4–5-month-old babies who have passed the newborn period now start acting like how you imagined your 'baby' to be! They start to turn over, put their fingers in their mouths to suck, and laugh when they see their primary caregiver or their guardian. Today, we’ve collected parenting tips for 4-5 months old babies!
1. When they start putting things in their mouth, get rid of dangerous objects.
Babies of 4-5 months old are often addicted to hand sucking. They also explore many new objects in the world with their mouth. For these babies, you need to remove dangerous objects around them. Dangerous objects include not only sharp and sharp objects, but also medicines, adult cosmetics, and cleaning tools.
Organise all items that may be dangerous if they get into your child's mouth in a high cupboard or chest of drawers. Even very small and delicate toys can clog your child’s throat. So, be careful with toys that are too small. It is a good time to child-proof your home and start investing in locks to keep dangerous items away if your baby is very resourceful.
Note: This is the time when your baby also drools a lot.
2. Play peek-a-boo!
From this stage, their concept of object permanence begins to develop gradually. The concept of object permanence is the ability to know that an object continues to exist even if it is no longer visible due to being obscured by something.
Of course, since it is a newly developed concept, if an object is covered with a handkerchief, your child might think that it’s disappeared. When the concept of object permanence is developed, the child's anxiety of separation from their guardian or caregiver is alleviated slightly.
This is because the concept of 'Mom and Dad are together somewhere in this house even if I can't see them' arises. To develop the concept of object permanence, it is good to play peek-a-boo often. When the guardian covers their face with the palm of their hand and reappears, the child laughs as if they reappeared through magic. It's a simple and fun game, so it's good if you play it often.
3. Responds to the child's babbling.
Children aged 4-5 months start babbling and making noises such as 'aaaah' at this time. Of course, it is not a specific sound with any meaning, but please respond to the child's words, even if it’s only a sound like 'aaaah'. Did your child say ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ah?
All you have to do is let them know that you are listening to the child's words, such as singing back with something like 'aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa (singing a song rhyme)'. Everyone wants to say more when they feel they are being heard.
4. It's time to prepare baby food.
Weaning starts around 4-6 months of age, when the baby's weight has doubled since birth. It is not always good to start preparing baby food as soon as possible. Rather, wait to see how your child is growing. If they can drink more than 100ml of milk powder solution at a time, are salivating more, and their weight is more than double than it was at birth, you can start introducing them to baby food.
This is usually between 4 and 6 months of age. If your child is interested in food, start baby food slowly, starting with rice. A few spoonfuls of early baby food are fine. Slowly expose your child to the food and help them get used to it.
Tip: After you start weaning, your baby’s stool may change. Your baby's stool will change to a more solid form. If loose or mucus stools persist for a long time, you may need a professional examination.
5. Help with the flipping exercise (gross muscle movement) and the toy grabbing exercise (fine muscle movement).
At 4-5 months, babies practice flipping and develop fine motor skills by holding toys. Place your baby on a firm, stable surface. If they are in a blanket that is too soft, your child may find it difficult to turn over. Help your child turn over on their own. For fine motor development, holding a toy, such as a rattle, and helping them shake it can assist their development.
It’s important to take a breather and remember that giving birth to a child and raising them until 4-5 months of age is a massive and challenging task. Please give generous credit to yourself and everyone you know who has done well in parenting as a first-time parent. Just as you would say kind words to a child, give yourself kind words as well. It might feel a little embarrassing, but it is also recommended that couples take time to praise each other together.
Author: Lee Ji-hyun
- A Secondary School Level 2 Teacher Certificate
- As a real mother of a child, she ponders specific parenting tips between reality and theory. She has worked as an educational civic activist and freelance journalist.