You’ve made it through the challenging first months with your new baby and now you’ve hit the 2-month milestone. Things will (hopefully!) get a little easier now.
Sure, your little one still requires a huge investment in time and energy, but those gummy grins go a long way to making you realize that it’s all worth it.
Your baby has been doing a lot of growing. Thanks to all that growth, your baby has better motor control, and you may notice that they’re beginning to bring their hands to their mouth.
Also by this age, your baby is cognitively more aware of what is happening around them. That means they’re starting to smile socially and may even begin to coo.
While things certainly get easier around 2 months, you may still be dealing with some difficulties like colic and lack of sleep. An estimated 10 to 26 percent of infants experience colic.
If you’re in the lucky 20 percent, stay strong: By the time your baby hits 3 or 4 months of age, colic should be a bad dream that you’ve survived.
There’s something irresistible about baby pudge, and you may be starting to see a bit of it developing around your little one’s wrists and ankles. So, what does the typical growth curve look like at this age?
Ladies first. When it comes to weight, you’re looking at an average of
Keep in mind that these figures are averages and that if your baby is born bigger than average, they’ll likely be bigger than average now too. To put things into perspective, here’s the overview: from birth to about 6 months, a baby could grow between 1/2 to 1 inch a month and gain about 5 to 7 ounces of weight per week.
Let’s take a closer look at each and the fun activities that you can do to help your baby reach each milestone.
Your baby is learning how to self-regulate. At this age, their sucking reflex is hard at work. Watch them try to bring their hand to their mouth and suck on it for self-soothing. Offer your baby a brightly colored toy or pacifier to suck on, for fun.
You’ll also notice they’re interacting much more when you talk to them. Make eye contact, smile frequently and help them learn facial expressions by being expressive yourself.
Offer your baby time to explore picture books with simple, bright images. Your baby will probably focus most on round or face images.
Your baby is starting to become aware of the world that surrounds them. As they become more aware of their environment, they’ll begin to turn their head toward sounds they hear. You’ll start to hear the first intentional communication from your baby in the form of cooing and gurgling.
Talk to your baby about what you’re doing.
Take time also to sing and read to your baby. Not only is this fun, it also helps strengthen those connections between neurons, facilitating communication.
Improvements in vision go hand-in-hand with an increase in cognitive skills. Your baby is now starting to follow things with their eyes and recognizes objects (including you!) at a distance.
Two-month-olds may even show signs of boredom: Mom, I do not want to look at that toy again. Change of scene, please! Offer your baby a range of toys to stimulate them. Babies this age can recognize when a new object comes into their field of vision.
Your baby is getting stronger. They should be able to lift and hold up their head for a short time now, and will begin to push themselves up with their arms when lying on their tummy. As they gain more muscle control, their movements will become smoother and less jerky.
Offer your baby toys with different textures. Visit the toy store and pick out toys that have spiky, spongy, smooth, rubbery, or bumpy surfaces. Alternatively, look through your house for these kinds of items, but make sure they’re baby-safe.
Toys hung above your baby’s stroller or set up on the floor (like an activity gym) are a good way to motivate your baby to reach and grab, developing hand-eye coordination.
Tummy time is the best way to have your baby practice lifting their head. Give them a reason to look up by lying on the floor opposite their head while you smile and talk to them.
At this stage in your child-rearing career, sleep is still worth millions. According to a
Hold on though because your yawning days are almost over — another month or so and your baby should be able to sleep for at least a 5-hour stretch. Remember that your baby’s sleep patterns are not an indicator of your parenting skills, or whether or not you have a “good baby.”
You’re probably feeling physically stronger by now, and with that heady feeling comes a longing for some kind of routine. So what does a typical 24-hour period for a baby this age look like?
Much depends on your unique baby’s temperament. But often, you’ll notice the following patterns:
- Eating: Breastfed babies will often eat in 2 to 4-hour intervals. That averages out to 6 to 10 times in 24 hours. For formula-fed babies this age, you can expect to give them 4 to 5 ounces per feeding every 3 to 4 hours.
- Naps: Daytime sleep will start to consolidate into three or four longer stretches, but it’s not uncommon for your 2-month-old to stick to several shorter naps throughout the day.
- Diapering: The good news is that you’ll be changing fewer diapers as your baby ages. At this age you’re likely still going through 8 to 10 diapers in a 24-hour period.
- More play time: You can use awake time to bond together through play and nudge your baby towards those milestones.
Here’s a quick and easy list of some common issues you may experience with your 2-month-old:
The antibodies that you passed to your baby during your last trimester through the placenta continue to protect your baby for the first few weeks of their life and then begin to fade.
Your baby’s immune system will be more fully developed by around 2 to 3 months, but you may notice that your baby starts to catch colds. Try using saline drops and a bulb suction or nasal aspirator to keep their nasal passages clear.
Diaper dermatitis is one of the most common skin problems in infants and children, affecting between 7 and 35 percent of infants. Blame it on those wet diapers. Use diaper rash cream to prevent this. Alternatively, you can air dry your baby’s bum diaper-free for short periods.
The white patches on your baby’s tongue and cheeks are probably a yeast infection called Candida albicans. This common oral fungal infection known as thrush may be uncomfortable.
Fight this with antifungal medication (drops or a gel) containing nystatin spread on the tongue and inside the mouth a few times a day for 10 days.
There’s a range of possibilities when it comes to rashes: neonatal acne that is triggered by your hormones; dry, peeling skin; little white bumps. These will pass with time, but if you’re looking for one of nature’s remedies, try a milk bath made with your breast milk.
Reflux happens when liquids from your baby’s stomach are regurgitated into the esophagus — this is perfectly normal.
However, if it’s gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), your baby will spit up a lot, and frequently, and seem uncomfortable after feedings or when lying flat. Speak with your doctor if you suspect there is a problem.
Now that you’re at the 2-month milestone you have to brace yourself once again for those vaccinations. It hurts you more than it hurts your baby, promise. Here’s a list of the vaccinations that your baby gets this month:
- DTaP (diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis)
- Hib (Haemophilus influenzae type B)
- pneumococcal conjugate
- polio vaccine as a shot and the rotavirus vaccine via the mouth
- the second hepatitis B vaccine, if they didn’t have it at the one-month checkup.
As for safety, there are a couple of points you want to keep in mind:
- Toys. Make sure that there are no sharp edges or points that can hurt little gums. Always check for small parts that can cause choking.
- Cribs. Always put your baby on their back in their own sleep space. Say no to pillows, blankets, and stuffed toys. Check the American Academy of Pediatrics’ safe sleep guidelines for more specifics.
- Cars. It has happened — parents can forget their little one in a locked car. Make sure you have a back-up system in place to prevent this: always take your baby out of the car as soon as you step out, and keep an extra set of car keys somewhere safe inside your house or purse in the event you lock both your kid and keys in the car.
It may seem like you’re still spending hours of your day busy with child care, on little to no sleep. Still, you’re doing a great job!
When it seems overwhelming, take time to simply enjoy being with your baby. The world stops when they smile. All too soon, these precious days will be a memory.