How your baby grows and develops: Birth – 2 months
Milestones matter! How your child plays, learns, speaks, acts, and moves offers important clues about their development. This is a general guide about how infants develop from birth to 2 months of age. Remember, each child is unique and will grow and develop at their own pace. It is normal for a child to be behind in some areas and ahead in others. For babies born prematurely, milestones are based on their corrected age (your baby’s actual age minus the number of weeks or months they were born early).
Babies can’t be spoiled so feel free to play, cuddle and respond to all your baby’s cues and cries. You can help your baby learn and grow.
Your baby has a strong need to be close to you. This relationship is called attachment or bonding. Building a strong close relationship helps your baby develop self-confidence. When you respond to your baby’s cries, smiles and hunger, you help them develop trust in the world to take care of their needs. Breastfeeding, holding your baby if bottle-feeding and spending time skin-to-skin with your newborn is important to help build a strong bond.
|By two months your baby is getting to know you and your family. They:||You can help your baby learn by:||Safety tip:|
||Never shake your baby. If you are feeling tired and frustrated, ask someone else to watch your baby while you take time to calm down, or gently place your baby in the crib, cradle or bassinet and leave the room to get your feelings under control. Shaking a baby can cause permanent brain damage and even death. See Why is my baby crying? What can I do? for tips on comforting your baby and staying calm.|
Language and communication start from birth. Your infant’s coos and gurgles might not sound like talking yet, but these sounds are how your baby is tries to communicate with you. When you respond back, you are having your first conversations. Although your baby won’t understand your words at first, talking to your baby as you go about your day and reading to your baby, helps them learn about language.
|By two months your baby is beginning to find their voice and may:||You can help your baby learn by:||Hot parent tip:|
||Even though your baby doesn’t yet understand your word, they enjoy being close to you and listening to your voice.|
Your baby’s thinking skills grow as they experience the world and interact with people around them. At this age, babies love seeing faces and high contrast objects. At first, baby sees things better when they are 8-12 inches away from their face.
|By two months your baby is already figuring things out and may:||You can help your baby learn by:||Safety tips:|
Infants are very dependent on you to put them in comfortable and safe positions and places. Infant’s bodies start to develop at the head and then down to other parts of the body. Supervised tummy-time is a great way to help your baby build strength in their neck and core.
|By two months your baby will learn how to control their head and use their hands and may:||You can help your baby learn by:||Safety tips:|
You Know Your Child Best.
Most infants will see their doctor or nurse at 2 months for a check-up and immunizations. This is a good time to talk about your child’s development.
Act early if you have concerns about the way your child plays, learns, speaks, acts, or moves, or if your child:
- Is missing milestones
- Doesn’t respond to loud sounds
- Doesn’t watch things as they move
- Doesn’t smile at people
- Doesn’t bring hands to mouth
- Can’t hold head up when pushing up when on tummy
Tell your child’s doctor or nurse if you notice any of these signs of possible developmental delay and ask for a developmental screening. DON’T WAIT. Acting early can make a real difference!
For more information:
- Your child’s development: What to expect, Canadian Paediatric Society
- Read, speak, sing to your baby: How parents can promote literacy from birth, Canadian Paediatric Society
- Attachment: A connection for life, Canadian Paediatric Society
- Your baby’s brain: How parents can support healthy development, Canadian Paediatric Society
- Participation: Benefits & guidelines Canadian 24-Hour movement guidelines for the early years: Ages 0-4
- Active for Life: Activities for babies and toddlers
Caring for Kids: Information for Parents from Canada’s Paediatricians
Centre for Disease Control and Prevention: CDC’s Developmental Milestones