Physical and motor skill markers:
- Able to turn a door knob.
- Can look through a book turning one page at a time.
- Can build a tower of 6 to 7 cubes.
- Can kick a ball without losing balance.
- Can pick up objects while standing, without losing balance. (This often occurs by 15 months. It is a cause for concern if not seen by 2 years.)
- Can run with better coordination. (May still have a wide stance.)
- May be ready for toilet training.
- Should have the first 16 teeth, but the actual number of teeth can vary widely.
- At 24 months, will reach about half final adult height.
Sensory and cognitive markers:
- Able to put on simple clothes without help. (The child is often better at removing clothes than putting them on.)
- Able to communicate needs such as thirst, hunger, need to go to the bathroom.
- Can organize phrases of 2 to 3 words.
- Can understand 2-step command such as, "Give me the ball and then get your shoes."
- Has increased attention span.
- Vision is fully developed.
- Vocabulary has increased to about 50 to 300 words, but healthy children's vocabulary can vary widely.
- Allow the child to help around the house and take part in the daily family chores.
- Encourage active play and provide enough space for healthy physical activity.
- Encourage play that involves building and creativity.
- Provide safe copies of adult tools and equipment. Many children like to mimic activities such as cutting the grass or sweeping the floor.
- Read to the child.
- Try to avoid television watching at this age (recommendation of the American Academy of Pediatrics).
- Control both the content and quantity of television viewing. Limit screen time to less than 3 hours per day. One hour or less is better. Avoid programming with violent content. Redirect the child to reading or play activities.
- Control the type of games the child plays.
Growth milestones for children - 2 years; Normal childhood growth milestones - 2 years; Childhood growth milestones - 2 years
Carter RG, Feigelman S. The second year. In: Kliegman RM, St. Geme JW, Blum NJ, Shah SS, Tasker RC, Wilson KM, eds. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 21st ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 23.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Important milestones: your child by two years. www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/actearly/milestones/milestones-2yr.html. Updated March 31, 2022. Accessed May 17, 2022.
Goode R, Lawrence A, Reimschisel T. Global developmental delay and regression. In: Jankovic J, Mazziotta JC, Pomeroy SL, Newman NJ, eds. Bradley and Daroff's Neurology in Clinical Practice. 8th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2022:chap 8.
Review Date 2/24/2022
Updated by: Neil K. Kaneshiro, MD, MHA, Clinical Professor of Pediatrics, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.