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Your Child’s Development: 2.5 Years (30 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 may reach milestones later. Talk with your doctor about your child's progress.

Here are things toddlers usually do by this age:

Communication and Language Skills

  • say around 50 words
  • say 2 or more words together, with 1 action word, like “doggie run”
  • say words like “I,” “me,” or “we”
  • name things in a book when you point and ask “What is this?”

Movement and Physical Development

  • take some clothes off by themselves
  • jump with both feet
  • use hands to twist things, like turning a doorknob or unscrewing a lid
  • turns pages in a book one at a time

Social and Emotional Development

  • play next to other children and sometimes play with them
  • show you what they can do by saying “Look at me!”
  • follow simple routines when told, like picking up toys when you say “It’s clean-up time.”

Cognitive Skills (Thinking and Learning)

  • use things to pretend, like feeding a block to a doll as if it were food
  • show simple problem-solving, like using a stool to reach something
  • follow 2-step instructions (“Pick up the toy and put it on the shelf.”)
  • know at least 1 color, like pointing to a red crayon when asked “Which one is red?”

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 1, 2022

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