2 Year Visit
Two year olds are amazing little geniuses. They know approximately ten times what you think they know. They may not be very verbal at this point or may be quite proficient orators. They know everything that is going on and know how to manipulate their parents.
What most babies do by this age:
- Notices when others are hurt or upset, like pausing or looking sad when someone is crying
- Looks at your face to see how to react in a new situation
- Points to things in a book when you ask, like “Where is the bear?”
- Says at least two words together, like “More milk.”
- Points to at least two body parts when you ask him to show you
- Uses more gestures than just waving and pointing, like blowing a kiss or nodding yes
Cognitive Milestones (learning, thinking, problem-solving)
- Holds something in one hand while using the other hand; for example, holding a container and taking the lid off
- Tries to use switches, knobs, or buttons on a toy
- Plays with more than one toy at the same time, like putting toy food on a toy plate
Movement/Physical Development Milestones
- Kicks a ball
- Walks (not climbs) up a few stairs with or without help
- Eats with a spoon
Source: CDC – Learn the Signs, Act Early
What to work on next:
- Have lots of conversations with your child. This will boost his language skills and introduce him to the pleasure of conversation. Also, read with your child as often as you can.
- Let your 2-year-old know that you understand what he’s experiencing by saying, for example, “I know you are upset that you can’t find your magic cape.” Acknowledging his feelings will help calm him down and make it easier for him to tackle the challenge.
- Encourage pretend play and get involved. This will build a strong connection between you and your child, and can help encourage
creativity. You can do this in many ways. For example, ask what will happen next in the story he is acting out. If he is “cooking,” you might say, “What are you cooking? It smells good. Can I have some?”
- Make plans for your child to spend time with other children. He will learn about the pleasure of making friends. And the more opportunity he has to interact with peers, the more he will learn about how to get along well with others.
- Spend time outside, where there is plenty of room to safely run, jump and climb. Visit a neighborhood park where there are other
- Take walks with your child and use them as opportunities to teach him important concepts such as big and small as you
compare the houses on your block or the leaves on the ground.
It is time to turn the car seat around to forward facing. You’ll need to continue to use a 5 point restraint for a few years before moving to the booster seat configuration.
Continue to limit screen time to less than an hour a day from now until age 5.
Kids this age continue to want to explore a lot. Make sure that cabinets, drawers, and doors are secure and that dangerous items like household chemicals, medications, and tools are not within reach.
- There’s a balance between forcing kids to eat what you prepare and having them actually eat food. You may want to prepare one meal a day that you’re pretty sure they like and push them toward eating other foods that you’ve made for the family at another meal.
- Milk may change to a low fat mik at this point, but at this age they still need about 16-24 oz of milk per day. This should be served in a sippy or straw cup. Bottles should be gone by now.
- Continue offering a variety of ‘healthy food’ options at meal time and snack time including different types of vegetables to keep the diet as varied as is possible.
- You’ve likely seen the “pickiest” point already. Hopefully from here on, you will be able to expand your child’s palate slowly but surely.
- Pouches are still good tools to use to keep your child’s vegetable intake up. Don’t feel that they’re outgrowing them yet.
- Consistency and routine are two keys to keeping structure in your child’s life. Make meal, nap and bed times predictable so that they are not surprised and unprepared for transitions.
- It is now very appropriate to add in “time out”. This should happen in a designated spot (preferably not the crib or bed) and should last about 2 minutes (1 minute per year of age is a good guideline). Focus on certain behaviors (like hitting the parents or siblings) that result in a time out and keep this consistent.
- You will need to continue to use other methods of discipline like ignoring behaviors that you don’t like. If they are placed in “time out” for every transgression, two year olds could be in “time out” all of the time!
The main thing to say about potty training is, “Take it slow and don’t over stress or over push.” This aspect of parenting is often very stressful to parents and kids alike, but doesn’t need to be so.
You can start slowly at this age by having your child sit on the potty at “common sense”times like when they wake up, before a nap, before bath time and before bed. Once they’ve gone on the potty a few times, you can increase this frequency and take them to the potty more often.
It’s fine to use a little potty, but the inserts that fit on regular toilets also work well and are much easier to keep clean.
If your child is in daycare or parent’s day out, talk to their teachers about what they’re doing at school. You may want to let the school take the lead in this area and copy their vocabulary and routine at home.
Depending on the season, make sure that your child either recieves the flu vaccine today or in the fall of the year (typically September or October are appropriate times for flu vaccines). Other than the seasonal flu vaccine, they shouldn’t be due any shots until age 5.