2 year old milestones

Your toddler's 2 year old milestones are here – you baby is now a bouncing, bonny two year old.

They will by now have achieved some important 24 month old milestones; be they in their language, hand eye coordination; physical skills, or their social and emotional milestones. Your toddler is changing all the time and is well on the way to becoming a grown-up and independent little boy or girl.


Your toddler's accomplishments

This is what to look out for: 

  • 2 year old milestones in movement: Your baby walks alone and he may be starting to run! Besides, he pulls and carries toys around while walking, is able to stand on his tiptoes, he can kick a ball and climb onto and down from the furniture. He also walks up and down the stairs if he’s holding on to support.

  • 2 year old milestones in hand and finger skills: he can scribble and draw, he pours out contents of containers by turning them upside down and he’s able to build towers of four blocks or more. Don’t worry if you think he’s using one hand more than the other, that’s common!

  • 2 year old milestones in language: Your toddler is perfectly able to express himself! He’s able to point to objects or pictures when they’re mentioned, and he recognises names of people he knows, objects and parts of the body. By 15 months to 18 months, he’s able to say several single words; and by 15 to 24 months, he’s already using simple phrases! He uses two-to-four-word sentences, follows simple instructions and repeats any word he overhears.

  • 2 year old milestones in cognitive understanding: he’s beginning to sort by colours and shapes, to do made-up play and to find objects even when hidden under two or three blankets.

  • 2 year old milestones in social and emotional awareness: your toddler is keen on mimic behaviour, especially that of adults and older children. He’s increasingly aware of himself as separate from others. Some problems begin to appear: he may begin having tantrums or being defiant, and there may also be episodes of separation anxiety.


Speech and communication are very important milestones and your toddler is developing it every day. Below you'll find some advice that will help you identify and encourage your 2 year old's language and talking.


2 year old milestones: Speech and Communication

Your toddler's language is really developing now, and he can probably have a two or three-sentence conversation. Because of his growing sense of himself, he'll talk about himself; what he’s doing, what he likes and also what he doesn't. Don't worry if you can't make out exactly what he's saying, just let him babble. What's important is that he's communicating and wants to talk.

Your toddler will be able to express more ideas, and these will be more complex. He will also understand you better: He may now be able to follow simple instructions such as "Go and find your shoes". 

He will also feel curiosity towards the reason for your instructions, and ask you why, so try to incorporate some explanation to your orders.

Although your toddler will enjoy listening to you chat to someone else for a short time, after a little while, he will lose interest and start to need another activity.


2 year old milestones: Constant questions!

There are lots of reasons as to why your child will continually ask – Why? Sometimes he wants an explanation of something but he may also have learnt a great way to express his curiosity about something. Sometimes he's just happy you have given him such a lengthy answer and wants more interaction! 

Answer his questions, and be patient. How about answering a "why?" question with one of your own: "Why do you think the car stopped?" In this way, you might learn more about what he's really asking you.


2 year old milestones: When will he be ready for potty training?

Children become ready to start potty training anytime between 18 months and three years. So if your toddler hasn't shown an interest yet there's no need to worry. It's important not to try to potty train your toddler before he's ready. Let him set the pace and pay attention to signs that he's starting to think about it. He might be interested when you go to the toilet and seem uncomfortable wearing a nappy. If he begins to tell you when he needs a wee then he is definitely ready to start potty training. 


Doctor visits at 24 months 

Your doctor and/or nurse will probably:

  • Check weight, height and head circumference which will then be plotted on a growth chart. Your doctor will also calculate and plot your child's body mass index (BMI).
  • Carry out a screening test that helps with the early identification of autism.
  • Perform a physical exam with your child undressed (while you are present). This is generally a teeth and eye exam, listening to the heart and lungs, and listening to your toddler's motor skills, use of language, and behaviour.
  • Update immunizations to protect your child from serious illnesses, so it's important that your child receives them on time. Immunization schedules can change, so talk to your doctor about what to expect.


Developmental health watch

Alert your doctor if you see any of the following signs of possible developmental delays for the 2 year old milestones range:

  • Cannot walk by eighteen months
  • Hasn't developed a mature heel-toe walking pattern after several months of walking, or walks only on his toes
  • Cannot speak at least fifteen words by eighteen months
  • Cannot use two-word sentences by age two
  • Does not seem to know the purpose of objects of common use by fifteen months
  • Doesn’t show interest for imitating words of actions
  • Is not able to follow simple instructions
  • Cannot push a wheeled toy by age two


Remember, each child develops at their own pace and the milestones detailed here are just guidelines and are not set in stone. The 2 year old milestones will give you a general idea of the changes you can expect as your child grows, but don’t be alarmed if the changes occur at slightly different times.