What to Expect During This Visit

Your doctor and/or nurse will probably:

1. Check your baby's weight, length, and head circumference and plot the measurements on the growth charts.

2. Ask questions, address concerns, and offer advice about how your baby is:

Feeding. Your baby might be going longer between feedings now, but will still have times when he or she wants to eat more. Most babies this age breastfeed about eight times in a 24-hour period or drink about 26–28 ounces (780–840 ml) of formula a day.

Peeing and pooping. Babies should have several wet diapers a day and tend to have fewer poopy diapers. Breastfed babies' stools should be soft and may be slightly runny. Formula-fed babies' stools tend to be a little firmer, but should not be hard.

Sleeping. Your baby will probably begin to stay awake for longer periods and be more alert during the day, sleeping more at night. Breastfed babies may have a 4- to 5-hour stretch at night, and formula fed babies may go 5 to 6 hours between feedings. Waking up at night to be fed is normal.

Developing. By 2 months, it's common for many babies to:

  • focus and track faces and objects from one side to the other
  • be alert to sounds
  • recognize parents' faces and voices
  • gurgle and coo (say "ooh" and "ah")
  • smile in response to being talked to, played with, or smiled at
  • lift their head up while lying on their belly
  • grasp a rattle placed within the hand

There's a wide range of normal, and children develop at different rates. Talk to your doctor if you're concerned about your child's development.

3. Do a physical exam with your baby undressed while you are present. This will include an eye exam, listening to your baby's heart and feeling pulses, checking hips, and paying attention to your baby's movements.

4. Do screening tests. Your doctor will review the screening tests from the hospital and repeat tests, if needed.

5. Update immunizations. Immunizations can protect infants from serious childhood illnesses, so it's important that your baby receive them on time. Immunization schedules can vary from office to office, so talk to your doctor about what to expect.

Looking Ahead

Here are some things to keep in mind until your baby's next routine checkup at 4 months:


  1. Do not introduce solids (including infant cereal) or juice. Breast milk or formula is still all your baby needs.
  2. Pay attention to signs that your baby is hungry or full.
  3. If you breastfeed:
    • If possible, breastfeed exclusively (no formula, other fluids, or solids) for 6 months. If desired, pumped breast milk may be given in a bottle.
    • If you plan to go back to work soon, introduce the bottle now to get your baby used to bottle-feeding.
    • Ask your doctor about vitamin D drops for your baby.
    • Continue to take a daily prenatal vitamin or multivitamin.
  4. If formula-feeding, give iron-fortified formula.
  5. If your baby takes a bottle of breast milk or formula:
    • Do not prop your baby's bottle.
    • Do not put your baby to bed with a bottle.

Routine Care

  1. Wash your hands before handling the baby and avoid people who may be sick.
  2. Hold your baby and be attentive to his or her needs. You can't spoil a baby.
  3. Sing, talk, and read to your baby. Babies learn best by interacting with people.
  4. Give your baby supervised "tummy time" when awake. Always supervise your baby and be ready to help if he or she gets tired or frustrated in this position.
  5. Limit the amount of time your baby spends in an infant seat, bouncer, or swing.
  6. It's normal for infants to have fussy periods, but for some, crying can be excessive, lasting several hours a day. If a baby develops colic, it usually starts in an otherwise well baby at around 3 weeks, peaks around 6 weeks, and improves by 3 months.
  7. It's common for new moms to feel tired and overwhelmed at times. But if these feelings are intense, or you feel sad, moody, or anxious, call your doctor.
  8. Talk to your doctor if you're concerned about your living situation. Do you have the things that you need to take care of your baby? Do you have enough food, a safe place to live, and health insurance? Your doctor can tell you about community resources or refer you to a social worker.


  1. To reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS):
    • Let your baby sleep in your room in a bassinet or crib next to the bed until your baby's first birthday or for at least 6 months, when the risk of SIDS is highest.
    • Always place your baby to sleep on a firm mattress on his or her back in a crib or bassinet without any crib bumpers, blankets, quilts, pillows, or plush toys.
    • Avoid overheating by keeping the room temperature comfortable.
    • Don't overbundle your baby.
    • Consider putting your baby to sleep sucking on a pacifier.
    • Don't use an infant walker. They're dangerous and can cause serious injuries. Walkers also do not encourage walking and may actually hinder it.
    • Soon, your baby will be reaching, grasping, and moving things to his or her mouth, so keep small objects and harmful substances out of reach. Keep your baby away from cords, wires, and toys with loops or strings.
    • While your baby is awake, don't leave your little one unattended, especially on high surfaces or in the bath.
    • Never shake your baby — it can cause bleeding in the brain and even death.
    • Always put your baby in a rear-facing car seat in the back seat. Never leave your baby alone in the car.
    • Don't smoke or use e-cigarettes. Don't let anyone else smoke or vape around your baby.
    • Avoid sun exposure by keeping your baby covered and in the shade when possible. Sunscreens are not recommended for infants younger than 6 months. However, you may use a small amount of sunscreen on an infant younger than 6 months if shade and clothing don't offer enough protection.

    These checkup sheets are consistent with the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)/Bright Futures guidelines.

    Back to Articles

    Related Articles

    Communication and Your 1- to 3-Month-Old

    Your baby is learning to communicate through facial expressions like smiling or frowning as well as crying, squealing, babbling, and laughing. And those sounds are early attempts to speak!

    Read More


    Colic is common in babies - but that doesn't make it easier for parents to handle. Learn what colic is, what causes it, and what you can do about it.

    Read More

    Feeding Your 1- to 3-Month-Old

    Whether you've chosen to breastfeed or bottle-feed your baby, your infant will let you know when it's time to eat.

    Read More

    Movement, Coordination, and Your 1- to 3-Month-Old

    The reflexes they had just after birth start to disappear as babies this age gain more control over movements and interact more with their environment.

    Read More

    Medical Care and Your 1- to 3-Month-Old

    You probably have lots of questions about your baby's health. When should you call the doctor, and what medical care should you expect for your baby at this age?

    Read More

    Learning, Play, and Your 1- to 3-Month-Old

    After learning to recognize your voice, your face, and your touch, your baby will start responding more to you during these months and even give you a smile!

    Read More

    Talking to Your Child's Doctor

    Building a relationship with your child's doctor requires communication and reasonable expectations.

    Read More

    Your Baby's Hearing, Vision, and Other Senses: 1 Month

    Your baby is experiencing the first sights, sounds, and smells of the world through all five senses. What are your baby's responses to light, noise, touch, and familiar faces?

    Read More

    Your Baby's Growth: 1 Month

    Put away those newborn clothes. This month your baby will grow at a surprising rate!

    Read More

    Sleep and Your 1- to 3-Month-Old

    At this age, babies generally have their days and nights straightened out. Many infants even "sleep through the night," which means 5 or 6 hours at a time.

    Read More

    How Vaccines Help (Video)

    Vaccines help keep kids healthy, but many parents still have questions about them. Get answers here.

    Read More

    Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor. © 1995-2021 KidsHealth®. All rights reserved. Images provided by The Nemours Foundation, iStock, Getty Images, Veer, Shutterstock, and Clipart.com.