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Child's Routine Checkup, 4 Months: Care Instructions


You may be seeing new sides to your baby's behaviour at 4 months. Your baby may have a range of emotions, including anger, joy, fear, and surprise. Your baby may be much more social and may laugh and smile at other people.

At this age, your baby may be ready to roll over and hold on to toys. They may coo, smile, laugh, and squeal. By the third or fourth month, many babies can sleep up to 7 or 8 hours during the night and develop set nap times.

Follow-up care is a key part of your child's treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse advice line (811 in most provinces and territories) if your child is having problems. It's also a good idea to know your child's test results and keep a list of the medicines your child takes.

How can you care for your child at home?

  • Hold, talk, and sing to your baby often.
  • Never leave your baby alone.
  • Never shake or spank your baby. This can cause serious injury and even death.
  • Keep babies younger than 12 months out of the sun. If you cannot avoid the sun, use sunglasses, a hat, and clothing to protect your child's skin. Do not use sunscreen on babies younger than 6 months old.
  • For every ride in a car, secure your child into a properly installed car seat or booster seat that meets all current safety standards and laws. Use a car seat or booster that is made for their height and weight.


  • Try to feed your baby only breast milk during the first six months of life. Continue breastfeeding for up to two years and beyond.
  • If you do not breastfeed, use a formula with iron.
  • Give your baby only breast milk or iron-fortified formula for the first 6 months of life.


  • Read books to your baby daily.
  • If your baby is teething, it may help to gently rub the gums or use teething rings.
  • Put your baby on their stomach when awake to help strengthen the neck and arms.
  • Give your baby brightly coloured toys to hold and look at.


  • Most babies get the second dose of important vaccines at their 4-month checkup. Make sure that your baby gets the recommended childhood vaccines for illnesses, such as whooping cough and diphtheria. These vaccines will help keep your baby healthy and prevent the spread of disease. Your baby needs all doses to be protected.

When should you call for help?

Watch closely for changes in your child's health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse advice line if:

  • You are concerned that your child is not growing or developing normally.
  • You are worried about your child's behaviour.
  • You need more information about how to care for your child, or you have questions or concerns.

Where can you learn more?

Go to

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Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.