Normal Development: 2 Years Old

2 yr milestones

2 yr-ASQ

Physical Development

  • Is always in motion.
  • Tires easily.
  • Runs and climbs.
  • Walks up and down stairs alone.
  • Starts to walk on tiptoes.
  • Goes from random scribbling to somewhat more controlled movements.
  • Can button and unbutton large buttons.
  • Develops greater independence in toileting needs (still needs some help).
  • May have trouble settling down for bedtime.
  • Primary teeth finish coming in.

Emotional Development

  • Gets upset and impatient easily.
  • Shows anger by crying or striking out.
  • Gets frustrated when not understood.
  • Wants own way.
  • May assert self by saying “no”.
  • Goes back to acting like a baby at times.
  • Is upset when daily routine changes.
  • Has sharp mood changes.

Social Development

  • Likes to imitate others.
  • Gets more interested in brothers and sisters.
  • Knows gender.
  • May have an imaginary playmate.
  • Enjoys playing among, not with, other children.
  • Does not share.
  • Claims everything is “mine”.
  • May scratch, hit, bite, and push other children.

Mental Development

  • Is much more interested in language.
  • Uses 3- to 5-word phrases by end of second year.
  • Understands more words than can speak.
  • Likes to “do-it-myself”.
  • Can build a tower of 5 or 6 blocks.
  • Cannot be reasoned with much of the time.
  • Cannot make choices.

Each child is unique. Some behaviors and physical milestones tend to happen at certain ages, but a wide range of growth and behavior for each age is normal. It is natural for a child to reach some milestones earlier and other milestones later than the general trend.

If you have any concerns about your child’s own pattern of development, check with your healthcare provider.

Written by Donna Warner Manczak, PhD, MPH and Robert Brayden, MD.
Pediatric Advisor 2012.2 published by RelayHealth.
Last modified: 2009-10-29
Last reviewed: 2011-09-20
This content is reviewed periodically and is subject to change as new health information becomes available. The information is intended to inform and educate and is not a replacement for medical evaluation, advice, diagnosis or treatment by a healthcare professional.

Pediatric Advisor 2012.2 Index