Developmental Milestones: 2 Years

January 29, 2016

2 Years of Age – What most toddlers do at this age:

Social and Emotional
• Copies others, especially adults and older children
• Gets excited when with other children
• Shows more and more independence
• Shows defiant behavior (doing what he has been told not to)
• Plays mainly beside other children, but is beginning to include other children, such as in chase games

• Points to things or pictures when they are named
• Knows names of familiar people and body parts
• Says sentences with 2 to 4 words
• Follows simple instructions
• Repeats words overheard in conversation
• Points to things in a book

Cognitive (learning, thinking, problem-solving)
• Finds things even when hidden under two or three covers
• Begins to sort shapes and colors
• Completes sentences and rhymes in familiar books
• Plays simple make-believe games
• Builds towers of 4 or more blocks
• Might use one hand more than the other
• Follows two-step instructions such as “Pick up your shoes and put them in the closet.”
• Names items in a picture book such as a cat, bird, or dog

Movement/Physical Development
• Stands on tiptoe
• Kicks a ball
• Begins to run
• Climbs onto and down from furniture without help
• Walks up and down stairs holding on
• Throws ball overhand
• Makes or copies straight lines and circles

We recommend you seek counsel from your toddler’s doctor if your child:
• Doesn’t use 2-word phrases (for example, “drink milk”)
• Doesn’t know what to do with common things, like a brush, phone, fork, spoon
• Doesn’t copy actions and words
• Doesn’t follow simple instructions
• Doesn’t walk steadily
• Loses skills she once had

You may not know this, but the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends children be screened for general development using standardized measures at 9,18,24 and 30 months and for autism at 18 and 24 months or whenever a parent or child care provider has a concern. We find that unless parents are proactive in asking for a screening or describe actions or lack thereof that give them concern, most pediatricians are unaware of your child’s developmental delays. Many take a “wait and see approach” but you should request a screening if you as the parent have an unsettled feeling about your child’s growth and development.

This information was taken from the CDC’s website and meant to give you guidelines for development. For more information or if you are concerned, log onto the CDC’s “If You’re Concerned” website.


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