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Your Child’s Development: 2 Years (24 Months)

Doctors use certain milestones to tell if a toddler is developing as expected. There's a wide range of what's considered normal, so some children gain skills earlier or later than others.

Toddlers who were born prematurely reach milestones later. Always talk with your doctor about your child's progress.

Here are things toddlers usually do by this age:

Communication and Language Skills

  • say at least 2 words together, like “more milk”
  • point to things in a picture book when asked (“Where is the dog?”)
  • point to at least 2 body parts when asked (“Where is your nose?”)
  • use more gestures, like blowing a kiss or nodding yes

Movement and Physical Development

  • run
  • kick a ball
  • walk (not climb) up a few stairs with or without help
  • eat with a spoon

Social and Emotional Development

  • notice when others are hurt or upset, like pausing or looking sad
  • look at your face to see how to react in a new situation

Cognitive Skills (Thinking and Learning)

  • hold something in one hand while using the other, like holding a container and taking the lid off
  • try to use switches, knobs, or buttons on a toy
  • play with more than 1 toy at a time, like putting toy food on a toy plate

When Should I Call the Doctor?

You know your toddler best. So share your concerns — even little ones — with your child's doctor.

If your toddler is not meeting one or more milestones or you notice that your child had skills but has lost them, tell the doctor.

To learn more about early signs of developmental problems, go to the CDC’s Learn the Signs. Act Early program.

Reviewed by: Mary L. Gavin, MD
Date Reviewed: May 3, 2022

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