2 month milestones
By 2 months of age, your baby may be ready to …
All babies are different and develop at their own special pace, so try not to worry if your baby isn’t doing all of these things just yet. You’ll probably notice these changes soon. More on infant development.
Nutrition: vitamins your baby needs
Breast milk continues to be the best food for your baby, and provides all the nutrition your baby needs for the first 6 months of life. Continue to feed your baby "on demand" -- letting her decide how often and how much to eat.
If you’re feeding formula, choose an iron-fortified product. Usually, babies this age eat roughly 2 to 4 ounces every 2 to 4 hours.
If your baby is breastfed, we recommend you give him or her Vitamin D drops. Breast milk contains some Vitamin D, but not enough to help strengthen baby’s bones. That’s why pediatricians recommend 400 IU Vitamin D drops for breastfed babies. Formula is fortified with vitamin D, so this isn’t necessary for formula-fed babies.
Remember that your baby eats what you eat. Make sure you’re eating a balanced, nutritious diet, continuing to take your vitamins, and drinking plenty of water and good sources of calcium, like low-fat milk. Pass on the chips, sodas, and fast foods and choose a variety of healthy foods you enjoy. Making the effort to eat well will benefit both you and your growing baby.
Also, if you’re planning on returning to work in the next month or two and haven’t started practicing with pumping yet, check out our information on pumping and storing breast milk.
Whooping cough is on the rise in the U.S. Whooping cough, also called pertussis, is a contagious disease that spreads easily through coughing. A person of any age can catch whooping cough. However, it can be life-threatening for babies 6 months and younger, since it can interfere with breathing or make infants cough so much they can't breathe. The good news is that staying current with immunizations can prevent whooping cough and keep your baby safe.
How can I protect my baby from whooping cough?
Talk to your doctor about what is right for you and your family so that you can protect your baby against whooping cough. Also, remind others to cover their mouths when they cough and to wash their hands often.
Healthy habits: immunization schedule
Several immunizations are scheduled for your baby’s 2 month well-check:
These immunizations are given to prevent diseases that are still common in our communities, but are preventable with vaccination. Immunization is important, not just to prevent your child from becoming sick, but also to prevent the spread of disease within our families and communities.
Many parents find it stressful watching their child receive vaccination shots. Babies often cry and may be fussy after receiving a shot. Talk to your child’s pediatrician about giving your baby acetaminophen to reduce pain and swelling from shots. Our acetaminophen dosing handout can help you determine the right amount to give your child.
If you have specific questions about vaccines, check out the article on immunizations in the 1 month issue of Healthy Babies. And you can find all the details about your child’s immunization schedule in our handout Shots to Protect Your Child.
Immunizations: possible side effects
What kind of side effects can I expect after immunizations?
After receiving immunizations, there is a chance that your baby may have:
To help with these mild side effects, your doctor or injection clinic nurse may recommend that you give your baby acetaminophen (non-aspirin) infant drops before or after your baby receives shots. Find out the right amount to give your baby with our dosing chart.
More serious side effects are rare. If your child experiences a reaction to any vaccination, such as a high fever, trouble breathing, or any other unusual symptoms, or if you are worried that your child seems sick, contact your child’s pediatrician or call the advice nurse right away.
Remember, it is much more dangerous for a child to risk getting the diseases than it is to risk having a reaction to the vaccine.
More about what to expect after your baby receives shots.
More information about immunizations:
5 things you can do to keep your baby safe
1. Don’t let your baby play with any toy that could be dangerous. Go to our "Common questions" article in this issue for more information on safe toys.
2. Follow your child’s recommended immunization schedule. It’s the single best thing you can do to prevent many common diseases for your child and your family.
3. Give your baby daily “tummy time,” but only when you’re in the room. And don’t leave your child alone, especially if pets are around. Learn more about tummy time in our "Common questions" article.
4. Always use a car seat when your child is in a car. For help ensuring your seat is installed correctly, visit a certified car seat inspection station near you
5. Help prevent SIDS (crib death) with these tips:
Learn more about keeping your new baby safe.
There are many types of rashes and skin conditions in infants. Here are some of the most common conditions and notes about prevention and treatment.
You can use a little baby oil and a soft brush or toothbrush to gently brush your baby’s head. However, this will not “cure” the condition, which must go away on its own.
No treatment is typically necessary, and the acne will improve on its own by the time your baby is 3 to 6 months old. Do not use acne products on your child’s skin.
When you are cleaning your baby’s bottom and genitals, use a soft cloth and water or unscented wipes. Pat at the dirty area, instead of wiping, to cause less irritation. And air-dry your baby’s bottom whenever possible.
If these techniques don’t help, try treating the rash with a combination of 1 percent topical hydrocortisone, miconazole, and a good barrier cream like Desitin or Boudreaux’s Butt Paste. You can also try putting a little corn starch in the diaper area as you’re changing your baby. Usually this combination of treatments will help clear up the rash within a few days. If not, contact your pediatrician.
Choosing quality day care
Returning to work can be stressful, both for you and for your baby. But knowing your child is in good hands during the day makes the transition much easier. But how do you find safe, quality child care? Here are some tips and resources to help you find the right provider to meet your family's needs.
Tips for getting back in shape after childbirth
Most new mothers are eager to regain their pre-pregnant shape as soon as possible after birth. But it’s important to remember that it can take a while for your body to recover from childbirth. Don’t expect to jump back into a diet or exercise routine right away, or to be able to wear your skinny jeans. Be patient with yourself: now’s the time to focus on your health and the health of your new baby.
If you’re looking for more support in managing your weight, Kaiser Permanente is here to help. We offer a variety of online resources and classes to help you start and maintain healthy habits. Visit our Healthy Weight Resources page to learn more.
My baby still won't take a bottle. What can I do?
How do I know which toys are safe for my baby?
Here are some guidelines for toys to avoid and how to check for toy safety.
To know which toys are safe, stay current on the recalls of unsafe toys. You can sign up for email alerts on recalls at cpsc.gov
You can also download a safe toy shopping guide and other toy safety resources from Safe Kids USA.
What's so important about "tummy time?"
At first, you can prop her up with a small, rolled up towel under her chest or support her with a curved nursing pillow (such as a Boppy or My Brest Friend.) She may be frustrated at first, but over time, she will get better at lifting her head and chest, and will eventually push herself up onto her elbows.
“Tummy time” also helps to prevent flat spots from forming on your baby's head. To keep your baby’s head round, lay your baby on her stomach on your chest for cuddling. Or try turning your baby’s head to a different side each time you put her down to sleep or nap. If your baby has a mobile over his crib or changing table, try moving it to encourage her to turn her head.