2 months old: Cognitive and linguistic development

2 months old: Cognitive and linguistic development

Your baby’s cognitive and linguistic development at 2 months old. Follow your baby’s milestones step-by-step.

Cognitive development refers to the acquisition of skills such as memory, attention, reasoning, and planning. These skills allow children to manage their emotions, thoughts, and behaviours, in addition to helping them store information, solve problems, exercise judgment, and understand the world around them. Cognitive development also includes language development, which is a child’s ability to communicate, make sounds, understand language, and begin to talk.

Cognitive and language development: 2 months old

Cognitive skills

At this age:

  • Your baby can focus on their surroundings or on large, colourful moving objects a certain distance away.
Remember that not all children develop the same skills at the same speed. The material on this website is for general information purposes only. If you’re concerned about your child’s development, speak with a doctor.
  • They start to distinguish between people they know.
  • They recognize familiar objects that are nearby, such as their rattle.
  • They deliberately do things that they randomly discovered they enjoy (e.g., sucking their thumb or fingers).

Over the next few weeks, your baby will begin to do the following:

  • Briefly and intentionally grip objects as they lose their grasping reflex.
  • Stare at their hands as if they were objects.
  • Associate certain people with particular actions (e.g., a parent with mealtime).
  • Gradually become aware that their hands and feet are an extension of their body, and that they have abilities and limitations.

Language skills

At this age:

  • Your baby babbles (e.g., “ee”) and makes gurgling sounds while lying down.
  • They increasingly react to your words and facial expressions.

Over the next few weeks, your baby will begin to do the following:

  • Produce different cries to express different needs.
  • Make distinctive sounds, such as “mmm,” when they’re happy.

How can you help your baby progress?

Each child is different and develops at their own pace. That said, you can help foster your baby’s development by adopting the Comfort, Play, and Teach parenting approach, which can easily be integrated into your daily routine. The table below outlines small, age-specific actions you can take that will benefit your baby’s cognitive and language development depending on their age.

When you smile at your baby,
they feel comfortable with you.
When you respond to your baby’s cries and noises,
they learn that they can count on you to meet their needs.
When you speak to your baby softly using different intonations,
they experience positive emotions.
When you sing songs while making eye contact with your little one,
they may want to smile back at you.
When you imitate the sounds your baby makes,
they enjoy the “conversation.”
When you exaggerate your smiles and facial expressions while interacting with your baby,
they think it’s fun.
When you talk to your baby while taking care of them,
they get to hear you repeat words associated with their daily routine.
When you make sounds your baby likes,
they try to make sounds too.
When you respond to your baby’s sounds by imitating them or talking,
they start to learn the basics of communication.


Naître et grandir

Scientific review: Marie-Ève Bergeron-Gaudin, speech-language pathologist, and Noémie Montminy, doctoral student in psychopedagogy at Université Laval.
Research and copywriting: The Naître et grandir team
Updated: August 2021


Photo: GettyImages/fotostorm



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