Dear Mum and Dad,

With my 4 months of life experience I have come to 2 main conclusions:

1. You guys are expert parents. Seriously, you know just how to love me well! And
2. Being a baby is a lot of work. It’s a full time job for me, but thankfully your support and encouragement makes it feel less like work and more like play!

You see, I have been a detective this month. There are these things called hands, and I can’t figure them out. They wiggle and squeeze and sometimes even scratch. But every once in a while I can wrangle them up and hold them captive in my mouth. I am not too worried about those hands though; they can’t be dangerous if you touch them and hold them. Mum has even named them “Piggie” and sings me a silly song about them. “This little piggie went to the market, this little piggie went home…”

One thing that these hands are good at is grabbing a toy. I really want to play with all of the colorful and musical toys you show me, and my hands are learning how to pull those toys closer! But this is where I realize how hard it is to be a baby. I see the toy (and see it most clearly when it is 8-10 inches away from me). I reach for it (which is perfecting my hand-eye coordination skills). Then I have to open my hand and attempt to grab it. Whew! Who knew so many steps were involved for me to simply reach that attractive rattle you shake? Please keep practicing this with me! It may take me a while to fine tune my skills in order to actually grab the rattle. Once I do grab it, let me play with it (which probably means I will shake it, possible hit myself with it accidentally, and then I will want to put it in my mouth). Don’t forget that I should be practicing this with both of my arms. Once I’ve mastered grabbing it, challenge me to pick up the toy from the ground, or pass the rattle from hand to hand, or to even hold one in each hand at the same time!

Speaking of challenges, tummy time practice has been helping me grow my muscles! I have built up strength in my neck so I can start to hold my head up all by myself. Have you sat me up and held me with your hands so that I can show off these skills? Mum, try to burp me sitting up so I can work these muscles. Dad, I like it when you hold me up on your shoulder so I can look around while trying to support my head. I also enjoy when you sit me up propped against you or with your hands holding me waist. This lets me play with my toys sitting up, which is a nice change from laying down all of the time.

Here’s a new game to try with me! While you’re supporting me and I’m sitting up, shake a rattle and see if I can find it by moving my head and eyes. Remember, I’m still practicing how to sit, so it may take me a minute to realize that I want to look at that toy you’re bouncing. Once I accomplish sitting and finding that noisy rattle, challenge me a bit more. Begin to hold the rattle diagonal from me. I may not learn this skill for another few months, but it sure is fun to attempt things that are difficult to learn and rewarding once mastered! I love playing this game in the bath tub or while you’re changing my diaper.

My hands are also learning how to come together to midline. Draw an invisible line down the middle of my body, from the crown of my hairline, between my eyes, down the middle of my nose and mouth and belly button – that’s my midline. I can bring my arms toward this imaginary line, which will soon help me to hold my bottle all by myself. You can encourage me to do this my cradling me so that my hands have to be forward, or by sitting me in your lap and making me clap my hands together. Pat-a-cake is a excellent game for us to play so I can develop this skill.

Of course I love snuggling and singing songs with you. Do you know what else I like? Our bedtime routine! Four months in the making and we are getting into our own groove. You make it calm, tranquil, and serene, so that I associate bedtime with relaxation. We usually have a bath, cuddle together, listen to soft music, or read books. Mum probably likes to use the gentle technique, when I fall asleep in her loving arms and then she sets me in my crib. While Dad probably uses the regular technique, by putting me in bed while I’m still drowsy and then pats my back or sings to me until I fall asleep. Sometimes our bedtime routine takes 15 minutes, and sometimes it lasts for an hour. Either way, I love this relaxing time.

Hehehe. When I’m awake, I think you’re funny Dad. My 4 month old self can laugh and giggle and squeal! Especially when you tickle my neck, make silly noises, or blow raspberries on my tummy. Although your voice is lovely, Mum, I do sometimes cackle at the songs you sing. The funniest is when you sing “The Itsy Bitsy Spider” and make those animated motions with your hands! And I probably smile when you take me outside, too. Because I love the way the sun feels to have shining down on my skin and the wind across the wispy hair on my head!

Of course I get so excited to see you, too! Have you noticed? I will wiggle and giggle and flash you my big smile! That’s because I recognize my Mum and Dad and know that you love me. You talk to me with happy expressions, so I know you care for me. You feed me when I’m hungry so I know you will provide for me. You comfort me when I get upset so I know that you want me to be happy. You snuggle with me just because you enjoy being with me. And you play with me to show that you want to help me learn and grow. I know you love me! And now I can express my love for you through my joyful smiles and exaggerated baby giggles!

Love,

Your happy 4 Month Old Baby

4 Month Old Milestone Highlights

Physical Growth Boys weight: 12lbs 13oz – 17lbs 7oz
Boys length: 23.8in – 26in
Boys head circumference: 15.in – 16.9in

Girls weight: 11.lbs 7oz – 16lbs 2 oz
Girls length: 23in – 25.3in
Girls head circumference: 15.2in – 16.5in

Eating Brings hand to midline
Sleeping Has a calm, consistent bedtime routine
Expressive Communication Laughs
Receptive Language Turns toward sounds while sitting
Cognitive Watches own hands
Social Emotional Shows excitement
Fine Motor Reaches for and grabs rattle
Gross Motor Sits with good head control

Jana

Jana is the odd one out. Not a parent herself, she writes from the perspective of a young baby sitter. Experienced in making bedtime fun, she brings a unique perspective to parenting. She hopes that all she learns now will make the magic of being a parent just that extra bit special. She has no fixed address and is vagabonding around the globe, widening her world view.