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Your Baby's Development at 2 Months Old

What to expect for your baby’s development, milestones, eating, and sleeping in the second month

 

As a new parent of a two-month-old, you're probably more comfortable now knowing what your baby wants and how to best comfort her. This month you will observe your infant taking more notice of his environment, as well as showing some emotions other than having an unmet need.

Two-Month-Old Development

Your newborn is growing rapidly, adding 5-7 ounces a week and a ½ of length every month. If he's taken to this eating thing, you might even be able to say your baby’s getting a little chubby! Her head is also growing, an average of a ½ a month, and you’ve probably noticed that it’s proportionally larger than the rest of her body. Over time these proportions will even out. In other head news, your newborn’s soft spot should begin to firm up a bit by the end of this month and into the third.

Movement Development

At the beginning of the second month, your baby’s movements will still be jerky and involuntary. But as the weeks progress, expect more purposeful movements to join the reflexive motions. Your baby might seem less active this month, but that’s because she's practicing gaining control over those reflexes.

Motor skills

Your baby’s neck is noticeably stronger now – your little can likely hold his head steady for a few seconds when he’s upright. During tummy time, your newborn might be able to lift up his head and chest  for a moment or two. By the end of this month, it’s likely that your baby will take notice of her hands  – these will be of endless fascination to her  – and possibly begin trying to bring the fingers of her hands together.

Senses Development

Sight

Your baby’s eyesight is improving and your newborn is getting better at focusing on and tracking objects with her eyes. She still prefers to look at faces, but she’s becoming increasingly interested in focusing on more complex and colorful images. 

Hearing

If it seems like your baby is listening to you, you’re right! At two months babies are actively listening. This is called receptive speech. In general babies and children understand language far earlier than they are able to express it.  

Social Development

Between six and eight weeks old, most babies begin their first attempts at expressive language. These are sweet baby coos  – oohs and ahhs – which use different mouth muscles than crying or grunting. Your baby might coo to show happiness and satisfaction, or to get your attention. Engage in a conversation with your cooing baby and you’ll begin establishing ideas and examples of two-way conversation.

This is also the time of peak crying, up to three hours a day, with much of it occurring in the late afternoon and early evening. It’s not always possible to calm your baby during this stage – sometimes your little just needs to let off the stress that growing and developing brings. If your baby’s needs are met, there might not be anything you can do to soothe him or her. But if it seems like something else is going on, trust your instincts and contact your care provider.

Help Your Two-Month-Old’s Development

Continue talking to your baby. Telling him or her what you're doing, what things you see in the room, and reading various books. While it may seem too early, babies begin the groundwork for learning to speak extremely young. Choose words and books that are short, and use different tones of voice to keep your baby's interest.

Start talking with your baby, not just at him or her. You can do this by asking a question and then pausing to give your baby time to process what you've said, and then make an expression or babble back to you. Month by month, baby will respond more and more.

Do tummy time every day. Many babies aren't a huge fan of being laid on their bellies, but tummy time is very important to help babies gain the strength to hold up their own heads, and is beneficial for future motor skills (rolling, sitting, crawling, and walking).

Encourage kicking with toys. Babies get great exercise (and build leg muscles) through kicking while laying down. Look for toys that are 'kick and play' types, meaning that they make noises when kicked, or light up over baby's head when he kicks his feet.

Milestones this Month

Here’s what you can expect your newborn to be doing by two months old.

Baby starts smiling. Typically between six and ten weeks of life, your baby will start smiling in response to you or your partner.

Baby starts observing more of her environment. Your baby, month by month, will take in and be able to process more and more attributes of the environment she's in. In addition, your infant will spend slightly longer stretches of awake/alert time.

Baby lifts her head up during tummy time. Your baby, at two months old, will start getting strong enough to lift his or her head up during your daily sessions of tummy time.

Baby shows you excitement! Around this time, your infant will start clearly expressing when he is excited by waving his arms and kicking his feet.

Baby begins cooing or babbling. Although mostly vowel sounds (aah, ooh) your child may begin exercising his or her vocal chords by cooing or babbling during play time.

Feeding at Two Months

Feeding at two months is a lot like feeding at one month: seemingly constant! Expect to breastfeed between eight and 12 times every 24 hours. It’s possible your baby can go a little longer between feedings now compared to last month. If you’re using formula, you should be going through three to six ounces of formula six to eight times a day. You can roughly estimate how many ounces your baby needs in a day by multiplying your baby’s weight by 2.5.

a two month old baby having tummy time

Sleeping at Two Months

First the good news: At two months old, your baby might be sleeping five to six hours at a stretch in the nighttime. Now the bad news: if that’s not happening, it’s pretty normal. All in all, your baby will continue to a sleep monster, snoozing between 14-18 hours a day. Most babies break that into eight to nine hours at night and between seven and nine hours during the day, composed of three to five short naps. Yawn! 

Common Concerns at Two Months

Smiling

Don't be alarmed if your baby gets to their third month and isn't yet smiling. As with most developmental milestones, there is a very large range of 'normal.' Some infants will smile early (right from six weeks) and others won't show you their gummy grin until well into their third month. A later smiling baby is not less happy that one who smiles earlier.

To encourage smiling, choose a time when baby is alert and interested in what's going on around him or her. Make silly faces, sing songs, and smile at your baby often. One thing is certain, by six months your baby will be smiling very happily at all of her favorite people.

New Parent Help: "What do I say to my baby?"

It may seem pointless or silly to talk to a baby who can't talk (or even coo!) back yet, but it's important for early speech development. But what do you say? Many parents find it easy to give baby a constant commentary of what they're doing. While you're dressing your son or daughter, tell them what they'll be wearing, what colors or designs are on the clothing, that you're pulling an arm through the sleeve, etc.

When changing baby's diaper, talk him or her through your process. Some parents make up silly songs to sing during common routines (getting dressed, changing diapers, taking a bath, getting ready for bed). As a bonus, if you keep singing the same songs, over time, your child may begin singing them with you.

See what’s next with our month to month guides

There are so many exciting developments and changes in store for your baby in just the next few months! Take a look at what to expect at three months and beyond with our month to month guides.

What's Next? Click here to learn about month by month baby development - 3 months old.

 

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