Hey mommies! Do you know that you won’t just be having three trimesters on your motherhood journey? Yes! There is a fourth trimester. As elder people say, you are more likely to get exhausted because you will be taking care of a newborn now. Your baby needs most of your time as he slowly adjusts to his environment. That will include late nights, changing diapers, and many other activities. Aside from these late nights of changing nappies and feeding your baby, don’t you know that there’s more to discover from your 2 months old baby’s development?
Here’s what else is happening to your baby in his 2nd month.
A Day in the Life of Your 2-month-old Baby
How does your day start with your 2-month-old baby? Every single day you follow your unique routine for your baby’s activities. Some start their day by bathing their babies while others start by playing with their babies. It’s all up to you mommy. The routine you practice for your baby every day will be his training as he grows older. The most crucial part of that is how your baby will adjust.
Little by little you will see how your baby gets used to your activities each day and observe how your baby develops. Starting with his smiles to giggles. Also with sucking his fingers to holding his baby bottle. From stretching his arms and kicking his feet to crawling, and many other more as your baby grows.
At this stage, you will be able to spot the difference in the actions of your baby when he’s a week old or from his first month. Several movements came up and now his senses improved a little. Your baby starts to hit objects you place in front of him. A very good indication that your baby is developing little by little.
Some of the actions that you will be seeing starting now that your baby is 2-month-old are holding his head up and may even try to push up when he’s lying on his tummy. That’s why tummy times are very much important during this stage. Moreover, by this month, your baby starts to smile at people around him (about 18 inches from his sight) and also watch things as they move. A tip of advice mommies, you should also watch your baby’s hand movements as they start to suck their fingers by this time already.
When it comes to your baby’s meal, breast milk is still the best for your baby until two years of age. However, as a substitute for your breast milk, you can also provide formula milk for your baby. Month by month, the amount of milk your baby needs increases an ounce. Most babies during this stage feed about 4-6 ounces every 3-4 hours or about six to eight times a day.
Usually, we feed our babies when they start crying or what is so-called the “Responsive Method”. However, mommies, you do not need to wait for your baby to start crying because it is harder for them to latch when they start to cry.
For you to be able to determine if your baby is hungry, here are some of the cues that your baby shows:
- Putting his hands to his mouth repetitively
- Sticking his tongue out
- Turning his head side by side, which shows that he’s searching for your breast
- More active and alert
If there signs when your baby is hungry, remember mommies that there are also indications when your baby is already full or he’s had enough. Some of these are:
- Turning away from your breast/bottle
- Opens their fists and starts to relax
- Falls of from your nipples
Your baby’s sleep pattern changes as he/she grows older. At this age, babies sleep around 16-17 hours each day and manage to sleep about 6 to 8 hours in one stretch through the night. During the daytime, your baby may have about 3-4 naps. It is still recommended to swaddle your baby up to this stage while they aren’t able to roll over yet. Swaddling gives your baby comfort because it helps them adjust slowly from what they’ve been used to when they were still inside their moms’ womb.
You just have to be more patient mommy. Sooner or later your baby will be able to start a full night’s sleep and that would be much earlier through your help. That is by putting your baby into his co-sleeper when he’s sleepy and not when he’s fast asleep. Yes, mommies! As much as you would like to be with your little one especially when they are sleeping, it is not recommended that you put your baby on the same bed you are sleeping in. They need to sleep on their back without any soft pillow or things around them to avoid the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). This would be the best practice for your babies until they pass their sixth-month, so, hang a little bit there mommies.
For an easier way to know when your baby is tired and sleepy, here are some of the cues which they show.
- Rubbing their eyes continuously
- Pulling his/her ears
- Reduced movement
- Fussiness and crying
This is probably what most mommies consider as their bonding time with their little ones. When it comes to bathing your babies, it is recommended to bathe them thrice a week to reduce the effect of dryness on their skin. Especially if you are using soaps or other moisturizers during bath time. It is advised not to bathe your baby every day to retain their body’s moisture.
Always check on the temperature of the water before you bathe your baby. It is best to use warm water for your baby during this time. Also, always start washing your baby’s face then continue downwards.
In addition to this basic guide in bathing your baby, the use of baby oil before tapping him with warm water gives a lot of help for your baby. It will help your baby stay warm and calm throughout the day.
Health & Nutrition
During this stage, regular check-ups are required for your babies. Through your visit to your baby’s pediatrician, you’ll be able to know how much your baby gained when it comes to his weight and how his growth and height changed. Your baby’s development on the growth chart will tell you, mommies, if your baby is getting enough amount of food. Most babies double their weight when they reach 5 months of age. But the average weight and height of a 2-month-old baby are 12 pounds (5.6 kg) and 58.4 cm (23 in) for boys and 11 pounds (5.1 kg) and 57.1 cm (22.5 in) for girls, respectively.
