Week by Week

What do you need to know to care for your 24 months old baby?

By Medically reviewed by Dr. Duyen Le

Development & Behavior

What should my toddler be doing right now?

Your toddler is now 2 years old. There are many milestones that your child has reached until now. Your child may be able to undress or dress himself. He may also have certain preferences in what he wants to wear. This shows his coordination skills and strong independence.

Your child’s motor skills are also improving. He’s probably confident on his 2 feet now. He may be able to bend over and pick up something from the floor. He may also be able to jump in place or stand on his tiptoes.

But by 2, your child will understand the concept of objects and how it relates to his surroundings. He is gaining a better understanding on the size of an object, relative to another object. He may be able to follow certain directions, such as “bring me the ball that’s over in the corner” or “look at the top if the bed.”

What should my toddler be preparing to do?

You can help support your child by buying outfits that come with few buttons, snaps, or hook-and-eye clasps to help your toddler learn how to dress himself. Your toddler will do best with elastic-waist pants, pull-on tops, and Velcro-close shoes. By stocking your child’s drawers with those easy-on items, you’ll minimize morning struggles. Introduce new challenges — a single large button or a big snap — one at a time.

You can also help support your child with new understandings. You can do this by:

  • Talk about where people in his life are when they’re not with him: “Daddy’s at work.” “Grandma lives far away.”
  • Give a series of simple instructions that involve different directions, such as first putting a toy on the chair, then underthe chair, and then giving it back to you.
  • Ask questions that prompt him to think about location: “Where do birds live?” “Where do airplanes fly?” “Where’s the door?” Do not expect a correct answer every time or turn it into a quiz; just make questions like these parts of your everyday conversation.

Doctor visits

What should happen to my toddler when I visit my doctor?

Your child’s 2 year-old doctor’s checkup is important. Your doctor will check your child’s general health and make sure your child is on track with major milestones. To help your doctor to make a proper evaluation you should discuss with your doctor the following:

Your child sleeping habits

Most kids this age sleep about 11 hours at night and nap for about two hours during the day. Some kids may have given up naps altogether, preferring instead to sleep in one long nighttime stretch. If your child has been waking up with nightmares, tell your doctor. Nightmares and night terrors are common at this stage, but your doctor may suggest ways you can comfort your child.

Your child eating habits

Until now you may have been able to limit the amount of sugary foods your child eats, but as she spends more time around other kids, she is probably becoming more interested in sampling junk food. If you find yourself constantly battling her sweet tooth, speak to the doctor, who may have some healthy snack suggestions for you or may be able to ease your concerns about your child’s diet.

The way your child walks

Many children walk knock-kneed at this age because their legs are still developing, but the problem usually resolves itself around age 7.

Your child physical activity

By now a toddler has more control over his arms and legs, and is better coordinated overall. He should be able to kick a ball effortlessly, build block towers, climb furniture, jump, and walk up and down stairs. Make sure he has plenty of opportunities to move and explore.

What should I tell my doctor?

Your doctor will measure your child’s weight, height and head circumference. According to the Centers of Disease and Control (CDC), your child should fall between following ranges:

  • Weight: 10.7kg to 15.5kg (boys), 10kg to 14.5kg (girls);
  • Height: 82.5cm to 93.3cm (boys), 80cm to 91.4cm (girls);
  • Head Circumference: 46.4cm to 50.8cm (boys), 45.7cm to 49.5cm (girls);

Your doctor may calculate body mass index (BMI). If your child’s BMI is in the 85th to 94th percentile this means your child is overweight. If your doctor says your child’s BMI is in the 95th percentile or above, this means your child may be obese. You should always talk to your doctor if you have any concerns or need more clarifications. Don’t feel bad. All these numbers can get very confusing.

What to expect

What health concerns should I expect?

 As a mother, you will always be concerned how your child is developing or how your child is eating. By this age you probably hoped you could have a long conversation with your child. You are not alone. There are some children who are late talkers. This can be worrisome but we are here to tell you to stop worrying.

Every child develops at different rates. By age 2 your child should be able to say more than 50 words and put two words together to form a sentence. If your child has not reached this milestone yet, wait until the next month. If it takes several months, then you can worry and discuss with your doctor.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

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