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Dossier: Our baby

Baby’s development: Months 1 and 2

In the first two months after birth, newborns develop into babies. For example, they learn to smile and lift their head – each at their own pace.

Text: Julie Freudiger; photo: Unsplash

Milestones in the 1st month

  • Lift his head: Your baby’s neck muscles are getting stronger and he can sometimes even hold and turn his head for a few moments when lying on his stomach. However, you should continue to support his head, because he can’t hold it alone for longer periods.
  • Exploring arms and legs: While exploring his body, your baby will realise that his arms and legs are part of him. He’ll discover his hands and feet first.
  • Sucking: Sucking is very important for babies. It helps them to self-soothe but also to calm down and relax.
  • Listening: Newborns hear very well from birth, enabling them to recognise the voices of their mum and dad.
  • Making noises: Your baby may gurgle, squawk, grunt or hum to express his feelings. If you gurgle, squawk, grunt or hum in return, your baby will be delighted to “chat” with you in this way. Some babies start squealing or laughing at an early age.
  • Recognition: Your baby will be able to hold eye contact with you for longer now. Although he’s actually been able to recognise you since he was a few days old, he’ll only be able to demonstrate this recognition towards the end of the first month. Around half of all babies respond differently to mum and dad than they do to strangers. Your baby may quieten down, make eye contact; some babies even smile when they see their parents.
  • Listen to music: Now that your baby is awake for longer periods, you can use the time to stimulate his senses. You can sing lullabies or play music – but don’t overdo it. Even the sound of wind chimes or a ticking clock will fascinate your baby.
  • Increased attention span: Your baby can track moving objects with his eyes. He may be completely fascinated, for example, by a rattle that you shake gently in front of his eyes. Or try moving your face slowly directly in front of your baby’s face – watch how his eyes follow yours.
  • Physical contact: Physical contact helps your baby feel safe and secure. A baby sling is therefore ideal if your baby feels comfortable in it.

Milestones at 2 months

  • First real smile: This month, you’ll witness your baby’s first real, bright, toothless smile – without a doubt one of the best experiences to date with your baby.
  • Bright patterns and colours: Up to the age of two months, your baby will prefer two-coloured, simply structured objects. Now he’ll start to show an interest in detailed and complex patterns, colours and shapes. It’s a good idea to give your child a wide range of different objects to look at and touch.
  • Longer spells of sleep: Most babies at this age aren’t yet sleeping through and still wake up to be fed in the middle of the night. Sometimes even several times. This is completely normal. However, your baby will probably now sleep longer and is also awake longer. Most babies have two to four longer periods of sleep and are awake for around ten hours.
  • Controlled movements: The jerky arm and leg movements of a newborn have given way to gentler, more controlled movements. He’ll now be able to consciously grip chosen items; the ability to let go at will comes later.