When Does The Baby Stop Being A Newborn: 20 Things Doctors Say

Mom has just had a baby and is the happiest woman in the world. She is filled with anxious thought – only natural – apprehension, but also joy and so much love. Understandably she can’t stop telling everyone about her baby. Her friends, family, even potentially strangers – she wants to share the great news with everyone.

This may last for some time. The news sharing, the gossip – she's part of the momma club now. When talking about her little one, in all likelihood she's not going to be thinking about what terminology she uses. To her, the little one will always be her baby. That’s fair enough. But when will the baby stop being a newborn? When will Mom have to stop referring to him/her as her newborn? It’s not just a case of whether or not she's using the correct terminology here. Doctors have their ideas about what and who constitutes a newborn.

Of course, when the baby just comes out of the womb, they will be a newborn. After two months, ditch the term newborn when referring to the little one. It might seem like that’s come around pretty quickly. That might be the case, but doctors say that after 2 months, the baby is no longer a newborn. That’s because it’s a milestone in the baby’s life, and believe it or not, a lot would’ve changed in those couple of months. When does the baby stop being a newborn? Here are 20 things that doctors say.

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Think of a baby as one of those old school TVs – ok bear with me here. You turn it one and it can only see black and white perhaps shades of gray. But as technology develops, as your baby grows, more colors start coming into the mix. When born your baby will only be able to see black and white.

But gradually, your baby’s photoreceptors will begin to develop and then, after a matter of months, they will begin to see shades of different colors. Red will be the first color your baby sees. By 2 months, your baby will be able to see a lot more colors, can differentiate colors, have more focus. By 5 months, your baby will be able to see the full spectrum of colors.


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It won’t take long for your baby to start differentiating between certain voices. Some voices, like mom and dads, will become familiar, and will become a source of comfort to your little one. This wouldn’t have been the case when your baby was born. At this time, every voice would’ve sounded the same.

But at the time when your little one is no longer classified as a newborn; your baby will actually be able to pick up on mommy and daddy’s voices. That’s another thing that will contribute to your baby forming that bond with you and those in your life.


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Initially, your baby won’t really know your voice. But it’s around this time when your baby begins to get familiar to certain things. The sound of your voice will be comforting to her, soothing her ears. She’ll learn to recognize it, might even perk up and display the hint of a smile when you talk to her.

Be sure to vary the sound of your voice though. Your baby is learning all the time and you’ve got to change and adapt in order to keep her interested and focused. But at the two-month stage, she’ll most likely know who mommy is, simply because of the sound of your voice.


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All you mommies out there are probably relieved that this is the case. This doesn’t mean that your baby will be sleeping for ten hours or so every night. But it means that she’ll be sleeping in more solid blocks. After she feeds, she may like to go down for a nap for a few hours.

At night she’ll sleep for a longer period of time, meaning that you too will be able to get some shuteye. These sleeping patterns could actually become quite regular. You may actually be able to stick to a sleeping plan. You’re all crossing your fingers right about now.


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From the moment your little one is born, she’s learning about emotions. Initially, she’ll have no clue what anger, sadness, happiness is, and how those emotions are conveyed by humans. But eventually she’ll learn, will pick up facial cues.

By about the two-month stage, when she’s no longer a newborn, she’ll know what a smile means, and what emotion a smile conveys. At this stage, her facial muscles will get into action and she may even give you her first adorable little smile. It’s a super-cute moment, one not to be missed. It’ll probably be in response to something you, her parents do.


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When your baby’s born and in her first few weeks, you’ll find that she won’t really follow, won’t focus on objects. Her mind is full of wonderment, will constantly be darting from one thing to the next, taking everything in. When you speak to her you may find it hard to hold her attention.

That will change when your baby is no longer a newborn, at around the two-month mark. At this stage you’ll also find that, when you’re playing with toys for example, your baby will begin to become a tad more engaged, will focus on what you’re doing, will focus more on the toy.


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Of course, your baby’s not going to begin talking to you or anything like that at the age of two months. She’s no longer a newborn at this age but she’s still a baby. But what will happen at this stage is that you’ll begin to see the first signs of communication. You’ll see the first signs of verbal communication.

Of course, she won’t be putting words together or anything like that. But your baby will begin to communicate through grunts and gargles, will begin to use facial expressions too. It’s only been two months but she’ll already be starting to communicate.


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When your baby’s born, she’ll already have that gripping reflex. Put your fingers in her hand and she’ll grip onto it, will squeeze it. This gripping reflex, at that age, is involuntary. At the age of 2 months, she’ll still have that reflex, but it’ll be voluntary. Your baby will be able to grab onto objects voluntarily.

If she wants a little something, her coordination skills will be there and she’ll be able to pick it up. Her voluntary reflexes have already begun to develop massively by this age. So, no more gripping onto your finger as if her life depended on it… although that’s seriously cute, of course.


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With a newborn, you’ll notice that her movements aren’t exactly smooth. After a few weeks when your baby starts moving around a bit more, you’ll notice that her movements are rather jerky. Her movements are uncoordinated. She doesn’t really know what she’s doing, doesn’t really have any voluntary control over these movements.

But in a matter of two months, when your little one sheds that newborn title, her movements will become less jerky. They’ll become a lot smoother, a lot more coordinated. Her muscles have slowly begun to get used to certain movements and her body is adapting. A couple of months after this and you’ll notice a real change.


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With your little one, one of the most important things you need to do is support her head. That’s because she hasn’t got enough muscle power in her neck to be able to hold her own head up. But in a couple of months, as your little one is exiting that newborn phase, she would have enough neck muscles to be able to hold her head up in certain situations.

When she’s lying on your stomach for example, she may change the position of her head, hold it up slightly to look at you. She’s got enough neck muscle power at this stage.


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Many people will find this rather hard to fathom. Your little one can clap at the age of two months? Okay, so not every two-month-old baby will be able to do this. But some will be able to clap, perhaps to a favorite song that gets them exited, or to the sound of your voice. Of course, it’s going to be a little clap.

But this little clap may be followed by a joyful smile, and that’s sure to put a smile on your face. The clap might actually be pretty smooth too, seeing as her movements are more coordinated at this stage.


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Your baby will be able to grab onto things voluntarily. But then she’ll also be able to let go when she wants to. She won’t just grip onto something and continue holding onto it, which is what she might have done weeks earlier. She’ll be able to grasp the concept of clasping and unclasping.

She won’t just grip onto an object without letting go. This is the age when you need to start being careful about what’s around your baby, and what she might be attempting to pick up or get her hands on. Now that she’ll got this reflex, she’ll be looking to use it a lot.


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By the age of two months, your little one will have started to gain muscles around her body. She’ll have neck muscles, will be able to hold her head up, with some support. She’ll also have leg muscles. That’s unsurprising considering all the kicking she’s been doing up until this point, and even in the womb. If you support her, hold her upright, her legs will be able to support her body.

She’ll have leg muscles, but now it’s about getting them used to walking. She’s not going to be walking for some time, but it’s a good place to start, get her body used to being in that position.


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Isn’t it just the sweetest thing when your little one motions to you to do something, or acknowledges something you’ve done with a smile or a little gesture? At this age, you might see the odd smile across her face. She’ll also begin to make the odd gesture. At the age of two months, when your little one is no longer a newborn, she may begin to wave.

It might not happen when you come in or leave a room. It might not be used in the appropriate manner. But she’ll learn. A wave is a wave and I’m sure you’ll all agree, that it’s just the cutest gesture.


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When your little one has just come into the world, when she’s tired, she just falls asleep. She can fall into a deep, blissful sleep right away and can sleep for most of the day. She may not really show any signs of being tired – she’ll just drop off. But at the age of around two months, when your little one has lost her newborn status, you’ll be able to tell when she’s tired, and when she’s about to go to sleep.

She’ll show signs... signs like yawning before her eyes gently begin to flutter closed. This yawning will get more and more pronounced.


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Ok, so your little one will be drooling a little from the moment she comes into the world. It’s just what babies do, they drool and dribble. But having said that, think about your baby when she’s weeks old. Is she actually drooling that much? Sure, there’ll be some. But she’ll really start drooling, drooling a lot more, from the age of about two months onwards.

That’s because at this age, her salivary glands are developing, hence a lot more drool. There’s nothing to really do here. Just let it come out and wipe it off. Your baby is developing quickly.


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Even at this early age, your baby will be able to pick up on little signs here and there, signs of emotion. So, you need to be mindful about what you do around your baby at this age, because she’ll start to pick up on a lot. Happiness, sadness – she won’t have a grip on these emotions yet, but she might know what to do in certain circumstances.

For example, if you greet her with a smile, she may give you a little smile back. If she’s sad, unhappy about something, she’ll let you know it, convey her sadness by crying or fidgeting and whatnot.


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As your little one gets older, basically everything’s going to get stronger, more developed. That’s just common sense. But the muscles and reflexes that strengthen the most in the shortest space of time, are those in the mouth. At the age of around two months, your baby’s salivary glands would’ve begun to be developing.

But her sucking reflex will also develop. At this age, your baby will develop a pretty strong sucking reflex. She might start sucking her thumb, sucking anything she can get her hands on. At this stage you’ve got to be careful of what’s around your baby, what she puts in her mouth.


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In your baby’s first couple of months of life, you could have gotten away with doing pretty normal things. This will suffice when it comes to keeping your baby’s attention. But at the age of two months, when she’s no longer a newborn, something a little different will be needed. Your baby would’ve developed leaps and bounds by this stage.

Suddenly the old routine just won’t cut it. Her little mind will demand more stimulation. Nothing drastic needs to be done. Just things like when you’re speaking to her, vary the tone of your voice, make funny facial expressions, etc.


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At this age, a lot of things will begin to feel familiar to your baby. She’ll start to find comfort in familiarly. Nothing is more familiar, more comforting, than having her mommy around. From a young age, she’ll subconsciously feel connected to you by your smell, your touch. But she’ll soon begin to pick up on other things, such as your voice, your expressions, mannerisms, etc.

Of course, you’re already attached, that attachment began the moment your little one was born, or even beforehand. Now she’ll begin to feel something similar. Although she won’t be able to comprehend it, that feeling will be there.

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