Child Growth Stages: 2 Years

Here are some helpful tips for your child's growth and development at 2 years of age that will guide you in your child's growth stages. He's growing up and you can expect that he'll be trying to talk and possibly succeeding. He's exploring, learning, questioning and remembering. He's learning to play with others as well as alone and it's time for potty training. Here's how you can interact with him and guide him in the proper direction:

Language Development

Read to your child at least once a day. Discuss the pictures in the storybooks and ask your child to point to images in the book that your reading about. Encourage your child to provide sound effects such as a dog barking, car horns beeping, or the telephone ringing. Let him provide his own input or finish the story in his own way. Don't be surprised if, at the end of the story, he wants to hear it again. Read and talk slowly then give your child time to respond. Enunciate your words properly so that he can learn to speak properly, too. To help him learn to talk, engage in parent-child play in which the child takes the lead and gives direction.


Good behavior deserves praise and praise helps establish good self-esteem. Be sure, though, to describe in detail the good behavior and your two-year-old's accomplishment ("You've put away your toys! That is so helpful,") rather than a statement that evaluates him instead of his behavior, ("You're wonderful!"): Praise that evaluates him can create a dependency upon the approval of others whereas descriptive praise affirms unconditional love.

Listen to your child with the same respect that you expect from him and others and give him the respect he's due. Hug your child often and hold him as often as he will allow - the day will come when sitting on your lap and holding your hand is for 'babies.' Understand that your child may back away when meeting new people and protest when you leave him at the day care or with a babysitter. This is normal. Never make fun of your child's fears or his reaction. Help him to put his emotions and feelings into words.

In giving your child choices, give him two good options from which to choose, whether those options are between books, healthy snacks or toys.


It is always preferable to allow a child to play than watch television. If he's going to watch TV, watch it with him and discuss what you see and what you think. Your two year old should not be exposed to adult programming or commercials. You should limit TV watching to two hours or less per day. Be sure that most of his day is spent in playtime, whether he is with you, at day care or with a babysitter, and in activities with you at home, including reading and singing.

Potty Training

It's time to potty train your two-year-old when his diaper stays dry for two hours; he can express to you that he's either wet or dry; he can pull his pants up and down; and/or he can tell you he needs to have a bowel movement. Plan to take frequent potty breaks as he may need to potty as much as 10 times a day. Be sure to teach him cleanliness by washing and drying his hands after each trip to the restroom. While you have the final say in the kind of underwear he'll be wearing, let him choose a pair for himself.

You can expect to discuss all of these topics and more with your pediatrician when you come to Northwest Pediatrics for your child's 2-year-old checkup. You may want to jot down notes and date your child's milestones, reactions, and accomplishments to help you remember.

Northwest Pediatrics is your local Greensboro pediatricians providing child physicals and patient care to children in Greensboro, NC. You may contact us with questions or stay up to date with your child's development by subscribing to our free newsletter.

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