From a baby to a toddler - Your little one’s milestones up to 2 years
Remember the time when you first brought your tiny bundle of joy home? He must have looked so delicate and helpless! But now, with every passing day, your baby must be getting bigger, stronger and more independent. While this is an overwhelming experience for all parents, you need to make sure that your little one is reaching all the milestones he is supposed to. This article elaborates on the various growth and developmental milestones you can expect your baby to achieve up to 2 years of age.
By the time your baby is 2-year-old, he or she will become more physically active. Your child will begin to enjoy games and sport-related activities at home, and this will help improve their learning and cognitive abilities too. This way, their coordination skills will also improve.
The physical milestones attained by your baby of 2 years can be broadly classified into 2 categories:
Gross motor skills
- Standing on tiptoes and performing simple balancing acts
- Jumping, hopping and hitting a ball with a bat
- Walking and running
- Throwing and kicking a ball and trying to catch it with both hands
- Blowing balloons and bubbles
- Pulling or carrying toys while walking
- Climbing onto furniture and playground equipment with minimum support
- Attempting to climb up stairs while holding the railing
Fine motor skills
- Snapping fingers, although not perfectly
- Using a set of blocks to build a block tower
- Performing simple tasks such as turning on the taps and washing hands or brushing teeth
- Playing with dough or clay and rolling it into different shapes
- Buttoning-up and zipping-up
- Holding small utensils and stationery items with fingers, although the grip may not be perfect
The cognitive skills of your baby help boost his or her imagination and creativity. So, by 2 years of age, your child will begin to find innovative ways to solve problems and become more self-reliant. Moreover, he or she will learn to control thoughts, actions, and emotions.
Typical cognitive milestones developed by babies by the age of 2 include:
- Successfully putting together jigsaw puzzles of 3 or 4 pieces
- Messing up by shaking, banging and throwing things, and enjoying it
- Enjoying complex imaginative play
- Using short phrases or trying to complete sentences or familiar rhymes
- Recalling incidents from the past
- Segregating or assorting toys according to their shapes, sizes or colours
- Reciting from their favourite books and nursery rhymes
- Identifying pictures in a book by using their names, shapes or colours
- Performing simple 2-step instructions such as picking up shoes and placing them on the rack, taking off clothes and putting them in the cupboard, etc.
Between 2 and 3 years of age, your child will be able to comprehend much of what you speak. Hence, talking to your child from an early age is extremely important, as it will help develop the child's linguistic and communicative skills. This, in turn, will boost conversational abilities. At this point of time, it is also important for your child to understand body language and how to modulate the tone of voice. He or she will also start speaking more.
During this period, your child will:
- Have a vocabulary of more than 200 words
- Begin to use basic pronouns and plural words
- Understand words commonly used to denote familiar people, everyday objects, and body parts
- Repeat words heard during a conversation
- Frame short sentences of two words combining nouns and verbs, such as "mummy eat"
- Use a variety of single words
- Begin to question identity by asking “what’s that?” and reason out by asking “why?”
- Use gestures to convey simple messages, such as "yes" or "no"
Social and emotional milestones
By the time your child is 2 years of age, he or she will begin to socialise and interact more with other children and adults. These milestones will also help him or her to connect with others and will shape their behaviour, temperament, and self-esteem.
Your little one will:
- Enjoy doing things independently
- Make sounds to seek attention
- Smile or laugh impulsively
- Imitate and mimic older children and other adults
- Enjoy playing with other kids, especially in groups, and become more inclusive
- Be assertive, defiant and disobedient, at times
- Get frustrated and throw tantrums
- Cry when others refuse to play with them
- Show increased anxiety when separated, which will gradually taper off
- Become increasingly independent and aware of their own identity
You should be concerned if your baby:
- Is unable to follow simple instructions
- Is unable to use 2-word phrases (for example, “drink milk”)
- Has no clue about how to use common articles such as a brush, phone, fork, spoon, etc.
- Refuses to imitate actions and words
- Is not able to walk steadily
- Loses the skills they once had
So, talk to your doctor about your baby’s developmental screening and act early if you have any concerns regarding their progress. Remember that every baby grows and develops at a unique pace, and these milestones might be achieved at slightly different times.