You've gotten past the newborn phase, and now, with your baby 1-2 months old, you’re starting to get a sense of their personality. You’re also learning what makes them 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 by 1-2 months.
A newborn’s nervous system is still maturing, but babies can accomplish a lot in their first month. You’ll notice that your baby was born with several innate reflexes, including sucking. Soon after birth, they will be able to (with a little help from you) latch on to a breast or nipple to feed. If you put your finger inside baby’s palm, you’ll notice that they’ll close their fist around it (and many a proud parent has bragged about the strength of their newborn’s grip).
Babies who are startled will quickly flare both arms and legs out and then pull them in. This is called the Moro reflex. Even at 1 month old, your baby has the instinct for walking. If you put a newborn's feet on a solid surface while supporting their body, they'll appear to take a few steps.
Although 1-month-olds may be able to turn their head while lying on their stomach, they don’t yet have the neck strength to support their head while upright. Make sure to put a hand under your baby’s head whenever you lift them.
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 tummy 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 they may bat at a colorful object hanging in front of them. Your baby may even briefly hold a toy that you place in one of their hands.
Being born is hard work. For the first few weeks, it seems that all your newborn will want to do is sleep. In fact, newborns sleep 15-16 hours a day. Those hours may be erratic, because Baby hasn’t yet adjusted to the normal day and night cycle. You can help your baby adjust by limiting activities to daytime and keeping things quiet, dark, and boring at night. Eventually, they will get the hint that day is for play and night is for sleep.
Also, your 1-month-old’s sleep cycles are much different from yours. They may wake up when they cycle from deep to light stages of sleep, and have a hard time getting back to sleep.
By 2 months, your baby’s sleep patterns are evolving, but still aren’t fully established. At this age, babies still sleep 15-16 hours a day at sporadic hours. They usually aren’t ready to sleep through the night. This is especially true for breastfed babies, who generally wake up to eat every 3 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 their own. Do this by putting them into the crib when they're drowsy rather than fast asleep. The baby can sleep in your room with you, but it’s not recommended that you have them in your bed.
All babies need to be put to sleep on their backs on a firm, flat surface 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.
During month 1, expect your breastfed baby to eat six to 12 times a day (about every 2-4 hours). Bottle-fed babies may only need to eat six to eight times. Some parents feed on demand, while others stick to a schedule. You’ll know when your baby is hungry, because they'll start to root (move their head back and forth, searching for a breast) or get fussy and turn their mouth when you touch their cheek. A baby who has had enough to eat will seem satisfied, and may even fall asleep. Look for four to six wet diapers a day as a sign that your baby is eating enough.
At 2 months, your baby should be taking around 4 ounces at each feeding, and both breast and bottle feedings should be at least every 3-4 hours during the day with longer stretches at night. If your baby is having problems gaining weight, your pediatrician will probably advise not to go too long without feeding, even if it means waking your baby.
Expect at least four to six wet diapers a day at this age. The frequency of poopy diapers may range from a few each day to once every few days. If you’re breastfeeding, your baby’s stools should be soft and slightly runny. If you’re formula-feeding, your baby’s stools will probably be a little firmer, but should not be hard or formed. The color can also vary but should never be red, white, or black.
Breastfed infants should be getting vitamin D supplements starting soon after birth, but other supplements, water, juice, and solid foods usually aren't necessary. Your pediatrician will recommend what’s best for you and your baby.
Newborns are very nearsighted. Your baby can see objects and people most clearly when they're just 8-12 inches away. That means they can see your face while you nurse them. In fact, they'll prefer looking at you than at a stuffed animal, because infants are naturally drawn to human faces. They also prefer high-contrast objects because they’re easier to see. But you needn’t outfit your entire nursery in black-and-white; bright colors are good, too.
You may notice that your 1-month-old’s eyes cross when trying to focus. That is normal, because a newborn's eye control hasn’t fully developed. But if they remain crossed at 3 or 4 months, call your pediatrician, because it could be a sign of strabismus (crossed eyes).
Although a newborn's hearing isn’t yet fully developed, babies can recognize sounds – especially their parents’ voices, which they got used to hearing in the womb. They like high-pitched sounds, so don’t get annoyed when well-meaning relatives use that squeaky baby voice every time they talk to your newborn. If Baby doesn’t seem to respond at all to sound, tell your pediatrician at your next well visit. Many states screen all babies’ hearing at birth, but be sure to mention hearing concerns to your pediatrician even if the birth test was OK.
Like many older children (and adults), babies prefer sweet tastes. Their taste buds aren’t yet mature enough to distinguish bitter and sour. They have a well-developed sense of smell and can already pick out the scent of their mother’s nipple, and breast milk, within the first few days of life.
By 2 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 you feed them. They should also be able to follow movements when you walk close by.
Baby’s hearing is improving, too. Your 2-month-old will still especially enjoy the sound of your voice.
One-month-old babies pretty much have one mode of communication – crying. Your baby will cry for up to 3 hours a day. (Don’t panic, the crying will decrease as time passes.) Crying is Baby’s way of saying, "I’m hungry – feed me!" "I have a wet diaper," or "I’m really tired."
Eventually, you’ll start to translate these cries and discover the best ways to soothe them (for example, by rocking or swaddling your baby). Some babies who cry too much may have colic or a medical problem, so call your doctor if you just can’t console your newborn. With colic, your baby cries for 3 or more hours a day for 3 or more days in a row. This lasts 3 or more weeks.
Two-month-olds also communicate mostly by 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.
Don’t be alarmed if your baby loses some weight during the first few days of life. Babies are born with extra body fluid and typically lose up to 10% of their birth weight before they stabilize and start gaining. By their 2-week birthday, babies should be back up to their birth weight, and during the first month they’ll gain weight quickly – putting on between a half-ounce and an ounce a day.
Your doctor will check Baby’s weight gain against a growth chart during your well-baby visits, to make sure they are growing at the right rate. From the time they're born up to age 6 months, babies grow an average of ½ to 1 inch every month. But keep in mind that your baby might grow slower or more quickly.
At 2 months, your baby will keep growing quickly. Their growth is likely to come in spurts rather than gradually.
Tips For Your 1- and 2-Month Old Baby
Touch is very important during Baby's first months. Give your 1- or 2-month-old lots of skin-to-skin contact. Some experts recommend baby massage, but just holding or rocking them is enough. It will make your newborn feel comforted and loved.
Move Baby's legs in a bicycling motion for a couple of minutes at a time. This easy exercise will help tone the muscles to prepare for crawling and walking – which your baby will start doing before you know it!
If your baby spends a lot of time in car seats and carriers, make sure they have the chance to move around in different positions during the day. Alternate the carrier with periods of tummy time, stroller walks, and plenty of cuddles in your arms. Babies shouldn't routinely sleep in carriers, car seats, or bouncy seats.
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). Try introducing a pacifier. They're soothing and have also been found to help prevent SIDS. Experiment to find what works best for your baby.
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 of information, but family and friends are good backups.