Medical Care and Your 4- to 7-Month-Old

Medical Care and Your 4- to 7-Month-Old

Because your baby grows rapidly during these months, your questions may move from simple sleeping and eating concerns to those about physical development and motor skills. Your doctor will monitor your baby's progress and answer your questions.

Most likely your baby will now be seen at 4 months and at 6 months, but your doctor may have a different schedule for well-baby visits. Extra visits may be scheduled to check on a problem found earlier.

Many parents call the doctor more often about suspected colds or ear infections during these months, especially in wintertime. Once babies can reach out and grab objects, and start having contact with more people, they can be at increased risk for contagious illness, particularly if entering childcare or if they have older siblings. Also, much of the immunity that they received from their mothers before birth is "wearing off" now.

What to Expect at the Office Visit

Well-baby visits vary from doctor to doctor, but here are some common elements of a checkup:

Sometime during the 6 months before their first birthday babies are checked for anemia (low red blood cell count usually due to iron deficiency at this age). This can be done with a simple finger prick to collect a drop of blood for examination. Other than this test, most babies do not need any routine laboratory tests in the first year of life.

Bring to the doctor any questions or concerns you may have at this time. Make sure to write down any specific instructions you receive regarding special baby care. Keep updating your child's permanent medical record, listing information on growth and any problems or illnesses.

Immunizations Your Baby Will Receive

Immunizations generally given at the 4-month visit:

At the 6-month visit, your baby also may receive (depending on the brand of vaccine given, and whether your child has received earlier doses):

Babies at high risk of developing a meningococcal disease, which can lead to bacterial meningitis and other serious conditions, may receive an additional vaccine. (Otherwise, the meningococcal vaccine is routinely given at 11-12 years old.)

When to Call the Doctor

Colds and other illnesses are a part of growing up. Your baby is beginning to explore and probably is being exposed to other kids. While it's hard to see your baby fight a stuffy nose or suffer with an ear infection, rest assured that most kids grow out of the frequent-illness stage (though perhaps not for some time).

Meanwhile, these safeguards can help keep your baby well:

Call your doctor right away if your baby seems lethargic or less energetic, refuses to eat, suddenly has trouble sleeping, has diarrhea, or is vomiting. Also, a temperature over 101ºF (38.3ºC) should be reported to the doctor immediately, even if your baby seems well otherwise.

Reviewed by: Elana Pearl Ben-Joseph, MD
Date reviewed: February 2014





Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.

© 1995-2014 The Nemours Foundation/KidsHealth. All rights reserved.





Bookmark and Share

Related Resources
OrganizationAmerican Medical Association (AMA) The AMA has made a commitment to medicine by making doctors more accessible to their patients. Contact the AMA at: American Medical Association
515 N. State St.
Chicago, IL 60610
(312) 464-5000
OrganizationCenters for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) The CDC (the national public health institute of the United States) promotes health and quality of life by preventing and controlling disease, injury, and disability.
OrganizationAmerican Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) The AAP is committed to the health and well-being of infants, adolescents, and young adults. The website offers news articles and tips on health for families.
Web SiteZero to Three Zero to Three is a national nonprofit organization that promotes the health and development of infants and toddlers.
Related Articles
Childproofing and Preventing Household Accidents You might think of babies and toddlers when you hear the words "babyproofing" or "childproofing," but unintentional injury is the leading cause of death in kids 14 years old and under.
Sleep and Your 4- to 7-Month-Old By this age, your baby should be on the way toward an established sleep pattern, including several naps a day and at least 7 or 8 hours of sleep at night.
The Senses and Your 4- to 7-Month-Old Your baby is working on all five senses, understanding and anticipating more and more. How can you stimulate your baby's senses?
Learning, Play, and Your 4- to 7-Month-Old Your infant will learn to sit during this time, and in the next few months will begin exploring by reaching out for objects, grasping and inspecting them.
Communication and Your 4- to 7-Month-Old Your baby's range of sounds and facial expressions continues to grow, and your baby is also imitating sounds, which are the first attempts at speaking.
Growth and Your 4- to 7-Month-Old Since your child's birth, the doctor has been recording his or her weight, length, and more - what's typical growth during this period?
What You Need to Know in an Emergency In an emergency, it's hard to think clearly about your kids' health information. Here's what important medical information you should have handy, just in case.
Knowing Your Child's Medical History In an emergency, health care professionals will have many questions about a patient's medical history. It's easy to compile this information now, and it could save critical minutes later.
Choosing Safe Baby Products Choosing baby products can be confusing, but one consideration must never be compromised: your little one's safety.
Feeding Your 4- to 7-Month-Old At this age, chances are your baby is ready to try a few solid foods.
Movement, Coordination, and Your 4- to 7-Month-Old At this age, kids are learning to roll over, reach out to get what they want, and sit up. Provide a safe place to practice moving and lots of interesting objects to reach for.
iGrow iGrow
Sign up for our parent enewsletter