• Your Child's Milestones (2 to 3 Months): Baby Can Now Smile Back!

    At 2 months, your baby may already be able to respond to sounds, too.
    by Jillianne E. Castillo .
  • Your Child's Milestones (2 to 3 Months): Baby Can Now Smile Back!
    IMAGE Pixabay
  • When it seems that just a few weeks back she was a dependent newborn, you'll start to notice exciting growth changes in your little one at 2 months old. She's now an active and responsive baby! You'll notice her start to watch and observe her surroundings, respond to your facial expressions, and move with more purpose. Amazing!

    With guidance from Special Education teacher Joji Reynes-Santos, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the Ages and Stages Questionnaires, a tool used by pediatricians for screening a child's development, below are developmental milestones most babies reach by 2 to 3 months old.

    But first, take note:

    • Wait until the end of 2 months before observing your baby for his 2-month-old milestones. Every child is different. Some reach their milestones earlier, and others a little later.
    • Have you been practicing tummy time? The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends tummy time to babies as soon as possible. Make sure your child practices it a few times a day when she’s awake and playful. 
    • Make sure your baby is well-rested and fed. Some of the items on this list may require you and your baby to engage in simple activities. Fussiness may make it harder to get accurate observations. 
    • Talk to your child’s doctor at every well-baby visit about the milestones your child has reached. Always consult with a pediatrician who will address your concerns and be able to inform you on what to expect next. 
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    What most babies can do at 2 months old:

    Physical development

    • waves arms and legs
    • holds objects for a few seconds
    • when lying on back, wiggles and squirms
    • when lying on tummy, can lift head up and turns it from side to side

    Cognitive or mental development

    • begins to follow a slowly moving object with both eyes
    • begins to recognize people from a distance
    • can become bored (fussy or cries) when an activity doesn’t change after a while

    Social and emotional development

    • has varying facial expressions, can smile at mom and dad
    • attempts to self-soothe by sucking (ex. brings hand to mouth to suck)
    • begins to respond back (ex. tries to look at you, seems to know its feeding time when shown a bottle)

    Language and communication development

    • starts to make babbling and cooing sounds like "gah" and "ooo"
    • smiles when you talk to her or smiles back
    • turns head toward sounds


    Red flags

    Children develop at different rates, says the AAP. There may be nothing to worry about. However, it’s important you still bring up any red flag concerns with a pediatrician. According to the CDC, talk to your child’s doctor if your 2- to 3-month-old baby :

    • doesn't respond to loud sounds
    • doesn't watch things as they move
    • doesn't smile at people
    • doesn't bring hands to mouth
    • when lying on tummy, can't hold head up when pushing up

    Sources: CDC, AAP, Ages and Stages Questionnaire

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