Your Baby at 2 Months Old
Wow! Your baby is growing fast. You are probably settling into some kind of routine. But be prepared: those routines change in the blink of an eye. What are some of the biggest changes you have already noticed from last month?
The cognitive development of your baby grows at astounding rates, as we have mentioned in previous posts. However, these milestones may not look like much as newborn babies. Here are a few ways your baby’s cognitive development occurs during this month.
Babies become very interested in language during this month. They are listening to you talk and watching your mouth move. Babies are learning that sounds and mouths go together. Your baby may also begin trying to move his or her lips to form those sounds you make.
Social Development Increases
Your baby is developing more of those people recognition skills like facial and voice recognition. These skills are also enhanced by more family interaction. While your baby is not eating foods yet, do not be afraid to bring them to the table at mealtime or other family activities. The more they see interaction through verbal and nonverbal communication, the more they will learn about social skills. Encourage any older children to use clear spoken language when interacting with your baby.
As your baby gains hand control, he or she will rub, snuggle, and pat more things now that their hands are more accessible. It is important to let your child explore these newfound sensory skills. Give your child a variety of textures, materials, and objects to play with. A silicone bath toy might not be useful for bath time yet, but it can provide an excellent tool for letting your child experience new objects, shapes, and textures. Likewise, a soft stuffed animal provides an entirely different sensation. Taggy blankets are also great for helping children learn about textures, sounds, and objects. Freddie the Firefly by Lamaze is often a top pick for sensory play for infants.
Physical changes are still occurring right before your eyes. Your baby may have arrived looking like mom and is starting to look more like dad. Likewise, strength and physical changes are helping your little one to develop skills that will later lead to crawling and walking.
While your baby is still struggling to lift his or her head, it is not uncommon to see some lifting during tummy time. Tummy time is a great time to build neck, upper body, and arm strength for a little one. You can read more on the importance of tummy time here.
Remember, though, tummies to play; back to sleep.
Babies will begin to become more expressive during this time. It is not unusual to start seeing smiles from about three to six weeks. Other expressions are also beginning to shine through. Furrowing brows, frowns, and open mouths can all be seen from your baby at this time. Respond to your baby when he or she makes faces. Make the faces back or talk to them.
While tummy time increases core muscles, all of the muscles are growing and developing rapidly. Feet and legs will push against resistant surfaces, and hands will grasp objects rather than stay in fists. While neck strength is increasing, you should always support your little one’s head when holding him or her.
Longer Waking Periods
Your baby will still be sleeping the majority of the day. However, he or she will probably be awake for more extended periods. During the day, three to five awake hours at a time are typical. Your baby will also still be waking at night, but there are usually fewer awake times throughout the day.
Growing Tummies and Gas
The unfortunate side effect of growth at this time is that colic sometimes develops. Colic is often characterized by discomfort and crying. Your baby will often feel the most discomfort around feeding times and may even be reluctant to eat. Here are a few quick tips to beat baby gas:
-Ensure you burp baby after every feeding. If the air bubbles do not come out as a burp, they can make their way into their lower digestive systems and cause discomfort.
-A warm bath is a great way to help work out any discomfort caused by gas.
-Movement is also a great way to help work out the gas. Lay baby on their back and move their legs in a bicycle motion.
Gas is often a significant factor in colic diagnoses (more on colic signs and symptoms here).
Your baby is in for several rounds of shots in the first few months of life. He or she may feel poorly shortly after shots are administered. While a low fever and fussiness are not harmful, no one wants their baby to feel poorly. The immune response means that your baby’s body is producing the antibodies it needs to fight those germs later. A little snuggling on the couch might just be what the doctor ordered for both of you however you can also discuss a low dosage of Tylenol or Motrin with your pediatrician.
Tips for Mom and Dad
There are dozens of changes happening so quickly it may seem hard to keep up. Remember it is just as important to take care of mom and dad as it is baby. Take some time for yourself over the next week.
And don’t forget to keep reading to your baby even though he or she may not understand yet. Literacy begins at home. Language building happens when babies listen to parents, and family members talk. Reading aloud is excellent rhythmic talking! You can do this. Life is changing fast, but your baby is developing all the foundations that will help later in life!