When your child turns two, they might still feel like your baby — they may not be the greatest walkers, still depending on you for a lot. But as the year goes on, that little baby will grow into a full-blown toddler, independence and all. Even though the first year brings so many changes, the second year doesn't slow down at all. The milestones your child reaches at two years are almost too many to count. And as exciting as it all is, it just as crazy to watch your once-baby growing into their own person with their own laundry list of preferences and abilities.
It's often called the "terrible twos," but as the mom of a recently turned 3 year old, I can say that the second year is one of the sweetest as well. Despite the trying moments, the temper tantrums, and the whole not being able to understand a word they're saying thing, two year olds are learning to be their own person, and it's an amazing thing to watch.
Obviously, each child develops at their own pace, so don't be overly worried if they're not perfectly on track for each milestone. However, if you're concerned that your two year old isn't meeting a milestone on time, schedule an appointment with your pediatrician just in case.
1. They Start Walking Unassisted
Although your baby may walk well before their second birthday, sometime during the beginning of the second year, many babies master the art of walking unassisted, according to Baby Center.
2. They Can Run, Kick, And Climb
Baby Center also noted that along with learning to walk, running, kicking balls, and climbing will follow closely behind. Once they've mastered walking, they'll be running across the room before you know it, jumping off of small stairs, and running while holding toys or balls.
3. They Start Climbing Up And Down Stairs, Unassisted
Parenting noted that by 24 months your child will probably be able to climb up and down the stairs using the handrail. Soon, they'll do it on their feet instead of crawling.
4. They May Develop Hand Dominance
According to Healthy Children, you may notice your child develop a preference for one hand over the other during this year as well.
5. They Can Pour, Stack, And Scribble
Pouring liquids, building towers, and scribbling masterpieces are all staples of a two year old's life as they master hand-eye coordination. Parents suggested that parents take advantage of their growing ability to use their hands with a variety of educational activities.
6. They Can Make Believe
According to Baby Center, make believe play is a cornerstone of this age group as they pass the second half of their second year. Don't be surprised if your tot develops imaginary friends or pretends to play on their own.
7. They Recognize Familiar Names And Objects
Your two year old will recognize a huge array of objects, words, and people, probably learning their various names along with them. Furthermore, according to PBS, your toddler will likely master their ABCs sometime during their second year, although they won't understand their purpose yet.
8. They Can Link Words And Phrases
Parents noted that by age two your child should use around 50 words independently and will start linking phrases and words together.
9. They Repeat Overheard Words
Whether you like it or not, your two year old will repeat everything you say. According to Healthy Children this is normal and encourages their language development.
10. They Identify Shapes And Colors
The same list from Healthy Children pointed out that your child will recognize shapes and colors and maybe even develop a favorite.
11. They Imitate Other's Behavior
Playing copycat is par for the course with two year old's. They're learning from what they see you do, so don't be surprised if they love to repeat what you say and do. However, according to Baby Center, by two years old, a child should also know that they can speak and act independently too.
12. They Grow More Self-Aware
What To Expect noted that as your child grows older they become more and more aware of themselves as their own individual. With that comes their stubborn wills and the stereotypical toddler tantrums.
13. They Enjoy Playing With Other Children
PBS said two year olds will sometimes enjoy keeping to themselves, but they should also develop an interest in playing with other children as well.
14. They Show Defiance
When you tell them not to do something and they turn around, looking at you with "that look" and do it anyway, that's classic two year old behavior. Baby Center instructed parents to be understanding but firm in these moments.
15. They May Develop (And Overcome) Separation Anxiety
If your child is scared to be away from you, don't worry. They'll likely go in and out of phases of separation anxiety all throughout this year, according to Healthy Children.