1. Check your baby's weight, length, and head circumference and
plot the measurements on the growth
2. Ask questions, address concerns, and offer advice about how
your baby is:
Feeding. Breast milk or formula is still all your baby needs.
Iron-fortified cereal or puréed meats can be introduced when your baby is ready
for solid foods at about 6 months of age. Talk with your doctor before starting
Peeing and pooping. Babies this age should have several wet diapers a day and regular
bowel movements. Some may poop every day; others may poop every few days. This is
normal as long as stools are soft. Let your doctor know if they become hard, dry,
or difficult to pass.
Sleeping. At this age, babies
sleep about 12 to 16 hours a day, with two or three daytime naps. Most babies
have a stretch of sleep for 5 or 6 hours at night. Some infants, particularly those
who are breastfed, may wake more often.
Developing. By 4 months, it's common for many babies to:
hold up head and chest, supporting themselves on arms, while on tummy
roll from front to back
There's a wide range of normal and children develop at different rates. Talk to
your doctor if you're concerned about your child's development.
3. Do a physical
exam with your baby undressed while you are present. This will include
an eye exam, listening to your baby's heart and feeling pulses, checking hips, and
paying attention to your baby's movements.
4. Update immunizations.Immunizations
can protect infants from serious childhood illnesses, so it's important that your
baby get them on time. Immunization schedules can vary from office to office, so talk
to your doctor about what to expect.
Here are some things to keep in mind until your baby's next routine checkup at
Breast milk or formula is still all your baby needs.
If breastfeeding, continue to give vitamin D supplements. Breastfed
babies may need iron supplements until they get enough iron from the foods they eat.
Start with a small amount of iron-fortified single-grain cereal mixed with breast
milk or formula. You can also start with a puréed meat, another iron-rich food.
Use an infant spoon — do not put cereal in your baby's bottle.
If your baby is pushing a lot out with the tongue, he or she may not be ready
for solids yet. Wait a week or so before trying again.
Wait until your baby successfully eats cereal from the spoon before trying other
solids. Introduce one new food at a time and wait several days to a week to watch
for a possible allergic reaction before introducing another.
Pay attention to signs that your baby is hungry or full.
Do not give juice until after 12 months.
Do not prop bottles or put your baby to bed
with a bottle.
Sing, talk, read,
and play with your baby. Babies learn best by interacting with people.
TV, videos, and other types of screen time aren't recommended for babies this
Continue to give your baby plenty of supervised "tummy time"
when awake. Create a safe play space for your child to explore.
Limit the amount of time your baby spends in an infant seat, bouncer,
It's common for new moms to feel tired and overwhelmed at times. But if these
feelings are intense, or you
feel sad, moody, or anxious, call your doctor.
Talk to your doctor if you're concerned about your living situation.
Do you have the things that you need to take care of your baby? Do you have enough
food, a safe place to live, and health
insurance? Your doctor can tell you about community resources or refer you to
a social worker.
Let your baby sleep in your room in a bassinet or crib next to the bed until your
baby's first birthday or for at least 6 months, when the risk of SIDS is highest.
Always place your baby to sleep on a firm mattress on his or her back in a crib or bassinet
without any crib bumpers, blankets, quilts, pillows, or plush toys.
Avoid overheating by keeping the room temperature comfortable.
Don't overbundle your baby.
Consider putting your baby to sleep sucking on a pacifier.
Don't use an infant walker. They're dangerous and
can cause serious injuries. Walkers also do not encourage walking and may actually
While your baby is awake, don't leave your little one unattended,
especially on high surfaces or in the bath.
Keep small objects and harmful substances out of reach.
Always put your baby in a rear-facing car
seat in the back seat. Never leave your baby
alone in the car.
Avoid sun exposure
by keeping your baby covered and in the shade when possible. Sunscreens are not recommended
for infants younger than 6 months. However, you may use a small amount of sunscreen
on an infant younger than 6 months if shade and clothing don't offer enough protection.
Protect your baby fromsecondhand
smoke, which increases the risk of heart and lung disease. Secondhand
vapor from e-cigarettes is also harmful.
Be aware of any sources of lead
in your home, including lead-based paint (in U.S. houses built before 1978).
These checkup sheets are consistent with the American Academy of Pediatrics
(AAP)/Bright Futures guidelines.