By Today's ParentUpdated Jan 13, 2023
Photography by Nicole Duplantis/Clothing provided by babyGap and Joe Fresh
The two-month milestone is a big one! Baby’s first shots, another “mental leap,” and the sense that you’ve come a long way from labour and delivery. While you’re agonizing over upcoming immunizations, baby’s mind is on other things, from recognizing the patterns of their little lives to learning to self-soothe to even—yawn—getting bored. With a couple of months under your belt, you may also be heading into a stage of more confident parenting, including getting out more. Or are you just—another yawn—getting a little bored yourself? It’s a week for milestones and honest reflection about this mamahood and mat-leave business.
Babies develop at their own pace, so milestones aren’t must-haves but rather ideas of what baby may be capable of now—or soon. Talk to your baby’s doctor at their two-month appointment if you’re worried about any lagging development, but be assured that there’s a wide range of normal. At this age, you may see your baby lifting their head in response to stimulation or raising their shoulders during tummy time, adding to their growing mobility. They can also recognize your face and be comforted by your touch. The Nipissing checklist of milestones for the first two months is a good one.
There are many activities that baby enjoys now, including babbling in conversation with you and playing with mirrors, mobiles and toys they can kick, hit and grab. While lots of babies still don’t like tummy time at this age, yours might be starting to really get into it. High-contrast imagery, like on this play mat or these art cards can really help baby focus before their vision is fully developed. They also still like to be held close enough to gaze at your face and now begin to reach out to touch your eyes, mouth and nose (ow!). If they’re grabby (and still scratching themselves), it’s a good reminder to make sure their little talons are kept short.
Your baby is starting to recognize patterns in the world around them using all of their senses and figuring out how their arms and legs can (sometimes) respond to command. But it takes lots of practice and work, and you’ll find baby engrossed in their own body and movements as they take their second mental leap, as described by The Wonder Weeks here.
It’s rare, but some babies can start teething as young as two months—just when you were starting to figure out those night-time woes. For most, the first tooth won’t appear before six months of age, but you may start to notice more drooling in the weeks ahead as baby gets ready for chompers. What does this mean for sleep? Nothing good, right? Actually, some babies sail through teething without much trouble, while others will have you crying along with them as you try every recommended remedy.
Baby’s leap of development may mean that routines and schedules take a rough turn at two months as they fight to stay alert to all the cool things going on in their world. Stick to a routine for baby’s naptimes and night-time—whether it’s storytime, a relaxing infant massage or a bath—to signal to them that it’s time to get some shut-eye and let mama escape to pee, eat, drink, scroll or sleep. Keep any stimulus to a minimum when your baby’s getting drowsy and watch for signs of tiredness so you can wind them down for a nap before they get overtired.
Perhaps the most exciting (and slightly scary) milestones this month are baby’s first shots and two-month check-up, where the doctor will be looking to see how baby is eating, sleeping, growing and developing. Many moms swear by sugar water to ease baby’s pain during vaccinations, while others find that nursing during the needle can help soothe and distract baby. In addition to weighing and measuring, the doctor will check that baby’s hip joints are not unusually loose, a condition known as hip dysplasia.
If you’re not exhausted enough, suffering from a cold while raising an infant can sap your will to live. But there is some good news: A lot of medications that you couldn’t take while pregnant are compatible with breastfeeding.
While your mat leave may feel like a dream vacation from work in the company of a bundle of love, even those who are enjoying new motherhood can find it terribly isolating. And woe to mamas who are far from family and close friends. Leah McLaren writes about the excruciating loneliness of being a new mother.
If you’ve got a cold, chances are, your baby will catch it, too, and vice versa. While a stuffy nose makes it hard for baby to nurse and may wreak havoc on sleep, the snot sucker—excuse me, nasal aspirator—is a gift from the gods of mucus. Read more on how to deal with baby’s first cold and how to become an expert snot sucker yourself.
