Newborn Development: What to Expect on Week 4

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Published on 03/07/2020 . 4 mins read
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Now that your baby has been out for a month, here are some things that you should take note of for the fourth week of your baby’s life. Expect more exciting developments during this 4 week old baby growth spurt!

How Your Baby is Growing

Baby growth spurt

You are to expect so many new changes during this growth spurt. It is likely that your baby’s growth has been erratic for the past months. However, the average weight gain ranges from 4 to 7 ounces in a week for the first couple of months. Your baby, if formula-fed, will also gain more weight than if they are breastfed.

As for height, they may have grown about an inch more since they were born. This varies greatly from case to case and that is why doctors measure babies according to their own growth curve. This growth curve is dependent on how old, long, and heavy they were when they were born.

4 week old baby growth spurt

Developmental Milestones 

Communication is a huge milestone for this week. At this point, you may begin to notice how your baby will have different kinds of crying for different needs or concerns. This helps you distinguish what your baby is trying to tell you – whether it is due to hunger, discomfort, or a wet diaper.

On top of this, it is also likely that they will start being startled by loud noises and will often either be quiet or start crying whenever they hear something loud.

Cooing and smiling are also going to happen soon and could begin as early as 4 weeks old. In the meantime, your baby will communicate through crying and it is the challenge of every parent to understand their baby’s cues. 

By this 4 week old baby growth spurt, your newborn should also be able to focus on objects for longer periods of time. Experts encourage that your baby be around people so they can focus on faces.

Feeding & Nutrition

Feeding gets erratic in the same way growth does. Because there is the 4 week old baby growth spurt, your baby may get hungry more often.

Baby feeding schedule

In most cases, breastfed babies should be fed as often as they get hungry. Do not stress about possibly overfeeding your baby if they get hungry a lot. On average, breastfed babies should intake 12 to 32 ounces a day, while formula milk-fed babies should intake around 16 to 32 ounces a day.

Make sure to consistently burp after feedings. If there are any complications or issues with feeding, you may want to consider switching formulas or changing bottles.

Why Does Nipple Itching Happen While Breastfeeding?

Baby Care Tips

Nail care

During this 4 week old baby growth spurt, your baby is bound to be reaching for their face more often so it would serve both of you well to make sure that their fingernails are clean and trimmed to avoid any possible harm.

Diaper Tips

It is also at this point that you should change their diaper more frequently and maybe consider introducing a diaper rash cream if your baby has irritable skin or is prone to rashes. Make sure to check your diaper brand if it is alright to be used with rash cream. If rashes are already there and require treatment, consider a few minutes of airing it out in between changes.

4 week old baby growth spurt

Sleep 

Similar to previous weeks, your baby will be sleeping for most of the day. Babies at this age sleep around 16 to 18 hours each day. This shouldn’t be any cause for alarm as long as there are no medical issues. Feeding is regular and growth is as expected.

Bed-Sharing

Bed-sharing is also still not an option at this point, but room-sharing is allowed and even encouraged for easier monitoring of your baby. If you are considering moving your baby to their own nursery, this is alright as long as you have a baby monitor.

Baby Health & Safety 

Vaccines

The first-month mark is when your baby is administered the second dose of the Hepatitis B vaccine, out of a total of three shots. This also marks a physical check-up where your doctor will check the reflexes of your baby.

Umbilical site

As part of the check-up, your doctor may also clean the umbilical site, which, by now, the stump should have fallen off. 

Caution against Sudden Death Syndrome

You should still avoid smoking or being around smokers since this puts your baby at risk of further complications or even SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome).

Going outside

When riding vehicles, babies should be in a rear-facing infant seat for safety and comfort.

What Can I Do to Help my Baby Grow?

One thing you can do to help your baby grow is by introducing tummy time. This helps them prepare for crawling. Having them lie on their tummy is safe as long as it is supervised. 

For the first few days of doing this, it should only be a couple of minutes or less since your baby will not be strong enough to hold their head up for much longer. Eventually, you can work your way up to 15- to 20-minute sessions of tummy time as your baby builds strength.

What to Watch Out For and When to See a Doctor

At the check-up for the second shot of the Hepatitis B vaccine, consider asking your doctor about what immunization methods are to be received for the following month and ask if it is necessary for you to be screened for postpartum depression.

You should also watch out for warning signs of colic or reflux which include:

  • Excessive gas
  • Projectile vomiting
  • Crying for extended periods of time
  • Being fussy or irritable especially in the evening
  • Feeding problems like choking or refusing
  • Chronic coughing

As long as you seek help whenever needed and spend time for yourself and your baby, you will soon get used to taking care of your baby. It only gets easier from here on out as you walk the curve.

Learn more about Parenting here

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

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