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What to Expect During This Visit

Your doctor and/or nurse will probably:

1. Check your baby's weight, length, and head circumference and plot the measurements on the growth charts.

2. Ask questions, address concerns, and offer advice about how your baby is:

Feeding. Your baby might be going longer between feedings now. Feeding should still be on demand (when your baby is hungry), but you may notice a predictable schedule developing. Keep in mind that your baby may have periods when he or she wants to eat more. Most babies this age will breastfeed about eight times in a 24-hour period or drink about 26-28 ounces (780-840 ml) of formula a day.

Peeing and pooping. Babies should have several wet diapers a day and tend to have fewer poopy diapers. Breastfed babies' stools should be soft and may be slightly runny. Formula-fed babies' stools tend to be a little firmer, but should not be hard.

Sleeping. Your baby will probably begin to stay awake for longer periods and be more alert during the day, sleeping more at night. Waking up at night to feed is normal.

Developing. By 2 months, it's common for many babies to:

  • focus and track faces and objects from one side to the other
  • be alert to sounds
  • recognize parents' faces and voices
  • gurgle and coo (say "ooh" and "ah")
  • smile in response to being talked to, played with, or smiled at
  • lift their head up while lying on their belly
  • grasp a rattle placed within the hand

There's a wide range of normal, and children develop at different rates. Talk to your doctor if you're concerned about your child's development.

3. Perform a physical exam with your baby undressed while you are present. This will include an eye exam, listening to your baby's heart and feeling pulses, checking hips, and paying attention to your baby's movements.

4. Update immunizations. Immunizations can protect infants from serious childhood illnesses, so it's important that your baby receive them on time. Immunization schedules can vary from office to office, so talk to your doctor about what to expect.

Looking Ahead

Here are some things to keep in mind until your next routine visit at 4 months:

Feeding

  1. Do not introduce solids, including infant cereal, or juice. Breast milk or formula is still all your baby needs.
  2. Pay attention to signs that your baby is hungry or full.
  3. If you breastfeed:
    • If possible, breastfeed exclusively (no formula, other fluids, or solids) for 4-6 months. If desired, pumped breast milk may be given in a bottle.
    • If you plan to go back to work soon, introduce the bottle now to get your baby used to bottle-feeding.
    • Ask your doctor about vitamin D drops for your baby.
  4. If formula-feeding, give iron-fortified formula.
  5. If your baby takes a bottle of breast milk or formula:
    • Do not prop your baby's bottle.
    • Do not put your baby to bed with a bottle.

Routine Care & Safety

  1. To help prevent sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), place your baby to sleep on his or her back on a firm mattress in a crib or bassinet without any crib bumpers, blankets, pillows, or plush toys.
  2. Limit the amount of time your baby spends in an infant seat, bouncer, or swing.
  3. Give your baby plenty of "tummy time" when awake. Always supervise your baby and be ready to help if he or she gets tired or frustrated in this position.
  4. Don't use a walker. They're dangerous and can cause serious injuries. Walkers also do not encourage walking and may actually hinder it.
  5. Soon, your baby will be reaching, grasping, and moving things to his or her mouth, so keep small objects and harmful substances out of reach. Keep your baby away from cords, wires, and toys with loops or strings.
  6. While your baby is awake, don't leave your little one unattended, especially on high surfaces or in the bath.
  7. It's normal for infants to have fussy periods, but for some, crying can be excessive, lasting several hours a day. Infant colic peaks at about 6 weeks and improves by 3 months.
  8. Never shake your baby — it can cause bleeding in the brain and even death.
  9. Always put your baby in a rear-facing car seat in the back seat.
  10. Don't smoke or let anyone else smoke around your baby.
  11. Avoid sun exposure by keeping your baby covered and in the shade when possible. Sunscreens are not recommended for infants younger than 6 months. However, you may use a small amount of sunscreen on an infant younger than 6 months if shade and clothing don't offer enough protection.
  12. TV viewing (or other screen time, including computers) can interfere with the brain development of young children. Therefore, TV is not recommended for those under 2 years old.

These checkup sheets are consistent with the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)/Bright Futures guidelines.

Reviewed by: Mary L. Gavin, MD
Date reviewed: July 2013

 
Other Related KidsHealth Articles:
Communication and Your 1- to 3-Month-Old
Your baby is learning to communicate through facial expressions like smiling or frowning as well as crying, squealing, babbling, and laughing. And those sounds are early attempts to speak!
Feeding Your 1- to 3-Month-Old
Whether you've chosen to breastfeed or bottle-feed your baby, your infant will let you know when it's time to eat.
Growth and Your 1- to 3-Month-Old
Like newborns, most babies continue to grow quickly in weight and length during the first few months of life.
Learning, Play, and Your 1- to 3-Month-Old
After learning to recognize your voice, your face, and your touch, your baby will start responding more to you during these months and even give you a smile!
Medical Care and Your 1- to 3-Month-Old
You probably have lots of questions about your baby's health. When should you call the doctor, and what medical care should you expect for your baby at this age?
Movement, Coordination, and Your 1- to 3-Month-Old
The reflexes they had just after birth start to disappear as babies this age gain more control over movements and interact more with their environment.
Sleep and Your 1- to 3-Month-Old
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Talking to Your Child's Doctor
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The Senses and Your 1- to 3-Month-Old
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Related Resources:
American Academy of Family Physicians
This site, operated by the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), provides information on family physicians and health care, a directory of family physicians, and resources on health conditions.
American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)
The AAP is committed to the health and well-being of infants, adolescents, and young adults. The website offers news articles and tips on health for families.
American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Bright Futures
Bright Futures is a national health promotion and disease prevention initiative that addresses the health needs of growing children. To learn more, visit the website.
Immunization Action Coalition
This organization is a source of childhood, adolescent, and adult immunization information as well as hepatitis B educational materials.
National Immunization Program
This website has information about immunizations. Call: (800) 232-2522
Zero to Three
Zero to Three is a national nonprofit organization that promotes the health and development of infants and toddlers.