By about two months, you may begin to notice that your baby’s head is flatter on one side—typically at the back, given our generation of back-to-sleep babies. It’s fairly common—as many as half of Canadian babies have at least mild flatness. Babies may also develop bald spots where their heads rub against their beds and car seats. While a mild case of flat head syndrome will often resolve on its own as baby gets more mobile, there are ways to prevent and treat the problem.
Snot suckers, milk savers, blowout blockers, oh my! Check out these absolutely genius baby inventions that will save the day.
“I was too exhausted to pump but didn’t need to because the “milk savers” caught all the milk I leaked while nursing and I was able to save up enough for so, so many bottles…lifesaver!” (If you want to catch that extra liquid gold while breastfeeding—and you’re looking for some suction and stimulation—also check out the Haakaa and NatureBond silicone breast pumps and milk savers.) – Naureen M.A.
“These things have saved my baby’s outfits SO many times! No stains and no need to change his outfit! They’re easy to clean and rarely stain.” – Sara C.S.
$13 USD each, babyblowoutblocker.com
“Wipes clean no matter how much puke or poop—Keekaroo Peanut Changer> never stains!” (Also check out the lower-cost Bumbo version.) – Fran W.
“It’s the only pacifier that my baby will take! She LOVES it and it has been a lifesaver living with a dog. (It “pops” back into its protective bubble when it drops.)” – Talia W.
“It’s not as strong as a thick cream but for day to day, it’s great. (And no mess!)” – Vanessa M.
“The Hydrasense snot sucker! I’m sure the babies thought their brains were getting sucked out but boy did it help clear their little noses.” (This is meant to be used with saline nasal drops. Also check out the Nose Frida.) – Candice W.
“Especially useful with my first when I was in a small condo. Puj turns any sink into a bathtub, and cradles the baby as if she was being held. It’s mildew resistant and so easy to clean. Plus stores completely flat and takes up almost no space. When not in use we kept it against our shower wall with suction hooks. There’s a reason Ellen featured it on her show!” – Linda S.
“This product has given me so much peace of mind! I don’t need to get up multiple times to see if my little one is still breathing I can just check my phone!” – Chantale M.
“The [Kiinde] bags screw right on to almost all breast pumps. You can pump directly into the bag, put a cap on, store in fridge/freezer, pop the lid off and stick a nipple on top and feed directly from the bag! It eliminates washing extra parts and transferring from a bottle to storage bag, limiting chances of spilling precious milk.” – Karen P.
“Saves little runny noses from getting raw and cracked.” – Karen P.
“A lifesaver with a very active newborn who would wake up if you so much as looked in his direction. (Clipping while sleeping was not possible.)” – Soni A.
“I was given a Peapod Mat when I was pregnant and it was the most useful gift I never knew I needed. So great for the messy days immediately postpartum (I slept on a rotation of two for weeks), protecting your sheets when baby’s in bed with you, naked baby time anywhere in the house, protecting furniture if you don’t want to buy a change table (we have one permanently on a futon in the baby’s room), and it will be great for potty-training. So worth the investment.” – Yvonne H.
“My Brest Friend is the best nursing pillow, hands down. Especially for larger women, or women with larger breasts. I work in labour and delivery and I am always recommending this. The strap around the back keeps it from popping off like the half-ring ones do. It’s FLAT and goes out far enough for a large-chested woman to feed comfortably with the baby ON the pillow.” – Julia L.
“OMG they’re like little saddles for baby’s socks. Keeps socks on all day! I buy them for everyone as gifts now. A total lifesaver.” – Melanie T
“How about those forehead stickers that tell you if your kid has a fever? So you can check them without waking them up. So easy!” – Tanya S.
“I really love these reusable pouches for pureed snacks. Easy to clean and so much more environmentally friendly!” – Julia F.
$9 each, amazon.ca
“I love my silicone tray bib. It wipes clean with a baby wipe, it’s waterproof and it stays in the stroller so it’s always with us.” –Katie L.
“I have all of the snot suckers which are great, but when there’s a crusty boogie beyond your reach in a tiny nostril… This has like a tiny lasso to grab and pull it out, and a little scoop to catch wax out of their ear canal. It has a bear shaped ball on each end to keep you from cramming either end too far into baby’s ear or nose.” – Amy V.
