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Birth-2 Month Developmental Milestones

Movement and Physical Development

Normal Development

  • Can hold head up and begins to push up when lying on tummy
  • Makes smoother movements with arms and legs

Possible Challenges from Treatment

  • Less chance for tummy time and activity because of procedures and treatments
  • Tubes and hospital equipment can keep baby from moving normally
  • Children may not learn physical skills as fast as normal, especially rolling over, controlling head and upper body, and learning hand/eye coordination

Ways to Help

  • If your treatment center has one, go to infant playtime to help baby learn physical skills.
  • Use a floor mat for tummy time and movement.
  • Put toys just out of reach to encourage rolling over.
  • Give toys with texture to get baby interested in grabbing and moving objects.
  • Use crib mobiles to keep baby alert and interested.
As part of normal physical development, your child may be able to hold her head up and begin to push up when lying on her tummy.

As part of normal physical development, your child may be able to hold her head up and begin to push up when lying on her tummy.

 

Language and Communication

Normal Development

  • Expresses emotions and needs through crying
  • Produces different cries for different reasons
  • Keeps brief eye contact during feeding
  • Watches the speaker’s mouth or eyes
  • Shows contentment or amusement by smiling and cooing
  • Calms down or smiles in response to a familiar voice
  • Moves or reacts to loud sounds or voices

Possible Challenges from Treatment

  • Less chance to relate to parents and caregivers because baby feels sick and tired.
  • Might be slow to develop language

Ways to Help

  • Interact with your baby when he or she is awake and alert.
  • Smile
  • Sing
  • Read
  • Talk about what is happening in the room
As part of normal communication development, your child may express her emotions and needs through crying.

As part of normal communication development, your child may express her emotions and needs through crying.

Social and Emotional

Normal Development

  • Begins to smile at people
  • Can briefly calm herself (may bring hands to mouth and suck on hand)
  • Tries to look at parent

Possible Challenges from Treatment

  • Less interest in play
  • Fewer chances to relate and bond to parents and caregivers due to feeling sick and tired.
  • Feels stress from hospital lights, sounds, and people, changes in routines, and painful procedures
  • More fussy, irritable, and sensitive than normal
  • Might have sleep problems

Ways to Help

  • Give baby attention during awake, alert times.
  • If baby is stressed, turn down lights, swaddle baby, and play quiet music or use a “white noise” machine.
  • Have a regular routine, if possible.
 

Thinking and Learning

Normal Development

  • Pays attention to faces
  • Begins to follow things with eyes and recognize people at a distance
  • Begins to act bored (cries, fussy) if activity doesn’t change

Possible Challenges from Treatment

  • Hearing or vision may be impacted, making it more difficult for newborns to follow sounds and sights
  • Might be slow to develop early visual discrimination and thinking skills

Ways to Help

  • Hold your baby while talking to them
  • Act excited and smile when your baby makes sounds
  • Allow your baby to look at themselves in a baby safe mirror
  • Show your baby high-contrast (black-white-and red) pictures and talk about them
  • Shake rattles above your baby’s head and slowly move the rattle from side to side, while smiling brightly and cheering on any attempts to follow the rattle