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Your Child's Milestones (2 Years Old): Baby Talks and Wants to Run!
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  • Happy 2nd birthday to your little one -- she's now a toddler! Becoming a tot comes with a lot of exciting developmental changes. From 18 to 24 months old, she may now confidently walk on her own (even run a little!), do things by herself like eat with a spoon, and express herself in words.  

    With guidance from Special Education teacher Joji Reynes-Santos, pediatric neurologist Dr. Leoncia Que-Firmalo, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the Ages and Stages Questionnaires, a tool used by pediatricians for screening a child's development, below are developmental milestones most babies reach by the time they're 2 years old. 

    But first, take note: 

    • Wait until your child's second birthday before observing your toddler for his 2-year-old milestones. Every child is different. Some reach their milestones earlier, and others a little later.
    • Make sure your child is well-rested and fed. The items on this list may require you and your tot to engage in simple activities. Fussiness may make it harder to get accurate observations. 
    • At 24 months old, the AAP recommends a child to be screened for autism and general development. Talk to your child’s pediatrician and ask his opinion.    
    • Talk to your child’s doctor at every well-baby visit about the milestones your child has reached. Always consult with a pediatrician who will address your concerns and be able to inform you on what to expect next. 
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    What most toddlers can do at 2 years old:

    Physical development

    • Stands on tiptoe
    • Begins to run
    • Kicks and throws a ball
    • Climbs stairs with help
    • Able to feed self with a spoon
    • Carries a large toy or several things while walking

    Cognitive or mental development

    • Finds objects that have been moved or hidden (ex. a stuffed toy under two layers of blankets)
    • Sorts by shapes and colors
    • Begins to play pretend or make-believe
    • Follows two-step instructions (ex. “Pick up your toys and put them in the basket.”)
    • Scribbles and can copy straight lines and circles
    • Builds a tower of four or more blocks
    • Might use one hand more than the other

    Social and emotional development

    • Likes to copy others, especially adults or older children
    • Gets excited when with other children
    • Expresses affection and sympathy (ex. hugs people she is familiar with)
    • Begins to develop fears
    • Starts to be more defiant or disobedient
    • Starts to throw temper tantrums
    • Becomes increasingly independent (ex. washes his hands on his own)
    • Separation anxiety peaks then starts to fade 

    Language and communication development

    • Can string two to four words together to form simple sentences (ex. “Mama, read book”)
    • Knows the names of familiar people, objects in picture books, toys, body parts, etc.
    • Repeats words overheard in conversation
    • Can use pronouns (like “I”, “she”, “ako”, “ikaw”, etc.)
    • Hums or tries to sing familiar songs

    Red flags

    Children develop at different rates, says the AAP. However, it’s important you still bring up any red flag concerns with a pediatrician. According to the CDC, talk to your child’s doctor if your 2-year-old: 

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    • Doesn't use two-word phrases (ex. “drink milk”)
    • Doesn't know what to do with common things like a brush, phone, spoon, etc.
    • Doesn't copy actions and words
    • Doesn't follow simple instructions
    • Doesn't walk steadily or only walks on his toes
    • Loses skills she can previously do (ex. already started walk but has now went back to crawling) 

    Talking, reading and playing every day together will help your child learn and grow. Find tips and ways to nurture your toddler's development here. 

    Sources: CDC, AAP, Ages and Stages Questionnaire

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