Well-Baby Checkup: 2 Months

At the 2-month checkup, the health care provider will examine the baby and ask how things are going at home. This sheet describes some of what you can expect.

Man holding smiling baby close to his face.
You may have noticed your baby smiling at the sound of your voice. This is called a “social smile.”

Development and milestones

The health care provider will ask questions about your baby. He or she will observe the baby to get an idea of the infant’s development. By this visit, your baby is likely doing some of the following:

  • Smiling on purpose, such as in response to another person (called a “social smile”)

  • Batting or swiping at nearby objects

  • Following you with his or her eyes as you move around a room

  • Beginning to lift or control his or her head

Feeding tips

Keep feeding your baby with breast milk and/or formula. To help your baby eat well:

  • During the day, feed at least every 2 to 3 hours. You may need to wake the baby for daytime feedings.

  • At night, feed when the baby wakes, often every 3 to 4 hours. It’s okay if the baby sleeps longer than this. You likely don’t need to wake the baby for nighttime feedings.

  • Breastfeeding sessions should last around 10 to 15 minutes. With breast milk or formula from a bottle, give the baby 2 to 4 ounces at each feeding.

  • If you’re concerned about how much or how often your baby eats, discuss this with the health care provider.

  • Ask the health care provider if your baby should take vitamin D.

  • Don’t give the baby anything to eat besides breast milk or formula. Your baby is too young for solid foods (“solids”) or other liquids. A young infant should not be given plain water.

  • Be aware that many babies of 2 months spit up after feeding. In most cases, this is normal. Call the doctor right away if the baby spits up often and forcefully, or spits up anything besides milk or formula. 

Hygiene tips

  • Some babies poop (have bowel movements) a few times a day. Others poop as little as once every 2 to 3 days. Anything in this range is normal.

  • It’s fine if your baby poops even less often than every 2 to 3 days if the baby is otherwise healthy. But if the baby also becomes fussy, spits up more than normal, eats less than normal, or has very hard stool, tell the health care provider. The baby may be constipated (unable to have a bowel movement).

  • Stool may range in color from mustard yellow to brown to green. If it’s another color, tell the health care provider.

  • Bathe your baby a few times per week. You may give baths more often if the baby seems to like it. But because you’re cleaning the baby during diaper changes, a daily bath often isn’t needed.

  • It’s OK to use mild (hypoallergenic) creams or lotions on the baby’s skin. Avoid putting lotion on the baby’s hands.

Sleeping tips

At 2 months, most babies sleep around 15 to 18 hours each day. It’s common to sleep for short spurts throughout the day, rather than for hours at a time. The baby may be fussy before going to bed for the night (around 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.). This is normal. To help your baby sleep safely and soundly:

  • Always put the baby down to sleep on his or her back. This helps prevent sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).

  • Ask the health care provider if you should let your baby sleep with a pacifier. Sleeping with a pacifier has been shown to decrease the risk for SIDS, but it should not be offered until after breastfeeding has been established. If your baby doesn’t want the pacifier, don’t try to force him or her to take one.

  • Don’t put a crib bumper, pillow, loose blankets, or stuffed animals in the crib. These could suffocate the baby.

  • Swaddling (wrapping the baby tightly, allowing for movement of the hips and legs, in a blanket) can help the baby feel safe and fall asleep. It could be dangerous to swaddle a baby who is old enough to roll over. It is a good idea to stop swaddling your baby for sleep by 2 to 3 months of age. 

  • It’s OK to put the baby to bed awake. It’s also OK to let the baby cry in bed for a short time, but no longer than a few minutes. At this age babies aren’t ready to “cry themselves to sleep.”

  • If you have trouble getting your baby to sleep, ask the health care provider for tips.

  • If you co-sleep (share a bed with the baby), discuss health and safety issues with the baby’s health care provider.

Safety tips

  • To avoid burns, don’t carry or drink hot liquids, such as coffee or tea, near the baby. Turn the water heater down to a temperature of 120.0°F (49.0°C) or below.

  • Don’t smoke or allow others to smoke near the baby. If you or other family members smoke, do so outdoors while wearing a jacket, and then remove the jacket before holding the baby. Never smoke around the baby.

  • It’s fine to bring your baby out of the house. But avoid confined, crowded places where germs can spread.

  • When you take the baby outside, avoid staying too long in direct sunlight. Keep the baby covered, or seek out the shade.

  • In the car, always put the baby in a rear-facing car seat. This should be secured in the back seat according to the car seat’s directions. Never leave the baby alone in the car.

  • Don’t leave the baby on a high surface such as a table, bed, or couch. He or she could fall and get hurt. Also, don’t place the baby in a bouncy seat on a high surface.

  • Older siblings can hold and play with the baby as long as an adult supervises. 

  • Call the health care provider right away if the baby is under 3 months of age and has a rectal temperature over 100.4°F (38.0°C). 

Vaccinations

Based on recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), at this visit your baby may receive the following vaccinations:

  • Diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis

  • Haemophilus influenzae type b

  • Hepatitis B

  • Pneumococcus

  • Polio

  • Rotavirus

Vaccinations help keep your baby healthy

Vaccinations (also called immunizations) help a baby’s body build up defenses against serious diseases. Many are given in a series of doses. To be protected, your baby needs each dose at the right time. Talk to the health care provider about the benefits of vaccines and any risks they may have. Also ask what to do if your baby misses a dose. If this happens, your baby will need catch-up vaccinations to be fully protected. After vaccines are given, some babies have mild side effects such as redness and swelling where the shot was given, fever, fussiness, or sleepiness. Talk to the health care provider about how to manage these.

 

Next checkup at: _______________________________

 

PARENT NOTES: