Parenthood is a lifelong commitment that is usually filled with lessons and unexpected events that one is not completely prepared for. In fact, the relationship between a parent and the child is probably one of the most multi-layered around.

Parenthood begins at conception. A child’s development, particularly during the early stages of life is highly dependent on the parent. Afterbirth, a child still continues to draw lessons from the parent in terms of the physical, social and behavioral (Advocates for Youth 2007).Therefore it is imperative that the parent is equipped to provide the right lessons essential to build the foundation for growth in the future. Development in human beings is simply the process of growth and change in the different areas of life (Advocates for Youth 2007). It is defined by the progression of the physical, behavioral, mental and emotional characteristics of an individual.

The rate of growth and change is most rapid in the early years of life, specifically between 0 to 3 years (Victorian Government Initiative 2007).These years are the most abundant years for very important lessons crucial to one’s advancement and progress. Development early in life, during the first 12 months to be exact, is considered the most influential. Therefore it is apparent that these first 12 months be a worthwhile and meaningful experience. For purposes of discussion, the focus will be on the first 2 ? months of life.

The key points on an individual’s physiological, social and behavioral changes will be underlined. By knowing the major indicators of change in this age, a parent will gain a better understanding of the child.At the same time, it will make a parent more prepared to address the needs of the child during this crucial stage in life, in which a child begins to discover him or her and others (UCSF Children Hospital). A parent is usually stressed during the first few months after a child is born. Having this guide will hopefully provide the answers required to make the parent-child relationship more beneficial and significant. Indicators of Development in a 2 ? Month Old Child The first three months afterbirth, life transcends from black and white to colored, from total dependence to semi-independence and from uncontrolled to semi-controlled.

The most significant changes are observed in self-recognition, muscle control and sound recognition (Gabriel). At 2 ? months, a child will begin discovering things about him or her, his or her environment and the people around him or her. The child at this age will begin to develop a more predictable pattern or schedule (1Babycenter. com 2006). It is important that a parent should be able to help control the setting of these patterns so that the child will be able to adjust better.

The patterns most likely to change are in feeding and sleeping.The child will begin to sleep in longer intervals, usually from 2 to 4 hours straight (2Babycenter. com 2006). The child will also have longer awake time of about 10 hours a day. It is a good time to familiarize the child with the difference between day and night. One of the most effective ways to do this is through the feeding patterns.

When a child gets used to a regularly spaced feeding schedule during the day he or she will most likely require less at night. Another is through having a predictable bed time routine (3Babycenter. com 2006). This may be in the form of a bath, a story or any stimulus associated to sleep.

The child will learn early on that this is an indicator night and sleep. In terms of the physical, the child at 2 ? months will have stronger neck and shoulder muscles (4Babycenter. com 2006). He or she will be able to lift the head for several moments. Sometimes will be able to move from back to side and back.

A parent should always have the child close by (University of Maine Cooperative Extension 2007) to prevent any accident stemming from this new found freedom in movement. The child will also begin to discover his or her hands and its use.He or she will often put his or her hands in his or her mouth. This will induce the salivary glands and the child will begin to drool (UCSF Children Hospital). Drool is actually good. It helps the child release disease-preventive proteins that acts as a natural disinfectant for objects and environment (2Babycenter.

com 2006). At 2 ? months, the child will also be hungry for interaction. The first smiles (University of Maine Cooperative Extension 2007) will be seen at this time. He or she will also look for ways to catch attention. A parent should take the opportunity to provide as much interaction.

Reading stories, listening to music, a stroll in the park, introduction to other people, and introduction of colorful toys are good ways to keep interaction more interesting and beneficial. In fact a child will be encouraged to begin cooing or gurgling, the firs signs of speech and language (4Babycenter. com 2006). The most significant social trait that will be observed at this age is that the child will be more responsive to familiar sounds and voices. He or she will usually react when talked to by the parent. He or she would mostly likely enjoy meeting new people (University of Maine Cooperative Extension 2007).

However, a parent should also know well enough that the child would require the feeling of comfort and security when introduced to new people. No matter how rapid change is at this stage, a parent should know that when it comes to food, at 2 ? months only breast milk or an iron fortified formula (Lannelli) is appropriate. Although many studies show that breast milk is more beneficial to a child’s development in the first three months (Agostoni, Grandi, Gianni, Torcoletti, Giovannini, and Riva 1999), iron fortified formula may also generate positive development (Lannelli). Solid food should be avoided at this time.The child still has an immature digestive tract that would not be able to handle solids.

Finally at 2 ? months, a child will be taking regular trips to the doctor. It is critical that the doctor and the parent have a good partnership. These trips are primarily to assess growth, feeding and sleep habits (Homeier and Dowshen 2005, and physical and emotional development. At the same time the child will have his or her first set of immunizations.

A parent should always be able to discuss with the doctor the possible side effects of the immunizations and first aid procedures when faced by them.Conclusion Development in human beings is always relative. It is dependent on many factors within the individual and his or her environment. However, the above mentioned points are what are usual at 2 ? months old.

Generally however, for child to reach his or her potential, he or she requires stable, sensitive, loving and stimulating relationships and environment (Victorian Government Initiative 2007). At 2 ? months old, a child’s best source for all of these things is the parent. It is imperative that nature and nurture work together in this vital time of development.