Family Development - A Caregiver's Guide

Your Child at Two Months

Your baby is growing very quickly and learning a lot. Your baby’s brain is developing through a series of back and forth interactions. Babies and young children naturally reach out for interaction by babbling and making facial expressions. By consistently responding to these efforts in a warm and loving way, you are creating a nurturing environment. At this age, it’s important to spend a lot of time cuddling, playing, reading and talking with your baby. Over time, these interactions help infants form strong attachments with their parents. These early attachments create patterns for the way the child connects with people later in life.

Sleep  Although your baby is sleeping for longer stretches of time (4–6 hours), it is still too early to have a set sleep schedule. There are some activities that may help your baby learn to be more active during the day and encourage nighttime sleep. For more information, turn to Better Sleep for You and Your Baby on page 6.

Nutrition  At this age, your child only needs breast milk or formula. Your baby is not ready for cereal or any solid food at this age. Babies usually need 4 to 5 ounces of breast milk or formula per feeding, or 20 to 25 ounces per day.

Physical Development

  • Wiggles and uses body language to tell you how he feels
  • Uses muscles in arms and legs to grab or kick at toys or people
  • Holds his head up on his own, but still needs your careful support when being held

Social and Emotional Development

  • Smiles at you when he wants to play
  • Frowns or cries to show sadness
  • Responds with pleasure when primary caregiver arrives
  • Copies your movements and facial expressions
  • Likes to be around other children

Cognitive Development

  • Uses taste, touch, smell, sight, and sound to learn about the environment
  • Cries when hungry, needs to be changed, or wants attention
  • Makes cooing sounds to get your attention, and will coo even more when you respond
  • Makes different sounds to tell you if he is hungry, wet, tired, or wants a change of position
  • Recognizes mother or primary caregiver
  • Follows moving objects with eyes

Additional Safety Tips for Your Baby at Two Months 

A Home Safety Checklist should be completed at each stage of your child’s development. A sample checklist is provided for you on page 51.

  • Help prevent fires by keeping nightlights at least three feet away from the crib, bedding and draperies
  • Help prevent poisoning by removing poisonous plants from in and around the home
  • Help prevent burns from hot car seat surfaces by using window shades or covering your baby’s car seat with a light blanket when the car is parked

Positive Parenting Activities that Promote Nurturing and Attachment

  • Always respond to your baby’s cries and try to figure out what your baby is trying to say to you
  • When you hear your baby cooing, coo, sing or talk in return
  • Hold and touch your baby as much as possible
  • Look into your baby’s eyes and talk to your baby during feedings and diaper changes
  • Practice being patient. Having patience is very important for your child’s overall development. Babies are just learning what is in the world; it will take time before they know how to behave in it!

When to be Concerned 

While each baby develops at his or her own pace, you should be aware of certain milestones your child should be reaching. Failure to reach certain milestones may be a sign of medical or developmental problems requiring special attention. You should let your baby’s doctor know if your child:

  • Doesn’t seem to respond to loud sounds
  • Doesn’t notice hands by two months
  • Doesn’t smile at the sound of your voice by two months
  • Doesn’t follow moving objects with eyes by three months
  • Doesn’t grasp and hold objects by three months
  • Doesn’t smile at people by three months
  • Cannot support head well at three months
  • Doesn’t reach for and grasp toys by four months
  • Doesn’t babble by four months