By the second month, your baby is becoming more alert and responsive to her world—especially you. She’s not quite ready to laugh, but she will light up when you pick her up to play a fun game of peekaboo. She’ll even hold your gaze. These skills may seem simple, but they’re setting the stage for more advanced milestones to come.
Keep up the good nutrition and encouragement, and watch for these developments in your baby this month.
Wiggle your fingers or a small toy in front of your baby and you’ll find she’s getting better at tracking the movement—as long as the objects are traveling slowly across her field of vision. She is also beginning to enjoy more complex and colorful patterns, but she still favors the sight of a human face. In fact, she takes an intense interest in your facial expressions and delights in watching your lips move as you speak. She seems to be listening to you intently and might even try to make sounds in response. Cheer her on as she makes an effort to engage you in “conversation.”
No longer a fragile newborn, your little gal is slowly gaining more control over her body. She may seem less active for a short period as her brain and body work together on coordinating the movements of major muscles. Instead of moving mainly by reflexes and random actions, for example, she’s learning to flex an arm or kick a leg intentionally. You may see her reach for a dangling toy or mobile, although her reach isn’t very accurate yet. Her legs are getting stronger, too. Some babies now kick and rock when lying on their stomachs—and may even surprise themselves by accidentally rolling over from front to back.
Crying remains your baby’s main method of communication. But you’ll start to notice that she’s cooing more, too. These vowel-based noises (like “oooh-oooh” or “aaah-aaah-aaah”) come from the larynx and use different muscles than those used for crying and grunting. Although she won’t be able to form words until closer to her first birthday, these early vocalizations are important building blocks to speech. Your baby may also begin to imitate your expressions and movements, which is an important step in learning to communicate.
Your baby knows who you are and delights in seeing you. She may wave an arm in a jerky manner or bob her head as you come near—adorable gestures that show you that she recognizes you. For parents, the most satisfying way babies show joy is by smiling. Those happy, social smiles will soon increase to the point that your baby initiates them often. Your baby’s self-esteem grows when people—especially you—return her grins.