This month you will likely notice that your baby is able to stay awake for longer periods of time, and regularly flashes you a gummy grin while making the cutest of noises.
Feeding and sleeping
Your baby will continue to need between 14 and 17 hours of sleep over a 24-hour period up until around four months of age, waking to feed every 3-4 hours. Having said that, it is important to realise that every baby is different, and you may experience periods where baby cluster feeds for several hours, requires more regular feeds, and sleeps in short bursts. There is a lot of growing to do after all!
It is also completely normal for your baby to require your assistance in falling asleep – rocking, feeding to sleep, singing, anything goes. These soothing techniques remind her of her time in the womb, providing comfort when she is still getting used to the world around her.
You may notice your little one having fewer bowel movements per day than previously, sometimes going a day or two between poos. Or she may still go several times a day. Both scenarios are normal and are all part of your baby’s growth and development. Tummy massage can help to support your baby’s digestive system while she is working out how to coordinate those muscles for an efficient bowel movement.
Your health visitor will be able to advise if you are worried about your baby’s feeding pattern and weight gain.
While your little one will continue to use crying as her main method of communicating her needs, this month she will be experimenting with new sounds, combining consonants and vowels to vocalise ‘words’ such as ‘ah-goo’.
When interacting together, give your baby time to respond to what you are saying – be it with a sound or a look. Research has shown that this helps to support language development, as baby learns from an early age how to take turns which is an important part of communication.
Your little one will also be mastering the art of smiling this month, and you may experience her first little giggle or delighted squeal in response to a stimulus.
Senses and physical development
This month, your baby’s vision and hearing continue to improve. Colour differences are becoming clearer, and she will start to distinguish between colours, showing a preference for primary colours and clear contrast. She will be better able now to differentiate between familiar voices, so continue talking and singing together to support this development.
Your baby’s movements will become slightly more co-ordinated this month and you may find yourself getting kicked regularly during nappy changes! Her neck muscles will continue to strengthen, and she may hold her head up for longer now when she is lying on her tummy or on your chest. Your little one may even be showing signs that she is ready to roll onto her front from a back-lying position, but this requires more practice. If she does roll, she may end up with an arm beneath her torso, looking rather uncomfortable and requiring assistance to right herself again.
Playing with your two-month-old
Every environment is a learning experience for your baby – even taking her playmat to a different room of the house provides a new sensory experience! She will be attracted to high-contrast toys, as well as bright colours and reflective surfaces so play mats, baby-safe mirrors and mobiles are brilliant toys for playtime.
Tummy time continues to be important to strengthen your baby’s back, shoulder, and neck muscles. If she is not convinced tummy time is for her, try getting down on the floor together to interact face-to-face, or place a baby-safe mirror in front of her face to distract her a little.
Babies are easily overwhelmed so if you recognise any signs of irritation during play, such as fussing or jittery limbs, take that as an indication that she has had enough for now and may want some quiet time and cuddles.
While the above indicates what you can expect to see your baby going this month, it is important to keep in mind that all babies are unique and will develop at their own pace. If you have any concerns about your baby’s development, talk to your doctor or health visitor.
Jen Dowding, Baby massage and baby yoga instructor, Basking Babies Laindon & Orsett