Baby development and milestones: Your 2-month-old
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 two-month-old bub’s emerging personality and are more aware of her likes and dislikes.
So what changes has she gone through and what milestones should she be hitting at this stage?
Neck muscles and head control
Your two-month-old is gaining more control over her body and can start to hold her head up a little steadier when she’s lying on her stomach for “tummy time” or when you’re holding her upright.
She might also begin to do cute little baby push-ups when she’s lying on her tummy and her leg and arm movements will be smoother, less jerky and slightly more coordinated.
Be extra careful during diaper changes, especially if your 2-month-old is on an elevated surface, as she will now be rolling around more, although she still won’t be able to roll onto her front just yet.
You may have noticed that your baby naturally has a grasping reflex, but it’s only now that she is beginning to figure out how to unclasp her little fists and maybe even attempt to wave her hands.
As your baby’s salivary glands start to work, she will be drooling more and leaving wet marks everywhere — but this doesn’t mean she is teething, as that usually occurs after 4 months.
As your baby can now see about 60cm from her face, she can also start to distinguish between different colours and will be drawn to bright primary colours or clear, bold designs and shapes.
Although she might have some difficulty distinguishing between similar tones like red and orange, you can show her toys, books and pictures that are black and white or have high-contrast patterns.
At two months, your little one will be able to tell the difference between voices she’s heard more frequently, such as yours and your partner’s, and she will become a better listener.
When your baby hears something, especially your voice, she will respond by turning her head towards the source of the sound.
She can also feel comforted by hearing familiar voices, which can help to soothe or calm her down when she is fussing — so the more you talk and sing to her, the more she will learn to recognise your voice.
You will notice that your two-month-old now starts to pay attention to faces and will even recognise familiar people at a distance.
You can also start to introduce her to the concept of object permanence by playing a fun game of peek-a-boo.
Be prepared to have your heart melted when your baby flashes you her very first smile — and no, it’s not just gas this time!
You can encourage her to show you her adorable toothless grin by constantly smiling at her and by making silly faces.
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 she feels understimulated.
So if you pick up on these cues, you can tend to her needs, play with her and just show her some love.
Although your 2-month-old 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 she can’t talk back yet, this will encourage her to start forming her own first words and soon she will become quite the little chatterbox!
If you’re not sure what exactly to say to a 2-month-old, try these following tips:
- Hold conversations to teach your baby how to listen and respond — even if her 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 her
- Babies also communicate by using gestures, so you can imitate your bub’s gestures like clapping and waving
- Copy her facial expressions and smile when she smiles to reinforce communication
Although your two-month-old is still unable to talk or tell you what exactly she likes or dislikes, as parents you can learn to pick up on her cues and figure out what she’s trying to tell you.
- Looks at your face
- Smooth movements of her arms and legs
- Reaches out to you
- Turns her eyes or head towards you
- Happy facial expressions
- Turns her head and eyes away
- Back arches
- Squirms around
A two-month-old needs 15 to 16 hours of sleep per day and 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 her own by putting her back inside her crib when you notice she’s feeling drowsy rather than when she’s already fast asleep.
- Makes grunting noises, similar to a growl
- Rubs eyes
- Jerky limb movements, followed by a sudden slow down in movement
- Rubs or scratches ears
- Scratches head
- Becomes clingy
- Asks to be fed
When you notice a few of these signs of tiredness or sleep cues, then you should tend to her needs and help her relax before she 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 and suffocate her while she’s sleeping.
Games to play with your 2-month-old baby
As her listening skills are getting better, she will enjoy hearing different sounds and types of music, so play a few pleasant tunes for her and you might notice that she’ll kick her legs while listening intently — sort of like a little baby dance!
What you will need: Music
Skill development: Listening, kicking
Here Fishy Fishy
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 her eyes.
The different sizes and colours of fish will also be very fascinating for her to watch.
What you will need: Variety of fish in a fishtank
Skill development: Vision
Fun Baby Workout
Invest in a good baby gym mat for your bub’s tummy time that has lots of different features like:
- Bright and colourful designs
- Dangling toys
- Toys which make sounds
- Baby-safe mirror
- Soft textured padded base
Help your baby explore the different features and interact with her by showing her how to play (bat at the dangling toys, shake the rattly toys, feel the textured cloth, etc).
What you will need: Baby gym mat
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
Skill development: Sensory, gross motor skills
When to worry
All babies develop and grow at different rates and no two babies are alike, but there are a few important red flags to watch out for such as:
- Not responding to loud sounds or sudden noises (door slamming, car alarm, dog barking, etc)
- Not watching things as they move or track them with her eyes
- Not smiling at people, even those who she recognises
- Not bringing her hands to her mouth
- Unable to hold her head up when placed on her tummy
Remember to consult a paediatrician immediately if you have any concerns about your baby’s development.
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!