What are Common 2-Year-Old Milestones?
Feb 9, 2022 Wondering what’s in store for your child’s development at the age of two? To help keep track of how well your child is developing, make sure your child is meeting these 2-year-old milestones!
In This Article
At the age of two, your child has already made significant developmental progress! But children must continue to progress and grow emotionally, socially, cognitively, and physically. Before we focus on all of the many 2-year-old developmental milestones, we first need to address one of the most important milestones: Potty training!
I know, potty training! It’s either your worst fear or your biggest joy if you’re sick of changing diapers. Don’t worry if you’re worried about how to potty train your 2-year-old. Every child is different. (Remember that some children start before age two and others are not potty trained till after three).
Just look for signs of potty training readiness like:
- Showing interest in using the ‘potty’
- Realizing when their diaper is dirty or full
- Understanding the sensation of needing to ‘go’
- A 2-hour time block of a dry diaper
- Displaying patience of sitting on the potty long enough to go
- Can pull down their own diaper and pants
2-Year-Old Developmental Milestones
Communication and Language
Leaps and bounds are being made in your toddler’s speech! Instead of using only one word to ask for something, your child is transitioning to putting two to four words together to formulate sentences. Although these early sentences may be difficult to understand sometimes, non-caregivers to your child will begin hearing these sentences more clearly.
Here are some other communication milestones to look for:
- Can point to objects or people when named
- Knows (but may not say) names of people, body parts, and other objects
- Forms sentences of 2 to 4 words long
- Repeats words after hearing them (‘Echolalia’)
- Follows simple (1 to 2-step) instructions
- Knows more than 50 words
- Strangers understand about 50% of 2-year-old speech
- Uses less ‘baby talk’ and more real words (using “num-num’s” to describe eating is now called “breakfast”)
Emotional and Social
Have you heard of the terrible twos?
People call them the terrible twos for a reason! Your 2-year-old will most likely be gaining a sense of individuality and showing independence. This and wanting to do things all by themselves may lead to tantrums when your child receives help or hears the word ‘no.’ Don’t worry, these terrible twos will not last forever. Your child will soon learn boundaries during these important 2-year-old developmental milestones, as well as showing signs of defiance.
Here are some more emotional and social 2-year-old milestones:
- Plays alongside other children
- Copies the actions of others
- Displays independence with everyday activities
- Shows defiance (does something when told not to)
- Increased self-awareness
- Fears certain noises, animals, pictures, and more
- Separation anxiety from caregivers
- Shows enjoyment being around adults and especially other children
Critical Thinking Skills
At 2-years-old, your child can:
- Sort objects
- Repeat sentences and rhymes from his/her favorite books
- Start to play make-believe games
- Find objects hidden under 2 to 3 covers
- Is beginning to understand the concept of time
- May start to count
- by color and shape
Fine and Gross Motor Development
It’s completely normal to be chasing after your 2-year-old constantly! A part of 2-year-old development is your child’s ability to run.
Your child’s no longer taking mere baby steps, your toddler can:
- Kick a ball
- Walk downstairs
- Draw lines and circles
- Feed him/herself well with utensils
- Turn over a container to empty the contents
- Stack four or more blocks
- Turn a doorknob, turn book pages, and unscrew jar lids
- Climb up and down furniture by themselves
- Throw things overhand (toys, balls, food, and more)
- Stand on tiptoes
- Carry toys while walking
- Slide down a small slide
Both gross and fine motor development progress drastically after the age of two. Don’t be surprised if your 2-year-old is suddenly climbing over a metal baby gate. The best thing you can do is keep a close eye on the progression of gross and fine motor skills to keep your child safe and try your best to keep up!
The two-year-old development milestones are a complex mix of social, emotional, physical, and cognitive skills. Although many toddlers go through their terrible twos due to the increase in independence, not every child goes through it. With an increase in 2-year-old milestones comes more understanding and willingness to develop lifelong self-care activities like feeding oneself and potty training. In a sense, the terrible twos are a sign your toddler is developing into a thriving individual with your excellent guidance.