2 Month Check-Up

3 Jan
2 Month
Well, you’ve survived some of the hardest two months of parenthood. I had a friend who described the first couple of months like “taking care of a sack of potatoes”: you put all this effort and energy into providing for every need and while there is a lot of joy to be shared, Junior doesn’t exactly provide a lot of positive feedback for when you get things right.  What he does do is give you plenty of negative feedback when you can’t figure out what he needs.

Here are some topics that are typically covered at my 2 month checkup:

  1. Diet
  2. Sleep
  3. Development

Diet

Babies this age only need breast milk or formula.  Despite what everyone else is telling you, adding rice cereal to the bottle won’t help the sleep longer, eat less or do anything else that this miraculous food has been reported (by friends) to do.

Most breastfed babies are eating about every 3 hours by now and hopefully giving you a 4-6 hour stretch at night where you can start to catch up on some zzzzz’s.  Formula fed babies are typically taking 3-4 ounces every 3-4 hours.  If your baby is soooo hungry and wants to take more, I don’t make a big deal out of it but I would recommend trying everything else to comfort them prior to feeding them more often than every 3 hours.

If you are one of the lucky few who has a baby ‘sleeping through the night’ at this stage, keeping it to yourself might be the best idea.  There’s no easier way to start a play-date brawl than to proudly announces to a half-dozen crazy, sleep-deprived moms how great you’re sleeping at night…

I don’t really want my babies to start any solids until the 4 month checkup so we’ll hold off on that discussion until next time.

Sleep

Babies at this age still get about 16-18 hours of sleep total during the day so there still isn’t a lot of awake time except for feedings and maybe a brief period of play time after a few of the feeds.  Usually about 6 of these hours will be divided into naps during the day with the remainder happening in 2-3 stretches at night.

I still haven’t found a miraculous cure for that baby who “has their nights and days confused” but what I usually recommend is that you try to make sure that the baby is feeding on a every 3 hour schedule during the day so that hopefully they will go longer at night.

The most life-saving thing I can do for my patients is remind you how important it is for babies to sleep on their backs to prevent SIDS!!  I prefer that you use a light blanket or swaddler only without positioners or anything else that a baby’s mouth could get pressed against to cause suffocation.  If you have more questions about SIDS and other ways to help prevent it, check out:

SIDS-Risk Factors and Prevention.

Development

There’s not just a whole lot that a 2 month old has to do to be considered normal.  Babies this age should be smiling…not necessarily in response to the goofy faces that you’re making although that will come soon if it hasn’t already.  They should also be able to hold their head up some.  If they can do these 2 amazing feats…then they’re probably developmentally normal.

The next big motor milestone is rolling over…so be careful about leaving them on the changing table with your back turned.  Babies miraculously know that you would be heartbroken to have missed their first roll and that you have let them roll off something to a hardwood floor so they tend to want to do it all at once.

Start capturing those smiling pictures and watching out for the daredevil roller and we’ll see you back at the 4 month checkup!
Some other posts that might be of interest:
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