What You Should Know About Your Two Month Old's Development

Get the facts about nutrition and safety at this age

Newborn baby holding Mothers hand
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Improve your understanding of how two month olds develop and what their nutritional, safety and medical needs are with this review of this early infancy stage.


Your infant will get all of his nutrition from breast milk or an iron fortified infant formula until he is about four to six months old. There is no need to supplement with water, juice or cereal at this time. He will likely now be on a more predictable schedule and will probably be nursing or drinking 5 to 6 ounces of formula every three to four hours.

Feeding practices to avoid include putting the bottle in bed or propping the bottle while feeding, putting cereal in the bottle, feeding honey, introducing solids before age four to six months, or heating bottles in the microwave.

Also, avoid the use of low iron formulas, which are nutritionally inadequate to meet the needs of a growing infant. These types of infant formula do not contain enough iron and will put your child at risk for developing iron deficiency anemia (which has been strongly associated with poor growth and development and with learning disabilities). Iron fortified formulas do not cause colic, constipation or reflux and you should not switch to a low iron formula if your baby has one of these problems.

Growth and Development

At this age you can expect your baby to smile, laugh and make noises, lift his head and chest up while lying on his stomach, turn toward sounds and to follow you around with his eyes.

Over the next few months, developmental milestones will include rolling over, bearing weight on his legs, sitting with support and holding on to a rattle.

If using a pacifier, try to restrict its use to when your baby seems to need the self-comforting behavior of sucking. Avoid using it every time your baby cries (it is usually better to pick and hold your baby to comfort him when he is crying) and to be safe, use a one-piece commercial pacifier and do not hang it around your baby's neck.

After six months of age, you should restrict pacifier use to only when your baby is in his crib.

Remember that all babies are unique and they have different temperaments. Many are quiet and calm, while others are very active and some are very sensitive and get fussy easily (and may need less stimulating environments to stay calm). Try to keep your baby's temperament in mind as you react to his needs.


Accidents are the leading cause of death for children. Most of these deaths could easily be prevented and it is therefore very important to keep your child's safety in mind at all times. 

According to the latest car seat guidelines, you should use a rear facing infant car seat and place it in the back seat until your baby outgrows the rear-facing weight or height limits. Also, never place your baby in the front seat of a car with a passenger side airbag.

Make sure your baby's crib is safe. Have no more than 2 3/8 inches between the bars. The mattress should be firm and fit snuggly within the crib.

Place it away from windows and drafts. Avoid placing fluffy blankets, stuffed animals or pillows in the crib, as they can cause smothering.

Make sure that used or hand-me-down equipment, such as car seats, strollers and cribs haven't been recalled for safety reasons. Call the manufacturer or the Consumer Product Safety Commission for an up to date list of recalled products.

Set the temperature of your hot water heater to 120 degrees F to prevent scalding burns. To prevent choking, never leave small objects or plastic bags in your baby's reach.

Put your baby to sleep on his back (alternate positions) to reduce his risk of SIDS and never put him down alone on a waterbed, bean bag or soft blanket that can cover his face and cause choking.

Prevent falls by not leaving your baby alone on a bed or changing table. Install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and use flame retardant sleep ware.

Until your baby is older and his immune system is stronger, it is probably a good idea to keep him from large groups of people or other sick children to minimize his exposure to infections.

Know signs and symptoms of illness. Be aware if he has a fever (call your pediatrician right away if your baby has a temperature over 100.4 before he is two to three months old), decreased appetite, vomiting, irritability and lethargy.

Taking Your Child to the Doctor

You will be making frequent visits to your pediatrician during the first year of your child's life, so that his growth and development can be closely monitored. Remember to write down any questions you may have for your doctor before the visit so that you don't forget them and consider using this Infant Well Child Checklist.

At the two month checkup, you can expect a complete physical exam, with special attention to his hips. The pediatrician will also examine your infant's growth and development, review his feeding and sleep schedules, measure his height, weight and head circumference and counsel you about injury prevention. Your infant will receive the following immunizations: DTaP, HepB, Hib, IPV, Prevnar and RotaTeq.

The next check up with your pediatrician will be when your infant is four months old.

Common Infant Problems

Many babies suffer from constipation, defined as the passage of hard, pellet-like stools that cause pain or bleeding (groaning or straining is normal) and not so much by how often your baby has a bowel movement (some breastfed babies only have one BM each week). Initial treatment is by giving 2 to 4 ounces of water or diluted prune juice once or twice a day or by changing to a soy based formula if you are not breastfeeding.

Babies also often have a stuffy nose or sneeze a lot. This is usually caused by irritation from dry air, smoke or dust. Try to eliminate common irritants. You can try using a humidifier or salt water nose drops.

Thrush, or white patches that coat the inside of the cheeks and tongue and cannot be easily wiped off, commonly occurs in babies. It is caused by a very mild yeast infection and is easily cleared up with a prescription medicine called Nystatin.

Your infant may have baby acne, drooling rashes, and flaky skin that will usually clear up on their own without treatment. Infants also tend to suffer from dry skin, so use a mild soap and a moisturizer once or twice a day.

Many babies spit up (reflux) after eating due to overfeeding or because the valve that closes the upper part of the stomach is immature. It is usually not a concern as long as your baby is gaining weight and it is not causing him to cough or choke. Some steps to take to improve this problem are feeding smaller amounts, more frequent burping during feeds, avoiding pressure on his belly or vigorous activity after eating. It improves with age, usually without treatment.

Many infants have watery eyes, usually caused by a blocked tear duct. This is not a concern unless the eyes become infected. If so, let your pediatrician know so that she can prescribe antibiotic eye drops. It usually clears up on its own before your baby is 12 months old.

Diaper rashes are very common among babies and usually clear up in three to four days with a diaper rash cream. If it is not clearing up or is bright red and surrounded by red dots, your baby may have a yeast infection and will need an anti-fungal cream to help clear it up. Diaper rashes can be prevented by frequent diaper changes, increasing air exposure by keeping the diaper off as much as possible and using a mild soap only after bowel movements (rinse with just warm water at other times).

Upper respiratory infections occur frequently in infants as well. Signs include a clear or green runny nose and cough. These infections are usually caused by cold viruses. The best treatment is to use salt water nasal drops and a bulb suctioner to keep the baby's nose clear. Call your pediatrician if your child has high fever, difficulty breathing or is not improving in seven to 10 days

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