When feeding our babies, experts say that breast milk gives practically all the fundamental nutrients, development factors, and immunological components a healthy baby needs. Furthermore, breastfeeding incorporates a decrease of incidences and seriousness of infections; prevention of hypersensitivities; enhancement of intellectual skill; and anticipation of obesity, hypertension, and insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus. This is why breast milk is still the best for our baby’s nutrition. However, the presence of formula milk can substitute breast milk especially for moms who were unable to produce enough milk for their little ones. And that is totally fine mommies, you don’t have to stress yourself about that. What’s important is that your baby is getting enough nutrients and stays healthy.
By this month, vitamins and minerals are also introduced to our babies to help them grow healthy and strong. Some of these nutrients are; calcium, folate, iron, iodine, protein, carbohydrates, zinc, and fat. Calcium maintains strong bones. Folate is needed by the body for the cells to divide. Iron builds blood cells and also helps the brain develop. Iodine helps in proper bone and brain development and controls body metabolism as well. Protein aids in the growth and development of your babies. Carbohydrates provide energy for the body. Zinc helps metabolism and strengthens the immune system. Fat supports the development of your baby’s brain and growth potential.
They also need vitamins such as:
- Vitamin A keeps the skin, hair, immune system, and vision healthy
- Vitamin B1 (thiamine) transforms carbohydrates into energy.
- Vitamin B2 (riboflavin) is important for body growth and the production of red blood cells.
- Vitamin B3 (Niacin) helps the skin and nerves to stay healthy.
- Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine) helps form red blood cells and maintain the brain’s function.
- Vitamin B12 is important for metabolism and helps maintain the central nervous system.
- Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid) promotes healthy teeth and gums and also helps the body in absorbing iron.
- Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium for normal development and maintain healthy teeth and bones.
- Vitamin E (Tocopherol) helps the body form red blood cells and uses vitamin K.
- Vitamin K is important for the development of a healthy bone.
Another indication of a well-fed baby is the number of their diapers each day which is around four to six wet diapers within 24 hours. When it comes to a baby’s bowel movements, it varies from once to several times per day. Keep in mind mommies that changing wet diapers immediately is very important to your little ones to avoid irritation on your baby’s diaper area which is the cause of diaper rash.
Taking care of babies is one of the biggest responsibilities any new parents faces. Especially because babies have sensitive skins and their immune systems are still in the process of becoming strong. Being extra careful and aware at the same time is a must for all new parents. Every single thing that you noticed on your baby’s body, particularly those unfamiliar ones should be consulted to your baby’s pediatrician. To help us more about some of the health-related issues on our babies are:
- Acne. This is common to babies and usually disappears without any treatment needed. They also tend to suffer from having dry skin which is why the use of mild soaps and infant safe moisturizers are highly recommended and best to bathe your baby three or four times a week using these soap or moisturizers.
- Diaper Rash. Having a diaper rash is common among babies and usually lasts about three to four days if treated immediately. In case it shows up as bright red with red dots, it is an indication that your baby has a yeast infection and needs to be treated with anti-fungal cream for it to disappear. To avoid having diaper rash, change your baby’s diaper after 4 to 5 hours or as needed. Also, wash your baby’s diaper area with mild soap and warm water after each bowel movement. The use of diaper rash cream is highly recommended especially during hot weather.
- Thrush. This is a yeast infection that grows and spread in warm, moist, and dark environments. If you see white patches on your baby’s mouth, particularly the tongue and the inside of the cheeks, your baby may have this infection and needs to be treated immediately. Thrush develops because of the overgrowth of a yeast called Candida albicans which is common to babies. Many physicians prescribe the use of Nystatin to cure thrush.
- Allergies. Just like adults and older children, babies can also have allergies to food, with the things that they touch and even the particles that we don’t see which they inhale. Symptoms of food allergy can cause vomiting or abdominal pain in your babies. In some cases. Your baby’s lips and even his tongue may start to bulge. Environmental allergy or the dust from the outside, pets, and insects may trigger the allergy of your baby and typically shows symptoms such as sneezing, reddish eyes, itchy eyes, coughing, chest tightness, and runny nose.
- Heat Rash. It occurs on a baby’s skin during hot and humid weather. It is usually the result when the baby’s sweat glands opening are blocked. This will appear as little red bumps on your baby’s skin, most especially on the parts where sweat is abundant, that is the neck, arms or legs, upper chest, and on the diaper area of your babies. The first thing to do when we see these tiny red bumps is to cool them with water and dry it after. You should leave the area open to the air for a while and make sure to dress your baby in clothing that will keep his/her body cool and dry. Remember mommies do not put or apply ointments as it will just worsen the heat rash of your babies.
