Children's Age-by-Age Guide: 2 Years Old

Testing your authority and chattering are trademarks of 2-year-olds. Find out if the "terrible twos" really are.
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Physical Milestones

Your baby is becoming a toddler now. She'll grow about 2 1/2 inches taller and gain about 4 pounds this year. She will drink from a cup with one hand, and eat finger foods all by herself. She'll run and walk with confidence, pull wheeled toys around with boundless energy, walk up and down stairs safely, delight in dancing to music and negotiate around obstacles. She'll continue to gain more and more control over her hands.

Smart Strategy:

You need to continue to watch your child closely, but for different issues now-her energy may put her in danger (for example, she may be so wrapped up in play that she'll run into the street). Dedicate safe places for her to play-put a mat out for her to tumble on, clear space so she can run and dance around freely. Trips to the park or playground provide great play options now. Introduce her to toys that she can ride and climb on such as a tricycle or climbing tower.

Developmental Milestones

Your toddler wants to be dry and clean now, and will learn the appropriate words to say when he's peeing and pooping -- these are signs that he is ready to use the potty. You'll notice that he has become very protective of his things and doesn't like to share. He's fearful that if he lets another child play with his toys, he'll never get them back. Sleep problems may resurface as he relives important events of his day during the night. These disturbances actually help him let go of his fears and anxiety.

Smart Strategy:

Watch for clues from your child to see if he's ready for toilet training; not all children are ready at the same time. Don't force it -- when he is ready, he'll let you know. Patiently explain the concept of sharing, which is not an easy idea for a child to grasp. Also, avoid intervening when your child wakes at night. Otherwise, you'll increase his dependency on you at a time when independence should be rising. When he can settle himself, he learns that he has the ability to do so.

Continued on page 2:  Emotional Milestones


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