2 month old baby

Parenting: 2-Month-Old Babies' Developmental Milestones

All you need to know about your growing 2-month-old.

Welcoming a newborn into your life is a joyful time of wonder and discovery. Remarkable changes and milestones occur during the first two months of your baby's life. Parents help babies meet important milestones by giving them loving support.

If you have a 2-month-old, here's everything you need to know about your growing baby with helpful tips for navigating this precious stage:

Social and emotional milestones at 2 months

Once they turn 2 months old, babies become more social, delighting in the world around them. They may now start:

  • Self-soothing: Your baby may start to suck on their hand and eventually find their thumbs. Encourage this natural, self-soothing instinct. Lots of skin-to-skin contact with parents also comforts and calms a baby.
  • Smiling: A baby's first smile is one of the most heartwarming moments for parents. At around 2 months, your baby may start smiling at you and other familiar faces and voices. These charming reactions show babies are becoming more aware and connected to their parents, caregivers and surroundings.
  • Making eye contact: As babies become more attentive, they start making eye contact with you and other caregivers. Take advantage of these moments. Hold your baby close, engage in gentle conversation and enjoy sharing smiles and gazes. 

Language and communication milestones at 2 months

Babies begin exploring and expressing themselves through sounds and gestures during the second month of life. Some important language and communication milestones include:

  • Sound awareness: Your baby is becoming more attuned to sounds and may turn towards familiar noises. You can encourage this awareness by talking to your baby, singing and introducing them to rattles and musical toys.
  • Cooing: At around 2 months, your baby may start cooing to communicate and express pleasure. Respond joyfully to your baby's coos. Establishing a playful dialogue will foster language development.
  • Conversational turn-taking: When your baby vocalizes, join in and have fun taking turns making sounds. These interactions teach your baby how to communicate and lay the foundation for language development.

Brain-development milestones at 2 months

Your baby's brain grows and develops rapidly during the first few months of life. Some key brain development milestones to look for include:

  • Visual tracking: Watching and following people and objects with their eyes helps babies improve their coordination and attention skills. Encourage visual development by providing colorful toys and objects that will grab and hold your baby's attention.
  • Growing attention: At 2 months, your baby might get fussy if bored or overstimulated. This is normal behavior for this age. Follow your baby's cues and provide a stimulating yet calm environment to support their growing attention span.
  • Facial recognition: Your baby is noticing faces—yours and other caregivers. Connect with your baby by looking at them, smiling and engaging them in conversation. 

Movement and physical development milestones at 2 months

During the second month of life, your baby becomes more active and mobile as they explore their environment. Some important movement and physical development milestones include:

  • Improved motor skills: Your baby's arm and leg movements will become smoother and more coordinated as they gain strength and control. Encourage their physical development. Engage them in opportunities to reach, grasp and explore their surroundings.
  • Tummy time: Tummy time is essential for building neck and upper body strength and preventing flat spots on baby's head. Spend time each day with your baby as they lie on their tummy. Encourage your baby to lift their head and push up with their arms. If they get frustrated, interact playfully.
  • Exploration: A 2-month-old baby is curious about their surroundings and may try to touch and reach for objects nearby. Provide safe and age-appropriate toys for your baby to manipulate and explore, encouraging active engagement and curiosity.

Food and nutrition milestones at 2 months

Breast milk provides the perfect source of nutrition. In fact, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends exclusive breastfeeding for approximately six months after birth. But even though your baby's diet is restricted, there are still vital food and nutrition milestones to look for, including:

  • Baby's hunger begins to follow a pattern: Newborns must eat often, about every two to three hours, because they have small stomachs and are growing quickly. Rooting, sucking noises and fussiness are all signs a baby is hungry.
  • Latching gets easier: In the first two months, a baby is learning to suck and swallow effectively. Moms are learning, too, and by the end of the second month, breastfeeding will be much easier. Now, moms are more skilled at helping their babies latch onto the breast. And by observing a baby's feeding cues and behaviors, moms can ensure they're getting enough to eat.

2-month milestones to watch for

All babies develop at their own pace. Still, it's essential to watch for signs or red flags indicating a need for further evaluation or support. Some things to look out for in your 2-month-old include:

  • Feeding difficulties: Seek advice if your baby has trouble latching or sucking, frequently spits up and isn't gaining weight. These may indicate an issue that requires a healthcare provider's attention.
  • Lack of social engagement: If your baby isn't making eye contact, smiling or responding to familiar faces and voices, it may be worth consulting your pediatrician to rule out any underlying causes.
  • Developmental delays: If your baby isn't holding their head up during tummy time or tracking objects with their eyes, seek a healthcare professional's guidance. A pediatrician can assess their development and provide appropriate interventions if necessary

The first two months of your baby's life are a time of incredible growth, development and discovery. With each passing day, parents are growing more confident and capable. Nevertheless, it can still be a scary time.

If you have any concerns or questions about your baby's development, don't hesitate to consult your pediatrician or other healthcare professionals. Expert advice can always provide peace of mind. But more than anything else, your love, patience and care provide a strong foundation for your baby's future health and well-being.

By 2 months, babies like Nataliya's may begin to smile, coo to communicate and make eye contact with their parents and caregivers. © UNICEF/UNI426341/Ukhov

By 2 months, babies like Nataliya's may begin to smile, coo to communicate and make eye contact with their parents and caregivers. © UNICEF/UNI426341/Ukhov