What To Expect From Two-Year-Old Milestones

It is easy to look at a child and just see them as what they present. They are fun, they are sassy, ​​and they are always on the go, and this is especially true for toddlers. They are ready to explore the world around them, and while this can be fun and challenging at times, parents can often forget that there is a lot going on behind the scenes.

Young children are developing faster than they ever will again in their lives. Their development is incredibly complex, and it can be hard to keep up. They are growing in almost every aspect, from language to physical growth, and it can be overwhelming.


It can be overwhelming for the toddler who is going through it, trying to navigate all the changes that are going on in the world around them, but it can also be overwhelming for parents. They are amazed at all the changes that are going on with their 2-year-old, and they seem to have come so far since the days of infancy. However, they often wonder what they can expect.

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We are going to take a deeper look at 2-year-old milestones, what mom and dad can expect, and when they should be concerned.

Brain Development

The little brains in their heads are going through a rapid phase of development, as they are busy absorbing all the surrounding information. According to Unicef, brain development in a 2-year-old is happening fast and furious, and there is a lot of growth going on. They are starting to be able to sort shapes and colors, they can find things, build taller towers, and can follow two-step instructions.

These may all seem like “simple” things for adults, but it is important to remember that these are big changes in your toddler’s brain, and parents can foster this. They can foster these developmental changes by interacting with their child. By hiding something and asking them to find it, by giving them blocks and asking them to stack them, and by working on colors, shapes, numbers, and letters. These little exercises can help foster their brain development.

Social/Emotional Milestones

It is easy to look at your 2-year-old and think that they are quite emotional, and they are. They are learning about emotions at this age, but they do not have the skills to manage and regulate them. This can be an overwhelming development, but it is crucial.

According to the CDC, at this age, toddlers will start to notice someone else’s emotions, and they can tell when someone is happy or sad, and they will start to react accordingly. This means when you are upset, they may come over and give you a hug, or try and make you laugh.

They are also experimenting with different emotions, and this is when they may push the boundaries. They want to see how you react to certain things, and they will watch you for your reaction. If they knock something off a table, they are going to look at you to see your emotions change. This is why it is so important that parents


model appropriate reactions to toddlers.

Physical Development

It is easy to look at a toddler and remember that not too long ago, they were this tiny baby who fit comfortably in your arms. Now, they are a lot bigger, and they are much faster and this is due to the physical developmental changes that are happening.

According to KidsHealth, 2-year-olds are hitting a lot of physical milestones, and they should be able to run, kick a ball, walk up a few stairs (with no help) and eat with a spoon. They are still working on their fine and gross motor skills, so they may still be a bit unsteady and uncoordinated – which is why they are prone to falling.

Language Development

Your 2-year-old is on their way to being an eloquent speaker, but they still have some work to do. The good news is that they are already better at communicating than they were when they were infants. Toddlers should know at least 50 words, and be able to speak in two-word sentences. They should be able to say things like “more milk,” or “hug mom” and this makes it a lot easier to navigate.

They are also starting to explore more imaginative play, and they may take items, and you see them off in a corner having a pretend party, or other activity. This is a way of communicating, and it is a crucial skill for them.

Nutritional Developments

As your baby turned into a toddler, it is only normal that their eating habits would have changed. According to Healthy Children, a 2-year-old should be eating three healthy meals a day, along with healthy snacks throughout. They are usually able to eat all the same food as their family, but they may not want to. They may have developed some picky eating at this stage, and this is a sign that they are discovering their independence.

When it comes to development, they should be able to use a spoon, drink from ac up and feed themselves with finger goods. They are still learning how to chew and swallow, so parents should still keep an eye out for choking. Toddlers have a tendency to eat too fast, and this can cause choking, but they are just too excited to get back to the activities that are waiting for them.

When To Worry?

Mom and dad may have some concerns after reading this about their toddler not reaching some of these milestones, and they want some guidance on when they should be concerned. The important thing to always remember is that children develop on their own timetable, and some may reach milestones quicker than others, and it doesn’t necessarily mean that something is wrong.

According to Very Well Family, there are some clear things that mom and dad should look out for that would indicate a reason to be concerned:

  • Still does not walk steadily
  • Doesn’t copy actions/words
  • Doesn’t follow simple instructions
  • Has lost skills they previously had
  • Doesn’t know what to do with common items
  • Doesn’t say two-word phrases

If parents notice any of these in their 2-year-old, they should reach out to their pediatrician for some help. It could be a sign of a developmental issue, but it could be nothing, and the only way to figure it out is to ask.

Sources: Unicef, CDC, KidsHealth, Healthy Children, Very Well Family

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