keep in mind that all babies are unique. Whether your baby
reaches milestones early or late, he has his own developmental
path to follow. The dividing lines between these months are
very fuzzy. If you have any concerns or questions about your
baby's development, please check with his health care provider.
a Thousand Words . . .
By the end
of the second month, baby may be giving you an adorable, toothless
smile in response to your own. And if not yet, it will surely
come soon. Watch how baby's whole face lights up when you
smile at him. At the same time, he may move his arms, lift
his brows, or coo. Finally, after weeks of you taking care
of precious baby at all times during the day, baby rewards
you with this momentous milestone. Keep smiling and talking
to baby; he loves to watch your face and talk to you through
Batter up . . .
Watch what happens when baby is
on his back and you dangle an irresistible toy above him.
Compared to last month, his movements are now becoming more
fluid. He may stretch to reach an interesting object and try
to bat at it. If you offer baby a rattle he may be able to
hold it for a short amount of time in his small fist. Give
it a little shake. Babies respond to such stimulation differently.
Some may watch and listen in wonder. Others may find it too
stimulating and begin to cry. Babies are unique and process
information in their own individual ways.
Putting baby on his back to sleep
is a very important discovery towards the prevention of SIDS.
When baby is awake and interested in playing, spending time
on his tummy is still important for development. Becoming
comfortable on tummy will help baby develop strong neck muscles
to hold up that heavy head. By the end of this month, baby
will probably be strong enough to hold up his head for moments
to scan the room. Development works like steps. By building
a strong neck, baby can hold up his head. Then baby, while
lying on his tummy, will start to push up with arms, building
a strong upper body and back. This will help him one day to
sit. These muscles will also help him learn to move and eventually
pull up to a stand. You can spend time with baby on his tummy
by lying down next to him. Talk to him so he knows you are
there and supporting his development. Also, putting him on
mats with interesting textures, bright colors or ones that
play different sounds will make lying on his tummy even more
Some babies are not comfortable
on their stomachs and may fuss. Respond to your baby as you
think is appropriate. You are the expert concerning your child.
The sound of your voice alone may be a comfort. Others need
the connection of a parent's warm arms.
By now, you have learned when your
baby is telling you "yes, I like this" or the opposite, "S.O.S."
We have heard from parents about different ways babies communicate
to engage or disengage from you or another stimulus.
Some cues that tell mom and dad
"I'm interested" include:
looking at your face smooth movements
of arms and legs reaching out to you turning eyes or head
toward you smiling, cooing and a general bright, happy expression
Some cues we have learned that
tell mom and dad "I need a break" include:
turning head and eyes away crying,
fussing coughing back arching, squirming, pulling away blushing
of skin breathing faster, hiccups yawning frowning
Again, all babies are unique, so
your baby may give you a cue that is unique to him. It is
important to pay attention and learn about these cues for
loving, respectful, responsive care giving. This type of information
about your child is also very important to share if you eventually
decide to leave baby with a childcare provider.
I'll Take a Vowel For . . .
This month baby is making strides
with language too. He is actively listening to what you are
telling him, watching your mouth and studying how your tongue
Baby will start making different
sounds that usually begin with a vowel. He will hear himself
and keep practicing moving his tongue to repeat sounds. Keep
talking to him by repeating the sounds he makes and taking
turns. Let baby answer you. Follow his eyes to see if he is
looking at something. He may be talking about an object or
another person. Whatever it is, he is talking to you and will
adore your loving attention back.
Babies loves to suck. Whether it
is a pacifier, a blankie, dad's finger or baby's own thumb,
sucking is an important skill for baby to comfort himself.
When baby is getting fussy or tired,
we have heard of strategies from parents to help baby by putting
his fingers up to his mouth or offering a pacifier. Even gently
folding baby's arms against the midline of his chest and wrapping
him in a soft blanket or your safe arms is a way to help baby
relax. This body position is a soothing, physical reminder
of the safe, warm world from which he came.
By now, you have seen baby in a
number of moods and behavioral states. These moods are normal
and help baby to make it through the day. Keep in mind, a
simple description of these states has its limitations. Babies
proceed through these states at different paces; the same
baby can show different moods on different days depending
on many factors, such as sleep, feeding, growth spurts and
Here are six different states that
you probably know all about:
1.Quiet sleep is when baby's
eyes are firmly closed with little or no motor activity. This
is a great time for you to get a much needed nap.
2.Active sleep is when baby's eyes are closed but may
move. You may have seen baby twitch, smile, frown and stretch
while actively sleeping.
3.Drowsy is when eyes are partially open, the body
is still and expression is dazed.
4.Crying, of course, is a state that needs no explanation.
5.Active alert is a period of activity which may include
vocalizations, moans, grunts, fussing. It often precedes sleeping.
6.Quiet alert is the beautiful time during the day
which baby is relaxed, eyes are open and bright. Baby is observing
all the interesting things in his world.
So Much to See
Often by the end of the second
month, baby likes to be held upright, facing out. Baby can
now see many feet in front of him and marvels at interesting
sights, such as water, animals, other children and of course,
doting grandparents. Placing baby in a reclining bouncy seat
is a safe position for baby to view the exciting scenery.
Many babies love riding in a front
carrier and experiencing the feeling of being contained next
to a parent's soft, warm body. Some babies will only want
to face inward and cuddle up against a parent's heartbeat.
In time, when you think baby is ready, turn him around and
face him out. It will be a treat for him to see the world.
Also it is an opportunity for you to be able to use your arms
for the never ending "to-do" list that accompanies parenthood.