Growth and development at 24 months old
Your 2-year-old is also at a stage where persistence is a familiar trait. If they want something from you, they are likely to whine and complain until you give in. Although this provides an immediate solution, it does reinforce the behavior. Your toddler will learn it is a remarkably effective way of getting what they want. So, plan beforehand and be consistent in managing their demands. Giving in is not an effective strategy in raising healthy children.
Your toddler can kick, pull, empty, examine and poke at items now, often all at the same time. They will question how things work and will look to you for all the answers. Don’t feel you need to reach for the internet for a deep-dive explanation just yet; they’ll only listen to the first 3 or 4 words and then they’ll be off on another topic. Your long-winded explanations will fall on deaf ears so keep your replies short and to the point.
All this activity is being fueled by a brain which is now almost at 75% of its adult volume. Over the next 18 years the remaining 25% will grow its full size.
Play and interaction at 24 months old
Affection takes on a new meaning at this age. Be prepared for spontaneous hugs and kisses when they get the urge to show you that they love you. Just when you think they are getting bigger and don’t need you so close all the time, your 2-year-old will run to your side and want to be picked up.
Incorporate books and reading every day. Take your 2-year-old to the local library and investigate if they have reading groups. Watch your toddler turn the pages of a book, navigate a keyboard, and look for ways they can play with different technologies. The remote controls will certainly get a workout this month and may go missing! Be prepared for your toddler to have some rudimentary grasp of what the buttons do; they will be watching your every move and will remember a lot more than you might think.
What you can expect at 24 months old
Watch your toddler build on their repertoire of gross motor skills. They will be able to run, walk backwards, dance, and hop. They may be able to stand on one leg and balance for a moment or two. They will also be able to hum and sing and enjoy participating in group singing. Your toddler will be able to remember the words to common nursery rhymes if they have been exposed to them. They’ll also recognize familiar landmarks, shop and business logos, and associate traveling routes with frequent destinations. They’ll also notice if something is new in the house, if furniture has been moved, or if some item has been relocated to another area.
This is an observant age for toddlers who are intent on taking everything in and storing it away for future use. Be prepared to be amazed by your toddler’s ability to retain information and then present it to you again when you least expect it. Visits to grandparents, outings to stores, and the simplest activities will leave an indelible mark on your toddler’s memory.
Food and nutrition at 24 months old
Turn off the television and computer during mealtimes and make a point of everyone sitting at the table. Take turns talking about your day and involve your toddler as well. Make them a part of the meal, but not the focus. Many 2-year-olds learn they get more attention if they don’t eat than if they do.
Keeping your toddler healthy at 24 months old
If your toddler still has a pacifier, this could be the time to consider stopping. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends stopping use by 2- to 4- years-old. If they need it to go to sleep consider replacing it with a special doll, teddy bear or other transitional object. Pacifiers can impact speech and language development and prolong the action of sucking long after a child relies on it as a survival response.
- If your toddler is toilet training, expect some accidents as they learn what is involved. Illness, a change in the family, a household move, or beginning childcare can all mean some backwards steps. Be matter-of-fact as you clean up and avoid doling out punishment in any shape or form. Your 2-year-old will not be doing this to make your life difficult; they are still small and learning.
- If its summer have some meals outside. Mess takes on another dimension when you’re outside and your toddler will love the novelty and change in routine. Let them help you set up a picnic and make a fuss of their attempts.
- If you haven’t taken your toddler to have their teeth examined yet, do so this month. If they are still using a bottle, then you should strongly consider stopping it. Tooth decay from sucking on bottles of milk, juice, or other sweet substances is common and completely avoidable.
The information of this article has been reviewed by nursing experts of the Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric, & Neonatal Nurses (AWHONN). The content should not substitute medical advice from your personal healthcare provider. Please consult your healthcare provider for recommendations/diagnosis or treatment. For more advice from AWHONN nurses, visit Healthy Mom&Baby at health4mom.org.