“Even wee babes can feed themselves! Especially handy when it’s not baby #1!” – Michele C.
“Make the formula bottle now but mix it later. Keeps powder and water separate until you ‘explode’ the bottle as my partner says.” – Joanne E
“It’s a scarf-style nursing cover that doubles as a carseat/stroller cover. Ideal to shelter baby from wind/dust and noise: instant cocoon. I loved it!” – Sonja R.
“You just pop these sterilizing bags in the microwave—a huge lifesaver for cleaning bottles and pump parts!” –Laura R.
“A leather bib! It’s amazing—wipes clean and immediately dry, magnets snap it shut for putting it on and taking it off easily AND it hangs on the fridge! ONE bib forever! And they have the cutest and customizable designs! ” – Jen L.
“With this diaper stick you don’t have to touch baby’s bum to apply cream.” – Jodi S.S.
“I really liked the silicone baby food trays for freezer storage while introducing baby food. It makes it easy to just pop out one section at a time.” – Rebecca C.N.
“After someone gifted me one, I now give one to every new mom. Babies love them and they are lightweight and easy to carry as a toy on the go. Plus it gets babies into books at such an early age. Love them!” – Janis P.G.
“I am a sleep consultant and while I can argue that I’m a life changing product (haha!), I’m in LOVE with the Hatch Baby Rest. It’s seriously amazing—it’s an “OK to wake” product but so much more!” (Also check out the Gro clock.) – Amanda J.
“I like the mini ones. They’re AMAZING.” (Especially for all throw-all-the-bowls-on-the-ground phase. Also check out Summer Infant TinyDiner.) – Emily W.
“These are the best for when baby is cutting molars.” – Teri S.J.
“It’s a (smooth, chewy) top that goes on food pouches so that baby has to bite to get food out. Prevents spills and lets them eat on their own.” – Tanya S.
“I like to call it the poopy stick. Takes out EVERY stain. I’ve even used it for non-baby stains and it works better than other stain removers. Oh and it’s all natural and affordable!” –Allison J.B.
“So necessary for getting out with the little ones on cold winter days.” – Kristina M.
“Single mom + twins. ‘Nuff said.” – Beth F.
“Helps to lull baby to sleep with nice gentle background noise, mimicking the noise in utero. And it’s very portable.” – Jennifer M
“Washing my daughter’s hair used to be horrible. We now love bath time. It’s the easiest thing. You put it on and it goes over their head so you can still access their hair. Then you pour the water over their head and it looks like it’s raining. No water ever gets in my daughter’s eyes.” – Richelle S.
“I HAVE TO rave about the BabyBum brush. It’s a silicone brush made specifically for putting on diaper cream. The cream goes on so smoothly, it has a suction-cup bottom so that when it’s dirty it doesn’t fall over and make a mess everywhere and it can be cleaned with a baby wipe and sterilized in the dishwasher. This product was a lifesaver for me. I have five—one for every place that I change diapers. I have long nails and there is nothing worse than getting pasty diaper cream under my nails! Only downside is this product is very difficult to find in Canada…had to get it from the U.S. when I was on vacation.” – Adina E.
“Many brands make them now. It’s so easy to remove baby from the tub, place on my chest and lift the bottom to cover. I never got wet, and later it helped with splashes. (Also check out the original Baby Wrappers)” – Nicole Y.
“It’s like a winter coat that goes on over the carrier but can also be used on a car seat or stroller. I haven’t used my stroller once all winter. I put it over the Ergo (baby carrier) and go.” – Jenna M.W.
“Game changer. No more messing around with gloves when you need to manage baby’s needs in the stroller. They stay warm and toasty even in minus 30!” – Sue H.
Is it all coming together with breastfeeding yet? Are you still leaking at the worst possible time and avoiding your breast pump like the plague? Are you ready for baby’s first bite of the boob? You’re not alone.
Read more: Your baby: 10 weeks old The best way to wear a baby carrier