Child Development Milestones for 0-2 Months

Child Development Milestones for 0-2 Months

While every newborn is unique and special, most children demonstrate specific skills or tasks by the time they are 2 months old. These “developmental milestones” cover everything from physical growth, cognitive and language development, to social and motor development. Smiling for the first time, looking at your face, waving “bye-bye,” crawling, and taking the first step are all considered developmental milestones.

Why are developmental milestones important?

Developmental milestones are important markers to help you track your child’s developmental health. These milestones are used by parents, pediatricians, and many other care providers to ensure that your child is developing as expected, and can help identify and address delayed development to facilitate early interventions.

"Milestones are categorized around five major areas: physical growth, cognitive development, emotional and social development, language development, and sensory and motor development," explains Cari Whitlock, Licensed Clinical Psychologist and Neuropsychologist at Healthy Young Minds. "Milestones help you understand how your child learns and grows, and delays in any of these areas can result in mild to severe struggles at home and school. Proper assessment can lead to services that help your child reach their full potential."

How to track a 0-2 month old’s developmental milestones

Many pediatricians work from standardized forms to assess and track your newborn’s developmental milestones. As a parent, it’s important to keep track of the skills your baby exhibits as they grow, since you are most familiar and involved in their day-to-day care. There are multiple tracking apps out there, including the Milestone Tracker App from the Center for Disease Control (CDC).

Child Development Milestones: 0-2 Months

Cognitive milestones

  • Tracks your movement

  • Briefly looks at objects/toys nearby

Physical milestones

  • Hands primarily closed (closes with touch)

  • Hold head up briefly while on tummy

Language milestones

  • Throaty reflexive noises

  • Startles to voice/sound

  • Cries when hungry or uncomfortable

  • Cries become different for pain and hunger

Social emotional milestones

  • Cries out of distress

  • Looks at your face

  • Discriminates mother’s voice

  • Calms down when spoken to or picked up

What are the cognitive milestones for a 0-2 month old?

During the first two months, infants are primarily focused on integrating the new sensations of the world around them. Your infant should track moving objects and toys with their eyes. Your infant will briefly look at objects and is more alert to sound, looking at you when you talk. Keep growing a strong bond by singing, sharing baby books, and playing with your newborn.

What are the physical milestones for a 0-2 month old?

During the first two months, babies will primarily keep their hands closed, although they may open them up when touched. Newborns will hold their heads up and they may begin attempting to push up with their arms while lying on their stomachs. Clap your baby's hands together or stretch out their arms (crossed, out wide, or overhead). Gently cycle your baby's legs as if riding a bike.

What are the speech and language milestones for a 0-2 month old?

During the first two months, infants are not yet using words, but they are beginning to discriminate between different sounds. They will also cry out of distress when they are hungry, uncomfortable, or startled. Tell your infant what they are looking at. Read and sing to them. Respond pleasantly to your child's smiles and giggles.

What are the social and emotional milestones for a 0-2 month old?

In the first two months, infants will begin to show signs of bonding with their primary caregivers and may start to recognize and differentiate between different voices. They will look at your face when you talk to them, and if they get fussy, they should calm down when you pick them up.

What if my 2 month old is not meeting milestones?

If your 2 month old is not meeting age-appropriate milestones, talk to your pediatrician, but remember, no one knows your baby better than you. Always trust your gut.

Learn more about when you should worry about missing developmental milestones.

If you or someone you know are currently involved in a serious crisis, please call 911 to connect with local emergency services that can help to resolve the situation. For other situations refer to our Mental Health Crisis Resources.

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