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Check Ups

2 Month Check Up

FEEDING:   Many babies at this point will have decreased their nighttime feedings to once during the night and will eat every 3-4 hours during the daytime.  Breastmilk or formula is still all that your baby needs, and solids should not be started until 4-6 months of age. Starting solids before 4 months leads to an increased risk of food allergies, diabetes, and obesity later in life.  Babies still do not need any extra fluids (including water or juice) at this age, and they should never be given honey before 1 year of age.

SLEEPING:  By now your baby may be sleeping longer at night, up to 5-6 hours sometimes.  Frequent daytime naps are still common at this age, but it’s ok to keep babies awake more during the day now to help them sleep at night.         

FEVER/ILLNESS:  After 2 months of age, fever is defined as a rectal temperature greater than 101.  If your baby is going to be in daycare or around large groups of children, we expect that he or she will get as many as 1-2 colds or viral illnesses each month.  Cold viruses usually cause nasal congestion, runny nose, cough, decreased appetite, and often fever.  Most cold viruses last up to 10 days, but the fever should not last more than 3-5 days.  If your baby has cold symptoms that last longer than 10 days, fever that lasts longer than 3 days or high fever associated with not drinking or sleeping or extreme fussiness, it is a good idea to call the office.  Good handwashing is still the best way to prevent the spread of germs.   If your baby develops diarrhea, try to continue feeding with breastmilk or formula.  If your baby is also vomiting and cannot keep anything down, it’s a good idea to call the office to make sure she is not getting dehydrated.  Ear infections are more common in older babies, but babies under 3 months can occasionally have an ear infection.  Signs include fever, irritability, difficulty sleeping, vomiting, and (once they are older) pulling at an ear.  If you are concerned about a possible ear infection, call the office.

DEVELOPMENT :  By 6 weeks, many babies have a social smile, or a smile in response to voices or faces.  Babies at this age can often hold their heads up when lying on their tummies, and by 4 months they should be able to push themselves up on their elbows.  Some babies learn how to roll over from front to back as early as 3-4 months. (Rolling over back to front usually occurs later—often not until 5-6 months.)  Sometime during the next couple months babies “discover” their hands, meaning that they often stare at their hands or bring their hands up to their mouths.  At 2 months, babies are often very good at tracking, or following objects that are moving in front of them. Soon they will gain the hand and eye coordination to bat at objects that move in front of them.  During the 3-4 month time period, a baby’s vision improves, and he or she is able to see things across the room.  Babies also are able to see colors better by now, and they love to look at themselves in mirrors.  By 3-4 months of age, babies can coo and babble and make all sorts of happy baby noises.   You can aid in your baby’s language development by talking, singing, and reading to her often.

SAFETY:  Babies at this age still need to sleep on their backs to minimize the chance of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome).  Be particularly careful not to leave your baby unattended on an elevated surface, as she may wiggle and squirm and roll off.  Your baby still needs to face backwards in the infant car seat until 1 year of age and 20 lbs.  Check smoke detectors regularly to assure they are working and be careful with the temperature of bath water, as babies skin can easily burn.  Protect your baby from the sun, ideally by staying out of direct sunlight, or by using sunscreen when needed.  Make sure anyone who cares for your baby knows that shaking a baby can cause serious and permanent brain injury.   Never ever shake a baby!