Infant Development: Your Baby's Second Month

The developmental changes you can expect during your baby's second month.

I once heard that the first few months of a baby's life is like sitting around a campfire, for the parents. Parents are so amazed that this new person is a part of their lives, they just want to stare at her and wait until she does something adorable. Of course, babies are adorable just lying down sleeping, so any little smirk she makes is likely to send the parents off into a frenzy snapping photos and recording footage. As you finish up the first month with your new baby, you will find yourself a little more confident when picking her up and a little more used to her crazy sleeping patterns. So, what new things can you expect as you enter the second month of your baby's life?

You will find that by this second month, you are beginning to learn what your baby likes and doesn't like. She may be fine with the radio on and set to your favorite station, but she may be easily startled by those loud car chase shows you watch everyday when you come home from work. You may even be able to distinguish between her cries for food and her cries or whimpering for simply wanting attention.

By the second month, your baby will more than likely respond to her own name. She will also be able to distinguish her mom's voice even when several people are talking. Your baby will be able to tell when her own mother or father is holding her or when a stranger or new person is holding her.

Your baby is learning to adapt to the world around her, distinguishing different voices, sounds and environments. Although she cannot yet communicate effectively, it is up to you to pick up on her physical cues and determine what she needs. For instance, when she is smiling and happy, she probably wants you to play and talk with her. On the other hand, if she begins to turn her head from your direction and starts to thrash around a bit or wriggle, she might be telling you that she needs to have less attention focused on her so she can sleep or rest.

Remember, all babies grow at different rates and speeds. This is why some babies begin to walk at ten months and others start walking after they have already turned one year old. If your baby seems genuinely happy and not too fussy, do not start to worry if she doesn't meet every single criteria of the "normal" two month old that you find defined in books and magazines. Simply take her to her monthly checkups and speak to your doctor about any concerns you may have with her development.

One of the biggest developments that may occur during this second month is your baby's first smile. As she watches you intently, her smile might be one of the first faces she makes that mimics your own. When you place a baby face-down on the carpet or on a bed, always watch her. While babies can move their heads and necks from side to side, you do not want to leave your baby too long in this position unattended. However, from this position, your baby might start to pick herself off the floor with her forearms, lifting her chest.

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