Whoa now, it’s seriously been about a month already? Somehow, someway, father time did his thing and you have a 4 week old baby!
Ah, my baby is 4 weeks old already?! Time flies when you’re preoccupied, they say, or is it when you’re having fun..? However the saying goes, these past three weeks have been full of lots of things!
Maybe it’s been a blur of surrealism, absolute bliss, stunning exhaustion, or a combination of the three. Whatever the combo of feelings, you and your peanut have had quite the near-month of growth, development, and milestones.
As week 4 comes to an end, we can imagine you’re curious about what’s happening with your baby right now. But first, mama, congrats on 4 weeks of parenting. You did it!
What should my 4 week old baby be doing?
It’s been 4 weeks since you delivered your little peanut (1 whole month!), and your baby has already experienced quite the growth and development. So you might be wondering, what should a 1 month old baby be doing?
In this upcoming week, your 4 week old newborn will probably have an improvement in their motor skills as well as their cognitive processes. This is pretty exciting.
4 week old baby milestones: physical development
Here are some things you might notice in your newborn at 4 weeks.
For starters, 4 week old babies can usually hold their head up at least briefly. They’ll also experience their first time jerking about, thrusting their arms and legs, making their first fists, lifting their hands to their face, and generally experimenting with how their body moves. Those are some pretty astonishing developmental milestones to undergo as a 4 week old newborn.
And it gets more exhilarating for your peanut. At 4 weeks old, they will probably begin to recognize you, your partner, and other loved-ones they see regularly.
4 week old baby milestones: cognitive development
You probably find yourself wondering how far can babies see at 4 weeks (among many other passing thoughts when gazing at your little one). We’ve all been there. While we can’t say for sure, their vision is likely to be improving to the point where they’re starting to recognize faces.
So, your baby’s eyes, body, and facial expressions when they’re around people will be captivating at this stage. Their eyes may actually widen and stare intently at you. These are good things to look for in your 4 week old baby’s development, but they’re also just a lot of fun.
Your baby is likely to become more excited to engage with you at this stage, due to improvements to their vision and hearing. And they may well start “cooing” as well.
There’s an upcoming 1-month checkup
You may already have made note of this important upcoming checkup for you and your little one with your healthcare professional.
Expect your doctor to do a thorough head-to-toe physical exam including your baby’s reflexes and belly-button. Your doctor may also perform needed vaccinations such as the 2nd hepatitis B shot.
They’ll also check in on how your baby is feeding, digesting food (your expertise in your baby’s dirty diapers will come in very handy at this appointment), and sleeping. But what’s “normal” for 4 week old baby feeding? And how much should a 4 week old baby eat?
They’ll probably nurse about 8-12 times a day, or drink about 2-2.5 ounces of formula per pound of body weight in a 24-hour period.
And how much should a 4 week old baby sleep? Perhaps about 16-18 hours in a 24-hr period.
They’ll also check to see how you are doing. If you’re having any challenges, no matter how big or small, don’t hesitate to bring them up. Your baby’s pediatrician is here to help you and your little one. There’s nothing you could mention that they haven’t heard before.
It’s been a month, and there’s so much that has happened in just 4 weeks alone, so don’t hesitate to ask any questions you want during this appointment.
How are you doing mama?
Mamas can experience a wide range of feelings and emotions at this stage, and there really are no right or wrong ways to feel. You’ve been through so much in the past year, and especially this past month. It can be a lot to process.
If you can, take some time for yourself — even if it’s something small like taking a short bath, nibbling your favorite chocolate, or calling your Peanut BFF. Taking your newborn out for a walk in the fresh air can also be really helpful for both of you, too.
You’re doing a great job, mama! Congratulations on this first month.
Read next: 6 Week Old Baby: What to Expect