2-Month-Old-Baby: Happiness and Comfort in Familiar Faces
Have you noticed that your tiny newborn isn't so tiny anymore? There are many exciting growth and developmental milestones to look forward to once your baby turns 2 months old, and we’re providing a preview of some of the ones you’ll definitely want to watch for. We also cover how to deal with common health concerns like nappy rash and coughs. If you’re returning to work soon, we also have a section on things to keep in mind so that this transition goes smoothly for both you and your baby.
Baby Development Milestones
This month will be full of discovery for your baby, as your little one becomes more and more aware of the world around him or her. Here are some of the baby development milestones your 2-month-old baby may be approaching.
Growth and Physical Development
During these early months, babies tend to grow about 2.5 to 3.8 centimetres in length and gain about 681 to 907 grams in weight each month. Your health visitor, child centre or GP will monitor your baby’s growth rate at each checkup, noting your 2-month-old baby’s weight, length and head circumference to make sure that your little one is on track and doing well. Read more about how baby growth charts are used in your baby’s first 24 months.
Although many of your baby’s movements are still reflexive, your little one will gradually learn to control more of what he or she does. As you play together, you are contributing to developing your little one’s brain and muscle power. Whether playing peek-a-boo, clapping or wiggling on the floor, your baby is setting the foundations for future physical and cognitive development.
All that tummy time your baby's been putting in (with you closely supervising) will slowly start to pay off. Around this month or next, your little one will be able to push up off his or her arms, and briefly hold his or her chest and head up. This is big news because it’s a step toward greater independence for your little one. Gaining this skill will mean being able to look around at anything that grabs your little one’s attention, even when lying on his or her tummy.
Personality: ‘Baby Talk’
Your baby will start to recognise objects and will love to look at familiar human faces best of all, especially mum’s and dad’s. Your baby’s personality also will reveal itself more and more each day. For example, if you smile at your little one he or she might smile right back at you. Around this time, your baby might start to have fun by making all kinds of strange new sounds. You might hear muh-muh and bah-bah, and aahs and oohs. Have conversations with your little one repeating these sounds back to him or her.
‘Baby talk’ is important at this stage, but add in real words, too. All along, your little one will be learning that conversation is a two-way street where each person takes turns and each contribution is important. As the weeks progress, your baby will be more alert to your tone of voice, and may sense your mood by how you talk to him or her. Your voice also helps signal what’s to come, so tell your little one what you’re doing when you’re changing his or her nappy, when it’s time for a walk or while you’re bathing your baby.
How to Support Your Baby's Development
Playing and interacting with you both has a huge role in your baby’s brain development and early learning. Here are some play activities you could do together:
Read to your baby. Even if your baby doesn’t fully understand all the words, he or she is listening to the sounds you’re making. Don't hesitate to read the same book over and over – babies love repetition. For more tips on reading to your baby, take a look at this summary about language development through ‘baby talk’.
Have a chat. Respond to your baby’s coos and aahs, and initiate conversation by telling him or her what you’re up to. When your little one ‘talks’, try not to interrupt or look away. Your attention sends out a signal that your baby’s voice is important too, and helps build trust.
Tummy time. Continue to give your baby short periods of tummy time each day to help strengthen the neck, arm and shoulder muscles. Tummy time involves laying your baby on his or her tummy on a firm surface like the floor – just make sure you’re watching.
Introduce a variety of sounds. Play your baby music or give him or her toys that make different sounds when touched. Let your little one listen to the sounds of everyday life, too. For example, have him or her safely nearby as you do housework – the sound of you tidying will probably fascinate your baby.
Feeding Your 2-Month-Old Baby
Feed your baby whenever he’s hungry – which will be often, as 2-month-old babies usually eat about six to eight times a day. Signs that your little one is ready to eat might include making sucking motions, moving a hand to his or her mouth, whimpering or flexing the arms and hands. Avoid overfeeding your baby by keeping an eye out for the signs of being full, such as slowing down or stopping sucking or turning away. At this stage, you might be able to leave out one middle-of-the-night feed; as your baby’s stomach capacity grows he or she may not be hungry again until early morning.
Tracking wet and dirty nappies: The number of nappies you change gives you clues about whether your baby healthy and is getting enough to eat. Keep in mind, each baby is unique and may wee anywhere from once every couple of hours to only once every four to six hours. Fewer than six wet nappies may be a sign of mild dehydration. Pay attention to how many nappies your baby typically goes through. If there is a significant drop in the number of wet nappies or your baby’s mouth seems dry, your little one could be dehydrated. If you’re in any doubt, consult your baby’s GP. There is no ‘right’ number when it comes to pooey nappies either. Two-month-old babies can poo anywhere from several times a day to only once a week. If your baby is pooing less than normal but the poos are soft and your baby is otherwise well, there may not be cause for concern. Still, if you’re worried, your baby’s health provider will be able to check whether everything is OK.
How Much Sleep Does a 2-Month-Old Baby Need?
At 2 months old, your baby may be spending more time sleeping than awake. Your little one may now spend more time alert and awake during the day than as a newborn, and although he or she may want fewer sleeps, they might be a little longer in duration. At this stage some (but not all) babies even manage to sleep through the night, meaning about six to eight hours in one stretch, before waking to feed or because it’s too hot or too cold.
