A 4-month well-baby checkup is a visit to a pediatrician, a medical professional who focuses on monitoring the baby’s growth and development. Although the general idea of the consultation is to assess the baby’s overall health, it can also be used as a time to educate parents about the dynamics of childcare, detect potential health issues, and treat conditions.
As a 4-month-old, there are still many things that a baby cannot do. He cannot yet stand or say vowel strings. Parents may not hear them say Mama or Dada just yet. However, even at this young age, the baby already undergoes significant progress in terms of growth and development.
Around this age, the baby may be able to respond to certain sounds like coos and reach out to objects. He may also laugh and squeal more often, which means he’s becoming more engaged. Although he may not be able to stand yet, he may already sit up. In fact, babies this age are expected to know how to do a mini push-up, which means his arms can already fully support his body as he tries to lift himself off the floor.
The baby may also begin to show signs of teething such as drooling and putting hands in his mouth. Parents may also introduce semi-solid food enriched with iron, although their main source of nourishment remains breast or formula milk.
The well-baby checkup is a routine procedure that is part of childcare, which is performed by a pediatrician, a doctor who specializes in children’s health and conditions.
In some cases, the checkup becomes more necessary than in other times, such as when:
Parents are often provided with a baby booklet, which shows different information about baby and childcare. In it can be the immunization schedule, expected developments of the child in different ages, and notes of the pediatrician. It may also include details on the best times to see the pediatrician for a well-baby checkup.
Once the parent and the child arrive, a nurse will measure the baby’s weight, head circumference, and height, although this can also be performed by the pediatrician. The nurse also takes notes of any health concerns that the parent may wish to consult with the doctor.
During the checkup, the pediatrician will:
Recommend supplements such as iron or vitamin D
The pediatrician is also expected to ask the parents a number of questions, such as:
Do you have problems with breastfeeding?
A 4-month well baby checkup is a routine, safe procedure. However, children may face certain risks if vaccinations or treatment is provided during the visit. These include swelling at the injected site and low-grade fever, among others.