Baby development and milestones: your 2 month old

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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!

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 old baby’s emerging personality and are more aware of her likes and dislikes.

So what changes has he gone through and what milestones should he be hitting at this stage?

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

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Physical Development

Your 2 month old cherub is gaining more control over his body. You’ll notice that during tummy time or when you carry him upright, he holds his head up a little steadier.

His leg and arms movements will be smoother, less jerky and slightly more coordinated. Watch out also for cute little baby push-ups when he’s lying on his tummy.  

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

As he continues to have a strong sucking reflex, you might notice him sucking on his 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 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 is beginning to figure out how to unclasp his little fists and might even attempt to wave his hands.

Tips:

  • Your baby might spend a lot of time in his car seat or carrier. Give him plenty of opportunities to move around in different positions so he can exercise different muscles.
  • Give him toys like soft squeeze balls and teethers to help him practice his grasping skills. Though he doesn’t have the coordination needed to play with toys, he can now bat at colourful objects or hold them briefly in his 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 by showing hir 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 head up even briefly, when placed on his tummy
  • Is stiff or floppy

Cognitive Development

As your baby can now see about 60cm from her face, he 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, he will get even better at following objects with his 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.

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Your 2 month old baby can now see brightly coloured objects in front of 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 he might have some difficulty distinguishing between similar tones like red and orange, you can show him toys, books and pictures that are black and white or have high-contrast patterns.
  • Play music. As his listening skills develop, he will enjoy hearing different sounds and types of music. You’ll notice that he’ll kick his legs while listening intently – sort of like a little baby dance!
  • Let him 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 eyes. The different sizes and colours of fish will also be very fascinating to your baby. 
  • Take your 2 month old baby outside when it’s not hot. He will love the fresh air, as well as all the interesting sounds and sights around him. 

When to talk to your doctor: 

If your baby: 

  • Does not notice his hands or bring them to his 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 eyes.

Social and Emotional Development

You will notice that your 2 month old baby 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 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 she’s bored of a certain activity or if he feels understimulated. So if you pick up on these cues, you can tend to his needs, play with him and just show him some love.

Tips:

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

When to talk to your doctor: 

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

Speech and Language Development

Although your 2 month old baby 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 can’t talk back yet. This will encourage him to start forming his own first words and soon she will become quite the little chatterbox!

Although your 2 month old is still unable to talk or tell you what exactly he likes or dislikes, as parents you can learn to pick up on his cues and figure out what he’s trying to tell you.

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 face away, crying, fussing, coughing, back arches, squirming, frowning, and yawning.

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

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Learn to recognise your 2 month old baby’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.
  • Babies also communicate by using gestures, so you can imitate your bub’s gestures like clapping and waving.
  • Copy his facial expressions and smiles to reinforce communication.
  • Talk and sing to your baby. He can also feel comforted by hearing familiar voices. These voices can help to soothe or calm him down when he is fussing. The more you talk and sing to him, the more he 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. 

Your 2 month old baby is around 56.4-60.4 cm long, weighing 4.9-6.3 kg. 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 on his own by putting him back inside the crib when you notice he’s feeling drowsy rather than when he’s 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.

You should visit your doctor on your baby’s second month for a routine checkup and immunisations. At this age, your baby should get her vaccinations against DTaP (diptheria, tetanus, acellular pertussis), Hib (Haemophilus influenzae type b), polio, pneumococcal, rotavirus. Your baby should also get her second hepatitis B vaccine, if she hasn’t gotten it already.

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 you notice your baby’s sleep cues, tend to his needs and help him relax before he gets over-tired, cranky or has a complete meltdown.
  • 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: 

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

 

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

Your baby’s previous month: 1 month

Your baby’s next month: 3 months

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