2-Month Checkup: Healthy Kids Series

This parenting information is part of the "Healthy Kids, Healthy Futures" series. These fact sheets may be given out by Group Health at routine checkups.


  • Breast milk is the healthiest food for your baby. It gives your baby complete nutrition for the first six months of life.
  • Breastfeed your baby on demand. Your baby decides when and how long to nurse.
  • If you bottle-feed, use iron-fortified formula (not low-iron formula) until your baby is 1 year old. Bottle-feed on demand.
  • Always check the temperature of formula with a few drops on your wrist before feeding. Never warm bottles in the microwave.
  • Don't give your baby honey during the first year.
  • Make sure your baby is getting 400 IU of vitamin D every day.

Healthy Habits

  • Smoking around your baby increases risk for SIDS, ear infections, asthma, and pneumonia.
  • Don't allow smoking in your home or car. For information about quitting, see Resources to Quit Tobacco.
  • Always wash your hands before feeding your baby and after changing diapers.
  • Drive safely: Don't drive after drinking alcohol. Always wear your seat belt.
  • Take your baby for walks.
  • When your baby is awake, put baby on his or her tummy to play. This helps to strengthen neck and arms and prevent flattening of baby's head.


Provide a safe environment for your child.

  • Avoid SIDS: Put baby to sleep on her back, not on her side or tummy) Make sure your baby has a firm, flat mattress to sleep on.
  • Car seat: Put your baby in an infant car seat for every ride. For more information, see The Safety Restraint Coalition website at www.800bucklup.org or call toll-free 1-800-BUCK-L-UP (282-5587).
  • Avoid falls: Don't ever leave your baby alone on a bed, sofa, or table.
  • Avoid burns: Lower water heater temperature to warm or low (below 120°F). Always check water temperature with a few drops on your wrist before putting your baby in a bath.
  • Install smoke detectors and check them regularly.
  • Don't drink hot liquids near baby.


  • Hold, talk, and sing to your baby. Don't worry about spoiling.
  • Never leave baby alone at home, in a car, or bathtub.
  • Never shake your baby. Shaking or spanking a baby can cause serious injury or death.
  • When your baby gets vaccines (shots), you may give your baby acetaminophen (Tylenol) 4 to 6 hours after the visit. This can help your baby feel more comfortable after getting the vaccines. This can help your baby feel more comfortable during and after getting the vaccines.

Do not give aspirin to a child or youth under age 20. It has been linked to a rare but serious disease called Reye syndrome.

Use this chart to find out how much acetaminophen you can give your baby. Dosages listed are for medicine concentration of 160mg/5ml. Ask your baby's doctor or nurse if you have any questions.

Age Weight Syrup
Younger than 4 months Less than 12 pounds 1/4 tsp or 1.25 ml
4-11 months 12-17 pounds 1/2 tsp or 2.5 ml

Year of Wonder

Here are some things you can look forward to in the months ahead. The chart shows normal development for ages 1 to 12 months:

Age Movement Vision Language Social
1 to 3 months Raises chest and head when on tummy.

Grasps and shakes toys.

Stretches and kicks legs.

Brings hand to mouth.
Follows moving objects.

Knows familiar faces.

Stares at faces.
Smiles when you talk.


Imitates some sounds.

Turns head toward sound.
Smiles when smiled at.

Enjoys playing with other people.

New expressions with face.
4 to 7 months Rolls both ways.

Sits without support.

Reaches with one hand.

Transfers objects from hand to hand.
Develops full color vision.

Distance vision improves.

Tracks moving objects.
Responds to own name.

Babbles, laughs.

Uses voice to express happiness and sadness.
Enjoys playing.

Interested in mirrors.

Responds to other people's expressions of emotions.
8 to 12 months Gets to sitting position alone.

Crawls forward on belly.

Pulls to stand.

Walks holding on to furniture.
Finds hidden objects.

Picks up objects with thumb and forefinger.
Says "mama" and "dada."

Says "Oh oh."

Pays attention to speech.

Tries to imitate words.
Shy with strangers.

Cries when mom leaves.

Finger-feeds self.

Extends arm or leg to help when being dressed.

Safe Toys

  • Always choose toys made for baby's age.
  • No toys smaller than 1-5/8 inches across (small toys could cause choking).
  • No small parts that can come off. Your baby could choke on these.
  • No strings, cords, or necklaces on toys or around baby's neck.
  • No sharp or pointed edges.
  • No old painted toys (the paint could contain lead).
  • No toys strung across the crib (could choke baby).
  • Check stuffed animals and dolls for loose eyes and noses. Remove all ribbons.


Newborns can hear well and will respond to sounds. If your baby does not respond to sounds or if you have a family history of childhood hearing loss, tell your baby's health care provider at the next well-child visit.

Preventing Sleep Problems

  • Place baby in crib when drowsy but still awake. Many babies are restless or cry for 15 to 20 minutes before falling asleep.
  • Don't let baby sleep for more than 3 hours in a row during the day.
  • Make middle-of-the-night feedings brief and boring by leaving lights off and not talking to baby.
  • Try to delay or shorten middle-of-the-night feedings. Don't change diapers during the night unless soiled or baby has a diaper rash.
  • Give your baby's last feeding at your bedtime 10 or 11 p.m.
  • Don't wake your baby at night for a feeding, except at your bedtime.

Suggested Reading

  • Your Child's Health, by Barton D. Schmitt
  • Caring for Your Baby and Young Child, by Steven P. Shelov

Next well-child visit: 4 months

Adapted with permission from Kaiser Permanente.

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Clinical review by Emily Chao, DO
Group Health
Reviewed 04/01/2013
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