Diet: Breast milk or formula
Insatiable appetite: A rapid growth spurt is common at this age and babies will often be ravenous. Perhaps they’re getting ready to sleep longer at night. The most common time for the hungry horrors is the early evening. You can almost rely on your baby to want to eat at suppertime, regardless of what hour you sit down. (After a while you will learn to cut up your dinner before you sit down so that you can eat one-handed and feed at the same time.) Feed with formula (if bottling) ad. lib., regardless of amount unless the baby vomits back his feedings. If nursing, nurse both sides, then both sides again. If baby is still very hungry, then supplement with about four ounces of formula. Be sure to allow frequent nursing during the day and mothers should drink as much fluids as possible to allow their milk to increase.
Two month blues: Two months after the baby’s birth is a real low time for most parents. They are exhausted and it will often be another month or two before the baby is better scheduled. Many are resuming sex for the first time in a long while. In many ways it sinks in that their lifestyle will never be the same. Talk out issues openly.
First cold: In contrast to the one-month “snuffles” (q.v.), the first cold is often accompanied by fever to 100-101 rectally, thick yellow or green nasal mucous and moderate fussiness. Bring fever down by using acetaminophen and by bathing in warm water. Soak the baby head to toe and allow him to air dry and reduce his body temperature. A cool mist vaporizer can be used, especially in winter, to humidify the air and thin out baby’s mucous. Babies until about five months of age breathe through their noses while nursing and sleeping. If your baby’s nose is very clogged with thick mucous, you can clear it with a suction bulb and a drop of salt water drops, such as “Ocean” drops. Call if baby does not seem better after these maneuvers.
Risk Prevention/ sun exposure: You should not take your baby to the beach his first year. (This is a very unpopular recommendation.) Even though parents are aware of the hazards of direct sunlight, infants may be badly burned from seemingly innocent reflected light off sand, water and hard surfaces. Find a sitter and bag a few rays without your baby.
When will my baby sleep through the night? A few babies will sleep a long stretch at night (6 – 8 hours) from the day they come home. We call these “good babies”. Most do not. (Call them what you wish.) Before babies are born they are usually asleep during the day when the mother is active, then awaken and start to boogie when she lies down at night to try to sleep. It is natural for this pattern to continue for several months until the baby adapts to the outside world. This usually happens on its own near three months of age. It takes less effort to go along with the baby’s schedule than to try to get him on yours.
Spoiling/ limit-setting: Am I spoiling my baby by holding him too much? Maybe. , But so what? During the first few months of life, infants cry because of needs- a need to be fed, changed, or simply held. Calm, empathetic parenting will produce a happier, more secure child. Towards 5-6 months of age, children begin to cry out of wants, as opposed to needs. At that age think seriously about limit-setting.
Limit setting is a critical part of good parenting. Children instinctively test their limits: the boundaries they reach define their worlds and gives them a sense of order and security.
Thumb sucking and pacifiers. Thumb suckers are born, not created and you should not discourage your baby from sucking his thumb if it makes him happy. Your thumb sucker would probably need orthodonture anyway. Most children give up thumb sucking during grade school. We have similar advice about pacifiers. (We call them “binkies.”) Not all children like them, but they make many children very content. There is no prescribed time for pacifier-weaning. Throw them away when you can’t stand how dumb they look anymore.
Toys: At this age babies enjoy staring at brightly colored objects and bold geometric designs. Appropriate “toys” for this age include mobiles and colorful wall hangings. New parents are often disappointed how little interest their infants show in toys. Fear not. That interest will blossom later, and for very expensive toys.