THE SECOND MONTH

Friday, May 8, 2009 8:25
Posted in category General Health

Activity

Baby’s actions start to become a little more smooth. If sitting up, the head still tends to flop but there is greater firmness of the neck muscles; the head can be kept erect for longer periods. The baby instinctively realizes the necessity of keeping the head clear and free from being buried in pillows or objects if lying on the floor. So, at all times there is an increasing effort to hold the head up, at about 45 degree angle. The baby often tires after a few minutes, but this skill gradually improves. Even when lying on the back, the baby often tries to hold the head slightly upwards.

Limb movements (arms and legs) may be less jerky, and much smoother.

Noises may startle the baby, and he or she may twitch involuntarily in the hands and feet if disturbed or if there is a sudden noise.

Objects, such as a toy or your finger, placed in the baby’s hands may still be grasped reflexively; but a tentative effort may be made to knowingly grasp at things. Often the baby will hold objects for short periods before dropping them.

He or she may strike out at near objects, such as mother’s face, if coming within close range.

Talk

The 2-month-old baby still does a lot of crying. This is a good thing, for it helps aerate and expand the developing lungs. The throaty noises of the first month are continued, but the baby will also start cooing in a soft manner. The noises are baby talk, and nothing like a grown child or adult, at this stage.

Mind

Mental development starts to become apparent. Much of the waking time is spent staring at the walls or objects within range. Eye movements wander around in a circular fashion. If there is some object, such as a bright toy, or a light, this will be followed; the baby becomes capable of following an object from one side to the middle line and gradually towards the opposite side, but it then tends to be lost. Things fairly close can be focused on, and the attention kept for increasing lengths of time.

Sudden noises or distractions will cause an obvious body reaction. The baby’s face may show a reaction, such as recognition or possible fear.

Lights, bright colours and moving objects gain the baby’s attention, which may be maintained for a short time. Attention may be fixed on one or two single objects, rather than several consecutively.

The baby tends to grasp for an object that has his or her attention or may strike at it. At this age the baby is able to grasp and retain an object, such as a light toy, for a while but then often drops it. This action tends to be made under control, rather than the automatic reflex it previously was.

The baby becomes stimulated at seeing familiar objects, such as a toy, and happy and often excited at seeing faces he or she recognises such as mother, father, brothers and sisters—and may stare at them intently, often bursting into a smile (as every joyous mother knows) when recognition dawns on baby’s face. Individuals start to be associated with certain favourable actions; for instance, mother and food become synonymous. The baby begins to show a preference for people over inaminate objects. Will often stare at a face intently, giving an impression of profound wisdom. This may end in a happy smile of recognition.

The baby may commence to show a preference for the right or left side, tending to grasp with the right hand, for instance; may sleep on the same side.

Shadows passing over the face, such as waving his own hand in front of him, will make him blink.

Objects as well as moving humans are regarded with a quizzical, intent gaze.

Actions are often repeated over and over, apparently for the sake of movement rather than for any productive end point. Tends to do one thing at a time.

The baby starts to distinguish between different persons, voices, objects.

Relationships

Personality is starting to develop, and the baby starts showing happiness, unhappiness or distress. If upset, he may suck his fingers, thumb or hand to calm himself down. Often he will use this method for slipping off to sleep.

Tends to give a smile of recognition at members of the family. Will react similarly with others. May show signs of stimulation and happiness when seeing people he or she knows. Will intently look at the person. Or will physically react by actively moving the limbs, breathing in and out rapidly with anticipation and excitement, or gurgling and making baby talk. If crying, may stop when seeing a familiar face, or if held or nursed.

However, the baby usually likes being handled and enjoys eating. These are more important than the social aspect of being with others.

If there are others present, the baby will often stay awake for longer periods of time. If encouraged, will ‘perform’, often for hours, and this usually means difficulty settling down to sleep. Pre-sleep-time excitement is often a major problem after these unwise incidents.

Night feeds tend to lessen, to one only.

Bowel actions are often associated with feedings, and the bowel reflex commences. Often there are two actions a day.

The sleep programme tends to change. The baby may sleep for up to seven hours at night and may remain awake for nine to ten hours a day. There may be several sleep periods during the day.

Baby enjoys the warmth of a bath each day, and finds this a very happy occasion as shown by physical movement.

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