite a bit, but the nap times are becoming longer and less frequent.
When baby starts being awake more during the day, it’s a great time to interact and entertain them. While it’s important for babies to nap during the day, babies that nap on a schedule are usually better sleepers at night.
4. Recognizing Familiarity
Your baby has heard you and those that you live with since they were in the womb. But, one of the most exciting 4 week old baby milestones is recognizing familiarity.
At four weeks old, baby will start to get really excited when they recognize something. Things that will often thrill a one-month-old include the sound of their parent’s voice, the sight of an older sibling coming into the room, and even the yippity yap of their favorite dog.
5. Tracking Personal Growth on Growth Chart
If your pediatrician hasn’t talked to you yet about the Pediatric Growth Chart, they will soon after your little one reaches 4 weeks old. The growth chart is recognized by pediatricians all over the globe as a way to see if baby is thriving. It starts with birth weight and length and continues to your child is four weeks old.
Baby has been weighed and measured at every doctor’s appointment since they were born. 4 week old baby milestones include where your baby falls on this chart. It really doesn’t matter where your baby falls on the chart.
Instead, it matters whether their place on the chart is consistent. Your pediatrician can give you detailed explanations of the chart and advice on where your child should fall on the chart in future visits.
6. Playing with Reflexes
Another 4 week old baby milestones that is fun to acknowledge is when baby starts to play with their own body’s reflexes. Reflex milestones can include thrusting their arms about when they’re excited or irritated, and even balling their fists.
If you put baby on a play mat, you may see them kick their legs, bend their toes and even lift their feet off the mat for seconds at a time. Pretty soon your little baby will be trying to put anything they can find in their mouth, but most one-month-olds will still be struggling with this milestone.
7. Coos, Gurgles, and Grunts
At around 4 weeks old, baby starts to become more verbal. In addition to flashing an intentional social smile, baby will also try to communicate with those around them. These early verbal exchanges include plenty of coos, gurgles, and occasional grunts.
These 4 week old baby milestones are a great time to practice talking to baby face-to-face. Repeat baby’s sounds back to them and feel free to use a sing-songy voice. While you may feel silly doing so, the up and down tones in a parent’s voice truly bring baby enjoyment. It also encourages verbal skills.
8. Taking in Your Whole Face
When your baby first gazed at you, they were intent on your eyes. You probably noticed how they would look intently into your eyes. Not so much at your face, but specifically at your eyes. This isn’t a coincidence. But, being able to take in a person’s whole face and not just their eyes is one of the most exciting 4 week old baby milestones that parents have to look forward too.
9. Playing with Toys (Assisted Play)
At four weeks old, your baby likely doesn’t have the hand-eye coordination to pick up toys or grab them with their little hand intentionally. However, most one-month-olds achieve 4 week old baby milestones of assisted play. To help baby learn to play, give them age-appropriate toys to play with.
Good 4 week old baby milestones toys include rattles, plastic links, and some plush toys. Watch in amazement as baby tries desperately to play with these toys. But, don’t be surprised if you have to pick up the toys off the floor quite a bit. The lack of coordination may cause the toys to be flung through the air. On a lighter note, you’ll probably get a giggle or two out of your little one when they watch you pick up their toys.
If life with a baby for the first time or being the Mom of more than one child for the first time has you overwhelmed, it’s important to take the time to reflect on milestones and future milestones too. Before you know it, your 4 week old baby milestones will be replaced by 4 month old milestones, and in the blink of an eye, your baby will be a year old.