2 months old: Gross motor skill development

2 months old: Gross motor skill development
Your baby’s gross motor skill development at 2 months old. Follow your baby’s milestones step-by-step.

Gross motor skill development allows babies to exercise their balance, coordination, and large muscles. These abilities will help your little one master certain movements, such as sitting, crawling, walking, running, climbing, and jumping. Developing gross motor skills is also an important step toward developing fine motor skills.



Gross motor skill development: 2 months old

At this age:

  • Your baby has more control of their head movements. For example, they can turn their head from side to side when lying on their back. However, they still have trouble holding their head centred.
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 increasingly turn their head when something catches their eye. They prefer to look at contrasting colours and human faces.
  • They wave their arms and kick their legs (pedalling movements) when they’re excited. They tend to hit or knock over objects, but can’t grab them yet.
  • When lying on their tummy, your baby can briefly lift their head and turn it from side to side.
  • When your baby is lying on their back and you sit them up, they lift their arms and neck to help with the transition.
  • When you put your baby in a sitting position, their head still wobbles, but they’re trying harder to hold it up.
  • When your baby is lying on their side, they may involuntarily roll onto their back.
  • They may startle involuntarily (Moro reflex) when you put them on their back or when they make sudden movements, as they don’t have full control of their head movements.

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

  • Raise their head 45 degrees for a few minutes while on their tummy.
  • Move their arms and legs more easily.
  • Lift their upper body by pushing with their forearms and hands when they’re on their tummy.
What to watch out for
To prevent flat head syndrome, make sure your baby’s head isn’t always turned to the same side. Talk to a doctor if you have any concerns.

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 baby’s gross motor skill development.

Comfort
When you blow on your baby’s belly,
 
they enjoy the sensation and work their abdominal muscles.
When you lay your baby on their side and put a rolled towel behind them to keep them steady (while staying close),
 
they get to see their environment from a new angle.
Teach
When you place your baby’s hands flat on their knees,
 
they learn about their body.
When you lie on your back and place your baby on your chest, tummy down,
 
they get to see your face from a different perspective and strengthen their neck muscles.
Play
When you lie back on the floor, sit your baby on your thighs, and sit up to kiss them,
 
they learn to anticipate the next kiss and follow you with their eyes.
When you place your baby tummy down on the floor, lie facing them, and say their name,
 
they try to lift their head to see your face.

 

Naître et grandir

Scientific review: Sonya Côté and Virginia Sabourin, occupational therapists
Research and copywriting: The Naître et grandir team
Updated: March 2019

 

Photo: iStock.com/hidesy

 

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.

  • American Academy of Pediatrics. “Movement Milestones: Birth to 3 Months.” www.healthychildren.org
  • Centre de santé et de services sociaux (CSSS) du Suroît. “Développement moteur de l’enfant (0 à 12 mois) : pour mieux vous guider.” www.santemonteregie.qc.ca
  • Centre of Excellence for Early Childhood Development. Physical Activity in Early Childhood: Setting the Stage for Lifelong Healthy Habits. April 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.
  • Canadian Paediatric Society. Caring for Kids. “Your child’s development: What to expect.” www.caringforkids.cps.ca

 

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