At 2 months old, your little one is at the stage where he is full of smiles and laughter. He will be curious about everything around him. It is essential to make good food choices for your baby. This is a crucial stage for his growth and development, so he needs a nutritious food diet. So, the question arises, how much does a two-month-old baby eat?
Signs of hunger
Crying is the most common hunger cue for a baby. But why wait for your child to cry? Here are typical hunger cues you need to look out for:
- Putting his hand/fingers in his mouth repeatedly.
- Being bad-tempered or fussy.
- Smacking/licking lips.
- Sticking tongue out.
- Putting other objects in his mouth.
While these hunger cues are important, keep in mind that every time your baby cries, it may not necessarily be due to hunger. Sometimes babies cry for comfort or when they need to be changed. It is important for parents to learn the difference so they can tend to the baby according to his needs.
Feeding Guide For a Two-Month-Old Baby
Two-month-old babies prefer breastfeeding. Breast milk is said to be rich in nutrients and contains good amounts of protein, minerals, carbohydrates, and vitamins. Mothers should feed their child whenever he demands it. If breast milk is sufficient, mothers can feed their baby regularly after every 3-4 hours. Each baby has different needs. Parents should be able to determine how much milk their baby needs and how frequently. There is no fixed time that is suitable for every baby in the world.
However, be careful not to overfeed your baby. That will cause him to spit up milk. In some cases, he may throw up since a baby’s stomach is very fragile.
Here are some guidelines to follow for breastfeeding:
- For a newborn baby, mothers should breastfeed their baby after every two to three hours, including overnight. When he demands a feed, keep calm, and provide a quiet environment. Give him milk in a relaxed manner. This will help him fall asleep and keep the mother calm too. If your baby has been crying for a long time, he may refuse to take feed out of frustration or distraction. Try to soothe him and quell his anger.
- If your child wakes up in the middle of the night, demanding to be fed, do not be alarmed. It is quite normal for infants to wake up hungry and start crying. If you have any problems with overnight feeding, consult your doctor and discuss the options.
- Allow your child to feed on alternate breasts. This ensures he drinks the hindmilk, which is rich in nutrients.
- Do not try to make your child follow a feeding schedule. Listen to his prompts and feed him accordingly. Depending on the child’s age, you can judge how much milk he requires. The feeding habits gradually change as they grow older.
- If the mother is unable to breastfeed, use a breast pump to extract milk. It needs to be stored safely, with proper precautions. Infants can take this milk through a bottle. Do not force your child to drink feed. If he is refusing, then try to feed him after a while.
2. Formula feeding
Breastfeeding is the best choice. However, a mother may not be able to breastfeed her child. She could be ill, unable to continue breastfeeding, or for any other reason. Formula milk is essential in these cases. Breast milk is easily absorbed in contrast to formula milk, which takes more time. Milk powder contains more protein and provides more calories. So, the baby will be satiated for a longer time. Observe your child and see when he is hungry and demands to be fed. Try not to feed him by the hour.
For formula feeding, a 2-month-old child is usually fed every 4 hours, 6 times a day. The amount of milk is about 120 ml each time. There is a formula for the total amount of milk that a baby needs a day: the total amount of milk that a formula-fed baby needs per day is approximately equal to the baby’s weight in kg * 120 ml. If parents are unable to figure out how much they need to feed their child, this formula can come in handy. Of course, each baby’s situation is different and has different demands for milk.
Here are some key points to be kept in mind while giving formula feed to your baby:
- If breast milk is unavailable, standard formula milk is a good alternative. It will help fulfill your child’s demand for milk and keep him healthy. There are many different brands available in the market. Discuss with your doctor or healthcare provider if you are unsure about which formula to use.
- When bottle-feeding, hold the baby in one arm and hold the bottle with the other hand. The process should be interactive and intuitive. Do not prop the bottle in the infant’s mouth. Sometimes it may cause the child to choke. It has also been linked with an increased risk of ear infections and tooth decay.
- Just like with breastfeeding, formula feeding should be done when the baby is hungry and demanding milk. Do not try to follow a strict schedule for feeding times. Hunger cues will help you gauge when he is hungry and needs to be fed. For a two-month-old baby, it is recommended to give 5-6 ounces per feed, with 5-6 feeds in 24 hours.
- Formula feed will decrease once your child is old enough to consume solid foods. He will be able to get nutrients from other sources as well. However, milk will remain the primary source of nutrient intakes, such as proteins, carbohydrates, calcium, and vitamin D. This is vital for the first year of life.
- Consult a doctor before switching your child from formula milk to cow’s milk if he is less than 1 year old.
3. Mixed feeding
In case breast milk is not sufficient or the formula feeding is at irregular intervals, mothers can opt for a mixed feeding style. There are two mays of mixed feeding:
- One is half quantity of breast milk and half quantity of milk powder each time you feed your baby.
- The other is alternate exchange. That means you give breast milk for one feed and formula milk for the next feed, then alternate between the two. Sometimes it is up to the baby to decide what it wants, rather than the mother.
Two-month-old children also need vitamin C supplementation. Fresh fruit juice is rich in vitamin C. It can be supplemented, 1-2 spoons each time, for 1-2 times a day. As the child gets older, the amount of calcium intake also needs to be increased. Additional calcium sources such as cod liver oil can be taken orally to promote calcium absorption.
We still advocate and support breastfeeding when the baby is two months old. After all, breastmilk is the most suitable for the baby’s development needs.
The Life of a Two-Month Baby
The daily routine of a two-month-old baby is quite irregular. There are no proper or fixed feeding times. Sometimes, his appetite becomes irregular too. He may not feel hungry at all. As a parent, you should massage your baby regularly and engage him in indoor and outdoor activities frequently. In terms of parent-child interaction, babies will smile and laugh when parents tease them and play with them. They love playing with toys that move or have flashing lights. You will often find them following the movements of a toy and turning their head to follow it. They will express joy by smiling and sometimes clapping their hands. Some babies move their feet in excitement and start sucking their thumb.
The two-month-old baby already has a certain “social experience.” He has passed the first month of coming into the world and adapted to the outside air, light, and food. What are the behaviors of this two-month-old baby?
The behaviors of a two-month baby include:
1. Smiling when teasing.
2. The eyes follow the object in the direction it is moving.
3. If they hear a sound, they will turn their head to try and find the sound source.
4. When lying on their stomach, they can raise their head for a while and rotate their head autonomously.
5. Playing with their hands on the chest, expanding and closing their fingers, and sucking their thumbs.
6. When encountering loud sound stimulation, they will show some reaction such as crying, being scared, or looking anxious.
A two-month-old baby will demand milk when he is hungry. You may give breast milk, formula milk, or a mixture of both. Do not try to establish fixed feeding times or force him to feed. Parents should pay attention and judge when their child is hungry and needs to be fed. Take care not to overfeed him as it will lead to him spitting up or throwing up.