Baby's growing stronger each day! Find out how to help his physical development and know what's normal and what's not.

By Amy Palanjian
April 21, 2013
Credit: Alexandra Grablewski

Your little one will continue to grow and change this month as he keeps packing on the ounces. Here's a look at the physical changes to expect during the second month.

What to expect: After spending a month with tightly clenched fists and flexed arms and legs, your baby will start to relax his body this month. Baby is stronger than when he was born and may be able to hold his head up for brief periods of time and push up during tummy time, but he still needs a lot of head and neck support when being held. "Babies of this age should be doing at least 30 minutes of tummy time per day," says Jennifer Shu, M.D., a pediatrician, Parents advisor, and co-author of Heading Home with Your Newborn. Expect to see random reaching (which may seem more like flailing) this month, as Baby starts to make movements in the very general direction of an item of interest.

Baby might start having a longer sleeping stretch at night, though he may still need help distinguishing daytime from nighttime. Continue to expose him to bright light in the morning and keep the room quiet and dark during nighttime feedings and diaper changes.

Colic, the elusive and often confusing term for extended periods of fussiness and crying day after day, may emerge this month. If your baby seems unhappy or distraught but seems otherwise healthy and well-nourished, know that you are not alone. Rocking, swaying, baby-wearing, tender caresses and kisses, dancing to music, and commiserating with other parents who have lived through this phase can be a great help to both you and your baby.

Progression: Feeding and sleeping might settle into more of a routine as the month progresses and Baby becomes more accustomed to doing both. Her movements will continue to smooth out as she becomes more coordinated in her efforts.

How to help: Place a rattle (with about a ½-inch circumference for easy grasping) in baby's open palm and watch her hold it tightly. She may hold on to it for longer than you expect! Continue to practice tummy time a few times a day, letting baby lie across your lap or on a nursing pillow if she protests loudly when placed on the floor.

Don't freak out if: Your baby isn't reaching for things yet. That's normal and may not happen for another month or two. Also, many babies spit up constantly at this stage, so keep burp cloths around and always pack an extra set of clothes when out and about to keep baby comfortable and dry.

When you should you worry: If baby doesn't seem to be gaining strength or responding to physical touch, make a call to the pediatrician. If your little guy is spitting up and seems to have pain when eating, schedule a visit, as reflux might be to blame.

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