Feeding at 2 months old
It can take up to 6 weeks for your breasts to adjust to making the right amount of milk for your baby’s needs. You can help your supply adjust to your baby’s needs by feeding your baby according to need, rather than to a set schedule. It is common for breastfed babies to feed 8 to 12 times in 24 hours.
Your baby will still need to feed overnight, but some babies may have a longer sleep period, perhaps 5 to 6 hours between a couple of their night feeds. This longer sleep time can be an ideal opportunity for parents to make up for lost sleep in the previous weeks, so take advantage of it.
Sleeping at 2 months old
Try to lay your baby down when they are drowsy, but not yet asleep. Avoid allowing them to become overtired as this can make it difficult to settle them for bedtime or a nap. Total sleep over 24 hours varies considerably and any amount between 9 and 18 hours is considered normal at this age.
Behavior at 2 months old
In these early months there will be times when you will need to attend to your baby’s needs and follow your instincts on what they need. If it feels right to just hold and soothe them or take them for a walk, then do it.
Developmental milestones at 2 months old
At 2 months, your baby is still too young to know that those interesting appendages belong to them. They’ll be just as fascinated each time their hands and feet happen to cross their field of vision.
Baby's brain is hard at work learning to distinguish colors. As a result, your baby will probably begin to show a preference for bright primary colors and more detailed and complicated designs. Encourage this development by showing baby pictures, photos, books, and toys.
Your baby’s vision is developing rapidly at 2 months of age and they will be able to follow you with their eyes. Watch them as they track your face, fix on your eyes, and smile in recognition. Hold a toy in their field of vision and watch their eyes work in unison to focus on it.
If you notice your baby squints or has any other problems with their eyes, see your pediatric health practitioner. Vision development is rapid in the early years and early diagnosis and treatment of problems generally leads to better outcomes.
Growth at 2 months old
Keeping well at 2 months old
Staying safe at 2 months old
Play and interaction at 2 months old
What about mom?
If you are breastfeeding, be aware that starting an intensive exercise program could reduce your breastmilk supply. If you want to go for a run, you will need to wear a firm and supportive bra which minimizes your breasts from bouncing. If you have had problems with urinary incontinence, jogging or repetitive jarring exercise will not be suitable at this time.
If you have not had your 6-week postpartum check yet, now is the time. Your vaginal bleeding should have stopped and your uterus and internal organs have returned to their non-pregnant state. Some women skip their postpartum check, saying they don’t have time and don’t see the point. However, it is just as important for mothers to have their check as it is for their babies to have theirs. It is also an ideal time to discuss contraceptive options with your doctor or midwife if you haven’t already.
Some mothers feel as if they are on auto-pilot at this stage, especially if they have older children. It is common to feel very tired and drained, even after having had some good sleep.
Although the number of stay-at-home dads is growing, in most cases it is the mothers who are the primary caregivers in the first year of their babies’ lives. If you have been used to a busy work life, then adapting to full time parenting will mean having to make a significant mental shift.
Try not to isolate yourself from your old networks and friends. It is important to still have mental stimulation and not feel lonely. Something as little as 10 minutes of mindful reflection or a brief but meaningful conversation with someone you love is recommended.
If you work outside the home, you might be back by now or planning to return soon. This can add another dimension to an already busy life. The key to successfully combining work and parenting is organization and trying not to be all things to all people. The cost of this is inevitable exhaustion and possibly some resentment. Give yourself permission to be assertive when negotiating your work hours and schedule, breastfeeding breaks, and time off when your baby is sick and will need you home.
If you notice your hair is falling out, don’t despair. During pregnancy hair sheds less than normal on a daily basis. Then, after birth, hormone levels change and return to their pre-pregnancy levels. This means that for many mothers, they will shed more hair than usual for a time. Try not to worry, as it will more than likely settle down in the next few months and your hair will return to its pre-pregnancy feel and volume.
Look after your teeth and gums and don’t neglect your oral hygiene and check-ups. Even if you can’t find the time to do lots of other things, giving some attention to your teeth is important.
Your sleep needs
You may find yourself going to bed extra early these days. Night feeds are still a reality. If possible, aim to sleep during one of your baby’s longer sleep periods. Even if this means letting your own head hit the pillow at 8PM, so be it. Having a few hours of deep, restorative sleep each night can mean the difference between getting through each day and not being able to manage at all well. Some good sleep will help you physically as well as mentally.
Your relationship with your partner is likely to have been on hold for the last couple of months. Recovery from childbirth, physical exhaustion and being solely focused on baby leaves most mothers with little reserves to invest into much else. But if you are both ready to resume your sexual activity, then go for it!
Be aware that just because you have had a baby, and even if your period has not returned, you could ovulate and get pregnant. Speak to your obstetrician or midwife about contraceptive options before resuming sexual activity.
The information of this article has been reviewed by nursing experts of the Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric, & Neonatal Nurses (AWHONN). The content should not substitute medical advice from your personal healthcare provider. Please consult your healthcare provider for recommendations/diagnosis or treatment. For more advice from AWHONN nurses, visit Healthy Mom&Baby at health4mom.org.