Good sleep routines – regular bedtimes and daytimes and restful sleeping periods – give your little one a great start in life, contributing to her general health and well-being. Although it can take a while for evening routines to become established, you can help your baby head in the right direction by making night-time feeds as quiet as possible. For example, keep the lighting low, don’t speak much or loudly and after the feed and a quick nappy change put her right back to sleep on her back. For more on this, watch these great tips for a good night’s sleep.
A Day in the Life of Your Baby
Your 2-month-old baby’s daily schedule may include simple routines for sleeping, feeding, bathing and playing. Here’s one example of what a typical day might look like:
Your Baby’s Health: Dealing With Diaper Rash
Nappy rash. A wet or soiled nappy that touches baby skin for too long can cause a red rash on the nappy area. To combat nappy rash, change wet or pooey nappies as soon as possible, clean the area with wipes at each change and expose your baby’s bottom to air whenever possible. These steps will help the rash clear up and help prevent it from reoccurring. Watch our short video on nappy rash treatment and prevention for even more tips.
Heat rash or prickly heat. These tiny, red bumps typically occur in hot and humid weather, usually on the neck, arms, legs or nappy area. Don’t apply skin ointments; instead, cool the area with water, then completely dry the skin, dress your baby in cool, dry clothing and try to keep him or her out of the heat. With this kind of care, heat rash typically goes away after a few days.
Eczema. If your baby has red, itchy, scaly patches of skin in the crooks of the elbows and knees, it could be eczema. Your baby’s GP can make a diagnosis and will recommend treatment options. It may help to use mild, unscented baby soaps on your baby and on all your little one’s clothes and sheets. Dress him or her in soft clothes that don’t prickle and keep the number of baths down to three times a week at the most.
Coughing. If you notice your 2-month-old baby coughing, it’s a sign that her airways are irritated. Coughs can be triggered by many kinds of respiratory illnesses, from the common cold to pneumonia. It’s a good idea to call your baby’s doctor if your little one is coughing; but if coughing is accompanied by fever or a difficulty in breathing take your baby to the GP right away for treatment or advice.
Allergies. Potential signs of a food allergy or sensitivity include if your baby seems fussy or cries excessively, vomits up most of his or her food, has very watery or bloody poos or develops a rash. Your baby’s GP will need to explore potential causes and make a diagnosis.
FAQs at a Glance
How far can a 2-month-old baby see?
A : Two-month-old babies are extending their focus from the 8-10 centimetres they can see at birth.
Do you count your baby’s age in weeks or months?
A : As time goes on it may become easier to start counting your baby’s age in months and eventually in years. You can refer to your baby’s personal child health record or red book for a full record of your baby’s weight, height and other health and development milestones.
What are birthmarks?
A : Many babies are born with or develop a patch of skin that is a different colour. In many cases these spots are nothing to worry about and are simply one of the many things that make your baby unique. There are many types of birthmarks and their appearance and duration vary. If your baby has a birthmark, your baby’s health visitor or GP will rule out anything serious.
Your Life as a Parent: Returning to Work
Depending on your situation, different factors may come into play as you decide if and when to go back to work, including your finances, maternity leave options and general family considerations. If you can, allow yourself some flexibility as you may change your mind about your return to work when the time comes. Whether getting additional help at home or taking your little one to a nursery, the key is to find childcare that you feel comfortable with and that your baby thrives under.
You may have multiple sources and forms of childcare, which you could consider, including
your parents or other relatives
a registered childminder or nursery
in-home care, either solely for your baby or in a group with other children
or a combination of the above.
As you search for childcare, keep in mind that the most important thing is to make sure your baby is happy and developing well under the care you select. Ask other parents or your baby’s health visitor, clinic or GP for referrals.
Expressing Breast Milk at Work
Returning to work can be stressful for some women and may reduce your breast milk supply (as may other sources of stress), particularly if you are unable to pump as much as you would like. Workplace regulations require that your employer must allow you time and a space – other than a bathroom – for you to express breast milk until your baby turns 1 year old. If you are concerned your milk supply may be running low, read up on how to increase breast milk supply and contact your health visitor or GP for help.
How we wrote this article
The information in this article is based on the expert advice found in trusted medical and government sources, such as the National Health Service (NHS).
The content on this page should not replace professional medical advice. Always consult medical professionals for full diagnosis and treatment.
Checklist for This Month
If you haven’t already done so, contact your midwife or doctor to arrange your ‘booking appointment’, which usually takes place between 8 weeks and 12 weeks. At this appointment, you’ll be offered various screening tests and have a check-up to assess the health of you and your foetus. This is also a great opportunity to discuss any concerns or ask any questions you might have.
Book an appointment for your dating scan, which is usually performed at between 8 weeks and 14 weeks. At this ultrasound scan, you’ll be given a more precise estimate of when your little one is due. Your foetus may also be screened for certain conditions, including Down’s syndrome, if you have agreed to this test being performed.
Ask your doctor about whether you should be taking any prenatal vitamins.
Ask your midwife about antenatal classes in your local area. Besides helping you learn about pregnancy, childbirth and caring for your newborn, these are also a great way to meet other new parents-to-be. They’re free when provided on the NHS. Demand is often high, so book early to be sure of a place.