Baby development and milestones: Your 2 month old child

Baby development and milestones: Your 2 month old child

The first year of a newborn's life is one of the fastest in human development and it's amazing to marvel at your baby's development now that she has reached two months!

Eight weeks have whizzed by and now suddenly, you have an adorable 2 month oldbaby. Now that you’ve had the pleasure of getting to know your baby a bit better and have probably started to get the hang of parenthood, you might notice your 2 month oldbaby’s emerging personality. 

What further developments can you expect this month? You can find out in this article, also keeping in mind that every child is unique and so may hit his/her milestones at different times. 

2 Month Old Baby Development and Milestones: Is your Baby on Track? 

2 month old

Physical Development

Your 2 month oldcherub is gaining more control over his/her body. You’ll notice that during tummy time or when you carry your child upright, he/she holds his/her head up a little steadier.

At this stage, your child’s median length and weight* should be as follows: 

  • Boys
    – Length: 58.4 cm (23.0 inches)
    – Weight: 5.6 kg (12.3lb)
  • Girls 
    – Length: 56.1 cm (22.1 inches)
    – Weight: 5.3 kg (11.7 lb)

And your child’s head circumference* should be:

  • Boys: 39.1 cm (15.4 inches)
  • Girls: 38.3 cm (15.1 inches)

Your baby’s leg and arms movements will be smoother, less jerky and slightly more coordinated. Watch out also for cute little baby push-ups during tummy time.   

Be extra careful during diaper changes especially if your 2 month oldis on an elevated surface, as he/she is more mobile now. 

As your baby continues to have a strong sucking reflex, you might notice him/her sucking on his/her fingers or fist in order to self-soothe. Your baby’s salivary glands might be in overdrive this month, so expect lots of drooling. This doesn’t mean he/she is teething though, as that usually occurs after four months.

You may have noticed that your baby naturally has a grasping reflex. But it’s only now that he/she is beginning to figure out how to unclasp those little fists and might even attempt to wave his/her hands.

Tips:

  • Your baby might spend a lot of time in the car seat or carrier. Give him/her plenty of opportunities to move around in different positions so he/she can exercise different muscles.
  • Give baby toys like soft squeeze balls and teethers to help him/her practice grasping skills. Though he/she doesn’t have the coordination needed to play with toys, he/she can now bat at colourful objects or hold them briefly in his/her hands.
  • Invest in a good baby gym mat for your bub’s tummy time that has lots of different features like a bright and colourful design, dangling toys, toys that make sounds, baby-safe mirror, soft textured padded base, lights, and music. Help your baby explore the different features and interact with him/her by showing him/her how to play (bat at the dangling toys, shake the rattly toys, feel the textured cloth, etc).
    • Popular choices: Fisher Price Rainforest Friends Musical Gym ($169.90) from Toys ‘R’ Us, Skip Hop Alphabet Zoo Activity Gym ($116) from Agape Babies, Playgro Grow With Me Garden Gym ($189) from Mothercare

When to Talk to Your Doctor:

If your baby:

  • Is unable to hold his/her head up even briefly, when placed on his/her tummy.
  • Is stiff or floppy.

Cognitive Development

As your baby can now see about 60cm from his/her face, he/she can also start to distinguish between different colours and will be drawn to bright primary colours or clear, bold designs and shapes.

As the month progresses, your baby will get even better at following objects with his/her eyes, and might even start to recognise faces from a distance. Make sure that your baby’s room is bright and full of pictures and baby-safe mirrors.

2 month old

Your 2 month oldbaby can now see brightly coloured objects in front of him/her.

Tips:

  • You can start to introduce your baby to the concept of object permanence by playing a fun game of peek-a-boo.
  • Although your baby might have some difficulty distinguishing between similar tones like red and orange, you can show him/her toys, books and pictures that are black and white or have high-contrast patterns.
  • Play music. As your baby’s listening skills develop, he/she will enjoy hearing different sounds and types of music. You’ll notice that baby will kick his/her legs while listening intently – sort of like a little baby dance!
  • Let your baby watch fish in a tank. As your baby’s eyesight is quickly developing, this simple game of watching colourful fish swim around in a tank is a good way for your bub to track them with his/her eyes. The different sizes and colours of fish will also be very fascinating to your baby. 
  • Take your 2 month oldbaby outside when it’s not hot. He/she will love the fresh air, as well as all the interesting sounds and sights around. 

When to Talk to Your Doctor: 

If your baby: 

  • Does not notice his/her hands or bring them to his/her mouth.
  • Is not responding to loud sounds or sudden noises (door slamming, car alarm, dog barking, etc).
  • Does not watch things as they move or track them with his/her eyes.

Social and Emotional Development

You will notice that your 2 month oldbaby now starts to pay attention to faces and will even recognise familiar people at a distance. Be prepared to have your heart melted when your baby flashes you his/her very first smile – and no, it’s not just gas this time!

Believe it or not, your tiny bub will actually start crying or fussing to show that he/she is bored of a certain activity or if he/she feels under-stimulated. So if you pick up on these cues, you can tend to baby’s needs, play with him/her and just show him/her some love.

Tips:

  • Hold and comfort your baby when he/she is upset. Don’t worry about spoiling your baby when you do this – at this age, babies don’t cry to get attention, they cry because they need you.
  • You can encourage baby to show you that adorable toothless grin by constantly smiling at, and talking to him/her. 

When to Talk to Your Doctor: 

  • If your baby isn’t smiling at people, even those he/she recognises.
  • If your baby does not respond to you.

Speech and Language Development

Although your 2 month oldbaby mainly communicates by crying, you may start to hear a few gurgles, grunts and sweet coos at this stage. It is important to talk your baby, even if he/she can’t talk back yet. This will encourage your baby to start forming his/her own first words and soon he/she will become quite the little chatterbox!

