Baby Development: Your 2-Month Old

You've gotten past the newborn phase, and now, in the second month, you’re starting to get a sense of your baby’s personality. You’re also learning what makes your 2-month-old tick -- from likes and dislikes, to crying triggers, which are pretty basic at this point: hunger, sleepiness, and dirty diapers.

This portion of WebMD’s month-by-month guide describes a few of the baby milestones you can expect your child to reach at two months.

Second Month Baby Milestones: Motor Skills

Two-month-old babies are gaining more control over their bodies. That means they can hold their head a little steadier while lying on their tummies or being supported upright.

In the second month of life, babies continue to have a strong sucking reflex. You may notice your baby likes to suck on a fist or a few fingers. This is one of the best ways babies have of comforting themselves.

At 2 months, your baby doesn’t yet have the coordination to play with toys. But she may bat at a colorful object hanging in front of her. Your baby may even briefly hold a toy that you place in one of her hands.

Second Month Baby Milestones: Sleep

Your baby’s sleep patterns are evolving, but at two months, they still aren’t fully established. At this age, babies sleep 15 to 16 hours a day. But those hours are sporadic, and they usually aren’t ready to sleep through the night. This is especially true for breastfed babies, who generally wake up to eat every three hours or so.

Hang in there for just a few more weeks and you’ll be able to get some much-needed rest. You may even be able to get to a full night’s sleep earlier by helping your baby learn how to fall asleep on her own. Do this by putting your baby into the crib when she’s drowsy rather than fast asleep. She can sleep in your room with you, but it’s not recommended that you have her in your bed.

All babies need to be put to sleep on their backs to reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). You can provide plenty of tummy time when your baby is awake and supervised. Also, remove all soft objects from baby’s crib, including pillows, blankets, stuffed animals, and soft bumpers.

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Second Month Baby Milestones: The Senses

At two months, babies can see objects -- and people -- from up to 18 inches away. That means you still need to get pretty close, but your baby will be able to see your face pretty well while feeding. She should also be able to follow movements when you walk close by.

Baby’s hearing is improving, too. Your 2-month-old will especially enjoy listening to the sound of your voice.

Second Month Baby Milestones: Communication

For a 2-month-old, most communication consists of crying. But you may hear a few gurgles, grunts, and even some sweet coos. Your baby should recognize your face and voice, and respond to them. You might even see the first adorable hint of a smile.

One of the most important things you can do at this age is talk to your baby. Even though 2-month-old babies can’t talk back, they will respond to the sound of your voice, and it will encourage them to start forming their own first words in the coming months.

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Tips For Your Baby’s Second Month

  • The first few months of a baby’s life are exciting and nerve-wracking for new parents. Don’t be afraid to ask for advice when you need it. Your pediatrician is the best source for information, but family and friends are good back-ups.
  • Information on WebMD and many other web sites are regularly reviewed by experts to ensure that the information is reliable. However, the internet is also a place where there is a lot of misinformation. Be sure you know the source of medical and other information you read online.

  • Parents today are always on the go. As a result, babies spend a lot of time in car seats and carriers. Babies should have the chance to move around in different positions during the day so they can use the muscles they’ll need for rolling, crawling, and eventually walking. Alternate the carrier with periods of tummy time, stroller walks, and plenty of cuddles in your arms. Babies should not routinely sleep in carriers, car seats, or bouncy seats.
  • Touch is very important during baby’s first months. Try some skin-to-skin contact. Some experts recommend baby massage, but just holding or rocking her is enough.
  • When your infant cries, try different soothing techniques. Some babies respond to soft music or singing. Others are calmed by ''white noise'' (for example, running the vacuum cleaner or placing the radio dial between stations). If you haven’t already done so, try introducing a pacifier. They are soothing and have also been found to help prevent SIDS. Experiment to find what works best for your 2-month-old.

WebMD Medical Reference Reviewed by Dan Brennan, MD on March 05, 2017

Sources

SOURCES:

Feigelman S. ''The first year,'' in Kliegman RM, Behrman RE, Jenson HB, Stanton BF, eds. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics, 18th ed, Saunders Elsevier, 2007.

National Institute of Child Health and Human Development: ''Safe Sleep for Your Baby: Reduce the Risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).''

Curtis, G, MD, MPH, and Schuler, J, MS. Your Baby’s First Year Week by Week, Da Capo Press, 2005.

Joanne Cox, MD, director of the Primary Care Center and Associate Chief of General Pediatrics at Children’s Hospital, Boston.

Jennifer Shu, MD, pediatrician at Children’s Medical Group in Atlanta, and author of Heading Home with Your Newborn.

© 2017 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved.

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