- Acid Reflux. Most babies spit up after being fed. This typically happens because of overfeeding or the position of your baby while feeding or when the contents of your baby’s stomach flow back into the esophagus. To avoid acid reflux, try feeding your babies smaller amounts more often, burping your baby every after feeding them, avoid putting pressure on the belly, or refraining from physical activities after eating. This should not be a concern mommies as long as your baby is constantly gaining weight and it’s not causing him to get choked. It will eventually stop by the time your baby reached six to nine months, but if it appears to get worse or gives your baby a lot of discomforts, you should seek medical attention.
- Constipation. When your baby is having difficulty when trying to poop or isn’t having regular bowel movements, it is an indication that he may be constipated. Exclusively formula-fed babies tend to experience constipation more likely than breast-fed babies. It is because your baby has a milk protein allergy or intolerance. To prevent constipation in your little ones, try changing the formula milk you’re giving them.
Tips on Supporting your 2-month-old Baby
How to Calm a Crying Baby
To calm a fussy baby, rocking him on a glider or rocking chair is undoubtedly one of the most effective ways. It will not just calm them, but may even boost their urge to sleep. Moreover, it will not just benefit your little one, but will also help you relax (awesome!).
Read Stories to your Baby
Another effective way of helping your baby sleep fast without the need to swaying them is by reading stories to your baby. Even if your baby doesn’t fully understand all the words you are saying, for now, he/she is listening to the sounds you’re producing. Slowly by listening to your stories, your baby is learning and at the same time being relaxed.
Giving massage in your Baby
Most babies tend to relax when they are given a rubbing on their back. Massaging is one of the effective ways to soothe your little one’s fussiness. With the aid of baby massage oils or baby lotion, you will be able to gently massage your baby. Do it in a firm but gentle way to avoid tickling them. You can start it on their shoulder towards the chest and on their tummy. Then massage their arms downwards the wrists. During your baby’s tummy times, you can also start massaging his back going down to his legs and toes.
Expressing Breast Milk while at Work
During this time, you are probably returning to work already and having difficulty pumping enough supply of milk for your baby. By law, your employer must consent you to have time and space for you to express breast milk until your baby turns 1 year old. If you are concerned your milk is running low, contact your lactation consultant for help and drink plenty of water because that will boost your milk supply.
By this time, you’re baby’s nails and hair have probably grown so much that needs to be trimmed or cut already to maintain your baby’s hygiene. Remember this is very important for your babies to avoid their faces or body being scratched by their long nails. Use a soft nail file or baby clippers to trim your baby’s nails. Clip your baby’s nails while he’s asleep for less movement on your baby’s hands. File the rough edges after trimming your baby’s nails. In this case, they won’t be able to hurt their body and face whenever their little hand moves across his body.
By doing tummy time, you are helping your baby strengthen his neck, arm, and shoulder muscles. Remember to put them on a semi-hard surface, like the floor but put a mat to support your baby’s face and head in case it will fall and make sure you’re always watching your baby when they are doing tummy times.
Have Conversations with your Baby
Wondering how it would be possible? It is very simple mommies! By responding to your baby’s aahs and coos, and starting a chat with your baby by telling him what you are doing and asking him questions as if he will answer. Do it with a high-pitched intonation and exaggerated emotions because according to research, babies can predict what you are saying is positive or negative. They tend to be very sensitive to the tone of voice of the person talking to them. It will help your baby’s development as well when you are doing baby talks when chatting with your little one.
It is another method of soothing your baby when they are crying. Some babies respond to relaxing music and singing. The presence of “white noise” is a very good example of music that will calm your baby. In this case, your baby is reminded of the sounds he’s hearing when he was still inside his mothers’ womb. Research says the sound is more likely that of a vacuum cleaner turned on.
Babies are born with the need to suck. Generally, babies need the sucking desire to eat or drink. By providing them pacifiers, you will also help them calm and soothe them from crying. The best time to give them a pacifier is when they’re about to go to bed or have a nap or after But always remember mommies that babies are different from each other. If your baby doesn’t want to take the pacifier, do not force him/her.
There are many things to learn and do when you have a baby, especially if you are a first-time parent. However, nothing can ever replace the feeling of having a child at home making everyone exhausted but full of fun and happiness at the same time. You’ll never know how happy and tired you truly are until you experience it. Everything seems to be surreal at first, but that would eventually change as time passes by. Indeed, the fourth trimester is an exciting and adventurous journey for you mommies, and your husband as well.
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