Everything your baby needs is provided in your breast milk or formula, including calories and all needed nutrients. They do not need any additional food or water until about 6 months of age.
Some babies at this age are becoming strong enough to turn over on their own. If this is the case, you need to stop swaddling. It is dangerous for a baby who can roll over to be swaddled. If you are using a commercial swaddle sack which allows them to have their arms free and legs loose, then it's fine to continue using it.
If your baby can now roll over, great! Continue to position them on their back when you lie them down. If they roll over on their own, you do not need to turn them back. Make sure the crib is safe and empty per safe sleep habits. That means no loose blankets, stuffed animals, or anything else that the baby might roll into or get under.
Make sure your baby does not overheat while sleeping. Keep the room cool but not cold. A diaper with one layer of thin clothing may be all that is needed in the summer. When it is cooler, blanket sleepers or footed pajamas are good alternatives to blankets in the crib.
Behavior and development
Watch your baby lift and support their head when they are lying on their tummy during tummy time. Soon they will be able to use their arms to support their upper body, but don’t expect them to be steady for long. They will sway to one side after a few moments, so make sure they are lying on a soft blanket which will protect their head should they fall.
If your baby is crying a lot and you feel stressed, angered, or overwhelmed, it is okay to place them in their crib and leave the room for a short time. It is in fact recommended. Close the door and take a break. Call your partner or friend and ask for help. Take a shower, watch television, or listen to music. Sometimes just a short break from a crying baby is enough to calm a parent’s stress or frustration.
Check on the baby, but do not take them from the crib until you are calm. It is okay to let them cry. Never shake a baby to try to make them stop. This can cause severe and permanent injuries. Talk with your pediatric healthcare provider for help with handling an excessively crying baby.
Some babies will now begin sleeping for a 6 to 7-hour period through the night. If your baby is feeding well throughout the day, you don’t need to be concerned with this longer sleep period. Hunger will awaken your baby if they need to feed. At this age, consider their feeds as a total over a 24-hour period, rather than how frequently they are spaced apart.
How to handle well-meaning advice
Well-meaning advice can cause parents to worry about whether they are doing what is best for their baby. Feel confident and secure in knowing what you are doing is right for you and your little one. Parenting is not a science, nor is it black and white. There is a whole range of different ways to achieve the same result and some trial and error is needed.
If your baby is healthy and growing, smiling and happy, you are on the right track and should feel confident in what you are doing.
The information of this article has been reviewed by nursing experts of the Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric, & Neonatal Nurses (AWHONN). The content should not substitute medical advice from your personal healthcare provider. Please consult your healthcare provider for recommendations/diagnosis or treatment. For more advice from AWHONN nurses, visit Healthy Mom&Baby at health4mom.org.