2 months old: Emotional development

2 months old: Emotional development
Your baby’s emotional development at 2 months old. Follow your baby’s milestones step-by-step.

Emotional development allows children to understand, express, and manage their emotions as they grow. Children also develop the ability to recognize and interpret the emotions of others, which helps them build relationships with those around them.



Emotional development: 2 months old

At this age:

  • Your baby may begin to express emotions, such as anger, fear, and joy.
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 cry or make sounds to communicate their feelings. For example, your baby might coo when they’re happy, and their cries might sound different depending on whether they’re tired or upset.
  • They know how to express discomfort. For instance, they might become agitated, tense up, or cry when they hear a loud noise.
  • Your baby can calm themselves down by sucking their thumb or a pacifier.
  • They prefer to be entertained by a person rather than an object or a toy.
  • They smile at you intentionally.
  • They like to be cuddled and are soothed by physical affection.

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

  • Relax and snuggle when someone holds them in their arms.
  • Show fear, happiness, and anger through facial expressions.

How can you help your baby progress?

Every 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 child’s emotional development.

Comfort
When your baby sends signals that they want affection and you respond with cuddles,
 
they feel reassured and understood.
When you meet your baby’s needs consistently and appropriately,
 
they learn that you understand them and are encouraged to communicate with you more frequently.
Teach
When your baby is tired of playing and you give them space,
 
they learn that their feelings are important and valued.
When you act out scenarios while mimicking your baby’s facial expressions and those of others,
 
your baby smiles and is encouraged to mimic you and others.
Play
When you follow a daily routine with your baby,
 
they know what to expect and feel safe.
When you talk to your baby and explain what’s going on—for example, by saying, “I know that loud noise scared you, but don’t worry, it’s just a passing truck,”—
 
your baby learns about their environment, their emotions, and their reactions. They’re reassured by your voice.

 

Naître et grandir

Scientific review: Chloé Gaumont, M.Sc., psychoeducator
Research and copywriting: The Naître et grandir team
Updated: November 2020

 

Photo: iStock.com/Reno12

 

Sources

Please note that hyperlinks to other websites are not updated regularly, and some may have changed since publication. It is therefore possible that a link may not be found. If a link is no longer valid, use search engines to find the relevant information.

  • Doré, Nicole, and Danielle Le Hénaff. From Tiny Tot to Toddler: A practical guide for parents from pregnancy to age two. “Your child’s development.” Quebec City, Institut national de santé publique du Québec. www.inspq.qc.ca
  • Encyclopedia on Early Childhood Development. “Emotional Development in Childhood.” September 2011. www.child-encyclopedia.com
  • Ferland, Francine. Le développement de l’enfant au quotidien : de 0 à 6 ans. 2nd ed., Éditions du CHU Sainte-Justine, 2018, 264 pp.
  • Passeport Santé. “Développement de bébé à 2 mois : ce qui change.” 2017. www.passportsante.net
  • Shaffer, David, et al. Developmental Psychology: Infancy and Childhood. 5th ed., Quebec, 2019, 613 pp.
  • Canadian Paediatric Society. Caring for Kids. “Your child’s development: What to expect.” www.caringforkids.cps.ca
  • Sunderland, Margot. The Science of Parenting: How Today’s Brain Research Can Help You Raise Happy, Emotionally Balanced Children. DK, 2008, 288 pp.
  • Université de Montréal. “Portail enfance et familles : Les étapes de développement de l’enfant de la naissance à l’adolescence.” www.portailenfance.ca
  • Zeanah, Charles H. Jr., editor. Handbook of Infant Mental Health. 4th ed., Guilford Press, 2018, 678 pp.

 

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