Up until this point, your baby could clench their fists but lacked the dexterity to see an object and grab or pick it up. Perhaps you've learned the hard way that their fine motor skills are developing. Be careful of those shiny, dangly earrings you love — your baby also finds them irresistible.

Life With Your 4 Month Old Baby: Considering Choking Hazards and Solid Foods

Your baby's ability to pick up small objects means you need to be diligent about choking hazards. Even though your little one can’t crawl yet, it’s time to start the process of baby-proofing by making sure they can’t reach any objects that are small enough to fit inside of a toilet paper tube. Around four months, many babies begin to develop a tendency to put things into their mouth. If you notice your baby chewing on their fists, this is a sign that they may be ready to try out solid food.

By month four, your baby's digestive system may have matured enough to tolerate blended food. Besides gnawing on their fingers, there are some other signs that your baby is ready for this milestone, including a greater interest in food or wanting extra feedings, being able to support their head, and no longer exhibiting a tongue-thrust reflex. If these signs are present, ask your doctor if your baby is ready to begin solids. If food allergies run in your family, your doctor may want you to wait until month six or seven to introduce solids to reduce their risk of developing food allergies.

Baby’s Health and Development at Month 4: Changing Eye Color and Checking Up on Milestones

At the beginning of this month, you’ll have the chance to ask your pediatrician about introducing solid foods at your baby’s four-month check-up. At this appointment, the doctor will perform a physical exam and evaluate your baby’s developmental progress.  

This month, you should notice that your baby has lots to say, although you won't be able to decipher what's on their mind. They’re babbling up a storm and experimenting with different sounds. Encourage this precursor to language by continuing to talk to them throughout the day. While every baby develops at their own pace, if your little one doesn't seem interested in exercising their vocal cords, mention this to your pediatrician.

During this month, your baby's voice isn't the only thing that's becoming stronger. Your baby’s neck muscles are strengthening so they can hold up their head, their arms can now support their weight during tummy time push-ups, and they will try to bear weight on their legs if you hold them upright.

One physical change you may begin to detect this month is the color of your baby’s eyes. Even if your baby was born with blue eyes, they might not remain blue. If genetics dictate your baby will have green, hazel, or brown eyes, the shift typically begins around month four and peaks between months six and nine.

Tips for New Parents: Introducing Solid Foods

If you get the green light from your pediatrician to introduce solids, here are some tips for baby’s first feeding:

  • Place them upright in an infant carrier or high chair.
  • Place about 1/4 teaspoon of rice cereal on a baby spoon and hold it to their lips.
  • Don't force the spoon into their mouth; give them time to taste at their own pace.
  • Complete the feeding with the breast milk or formula they’re used to.
  • Continue offering the rice cereal in this manner once a day until they gain a greater interest. It takes some time to get used to something new.

Talk to your child’s pediatrician before you start on solid foods or if you have any other questions about their developmental progress.