Although your 2 month oldis still unable to talk or tell you what exactly he/she likes or dislikes, as parents you can learn to pick up on your baby’s cues.

Positive cues include looking at your face, smooth movements of arms and legs, reaching out to you, smiling, and cooing. Negative cues include turning his/her face away, crying, fussing, coughing, back arches, squirming, frowning, and yawning.

When your baby hears something, especially your voice, he/she will respond by turning his/her head towards the source of the sound. At two months, your little one will be able to tell the difference between voices heard more frequently, such as yours and your partner’s, and will become a better listener.

2 month old

Learn to recognise your 2 month oldbaby’s cues to know whether she’s happy or sleepy.

Tips:

  • Hold conversations to teach your baby how to listen and respond – even if the replies are mainly coos, gurgles, nods or grins.
  • Speak slowly and clearly and allow your little one to study your mouth and tongue as you articulate your words.
  • Imitate the words that your baby says, even if it’s just “Ba ba” or “Na na”.
  • Even if you don’t understand the language of babies, just pretend that you do and respond to him/her.
  • Babies also communicate by using gestures, so you can imitate your bub’s gestures like clapping and waving.
  • Copy baby’s facial expressions and smiles to reinforce communication.
  • Talk and sing to your baby. He/she can also feel comforted by hearing familiar voices. These voices can help to soothe or calm him/her down when he/she is fussing. The more you talk and sing to your baby, the more your baby will learn to recognise your voice.

When to Talk to Your Doctor: 

If your baby: 

  • Does not watch your face when being spoken to.
  • Does not react to sounds.
  • Cries for long times every day.

Health and Nutrition

By now, your breastmilk would have well and truly come in. It is still all that your baby needs in terms of nutrition. While you’re still feeding on demand, you might notice a nursing pattern emerging already. If you cannot breastfeed for any reason, then the only other form of nutrition your baby should get is formula milk. 

If you have a baby boy, he needs around 573.4 calories a day to fuel his growth. A baby girl needs 546.7 calories every day. Typically, the amount of breastmilk/formula milk for your baby at this stage is:

  • Breastmilk: 19.3-30.4 ounces/day
  • Formula: 24 ounces/day

Your baby needs 15 to 16 hours of sleep per day. And he will usually wake up for a feeding every three hours. But at this age, your baby probably won’t sleep through the night yet, although there are some babies who do (lucky parents!).

Be patient and try to help your baby learn how to fall asleep alone by putting him/her back inside the crib when you notice he/she is feeling drowsy rather than when he/she is already fast asleep.

Sleep cues include frowning, making grunting noises, whimpering, yawning, eye-rubbing, jerky limb movements suddenly followed by slow movements, ear-scratching or rubbing, clinginess, and asking to be fed.

Tips:

  • Remember to let baby drain your breasts at each feeding in order to prevent engorgement, which could lead to issues like blocked ducts or even mastitis.
  • Eat a balanced diet, mummy. This will pass on to your baby via your breastmilk.
  • If you are struggling with breastfeeding, speak to your doctor or a lactation consultant for advice. 

When to Talk to Your Doctor: 

If your baby: 

  • Still has trouble feeding, or if he refuses to eat.
  • Is terribly underweight, or experiences rapid weight loss.

Sources: WebMD, University of Rochester Medical Center, BBC, Mayo Clinic

Vaccination and Common Illnesses

You should visit your doctor on your baby’s second month for a routine checkup and immunisations. At this age, your baby should get his/her vaccinations against DTaP (diptheria, tetanus, acellular pertussis), Hib (Haemophilus influenzae type b), polio, pneumococcal, rotavirus.

Your baby should also get his/her second hepatitis B vaccine, if he/she hasn’t gotten it already. You can check your baby’s immunisation schedule by clicking this link

Your baby’s immune system is still very immature. This combined with an incomplete vaccination schedule makes him/her very vulnerable to common illnesses like the common cold. While a cold is not a big deal in an older child, in a newborn it could lead to even severe consequences.

This is why it’s crucial you and all others who handle your baby practice strict hygiene, that must include frequent hand-washing. Wear a mask if you have a cold or cough, and any other family members or friends with colds or who are sick should stay far away from baby until they are better. 

Nobody should ever kiss your baby on his/her face, mouth, hands or feet as this could potentially transmit the fatal HPV virus to your little one. 

Treating Common Illnesses 

In the event your little one gets a cold or other common illness, you should bring him/her to the paediatrician immediately. At just 2 months old, your baby is too young for any kind of home remedies. 

Tips:

  • Try breastfeeding your baby while he/she gets vaccinated. This will help soothe the discomfort of the jab. 
  • It is important to note that all babies should be put to sleep on their backs so as to reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).
  • You should also remove all soft objects from your baby’s crib, such as pillows, blankets and stuffed animals, as such items might accidentally cover your baby’s face while he’s sleeping. 
  • Never give your baby any medicine before checking with your doctor.

When to Talk to Your Doctor: 

If your baby: 

  • Has trouble breathing
  • Is excessively cranky or sleepy
  • Gets a temperature of 38ºc (100.4ºF)
  • Vomits excessively or has diarrhea 
  • Has rashes 
  • Grabs at ear (could be a sign of an ear infection)
  • Has upper respiratory tract infections like the common cold

Your baby’s previous month: Baby development and milestones: your 1-month-old

Your baby’s next month: Baby development and milestones: your 3-month-old

*Disclaimer: This is the median length and weight, and head circumference according to WHO standards)

What can your 2 month oldbaby do right now? Do you have any funny stories to share with our readers? Tell us by leaving a comment below!

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