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2 Years of Age

What to Expect at the 2-Year Well Visit:

  • Blood test for hemoglobin level (if not done at the 18-month well visit)
  • Blood test for lead levels

See the full immunization schedule ›

Safety:

  • Falls are the most common type of injury.
  • Surfaces under play equipment should be soft enough to absorb a fall (safety mats, wood chips, sand) and be maintained to a depth of 9 inches.
  • Lock all doors to any dangerous areas. Use gates on stairways and window guards.
  • It is best to keep all guns out of the home. If you choose to keep a gun, it should be kept unloaded and in a locked place. Ask if the homes where your child visits have guns and how they are stored.
  • Have working smoke and carbon monoxide detectors on each floor of your home.
  • Keep your water heater set below 120 degrees.
  • Keep the Poison Control Number in your phone or readily available: 1-800-222-1222
  • Toddlers are climbers. Keep chemicals, medicines, and other poisons out of reach.
  • Refer to this handout for car seat information.
  • Use a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher, reapplying every 2 hours, and avoid peak sun intensity of 10 am to 3 pm.
  • AAP recommends insect repellents should be less than 30% DEET and used for infants 2 months old and older. Wash off skin with soap and water when done. Wash clothes before wearing again. Do not use combination DEET and sunscreen products. Apply permethrin for ticks to clothes, not to skin.

Development:

  • Copies others, especially adults and older children.
  • Shows increasing independence.
  • Shows defiant behavior.
  • Plays mainly beside other children, but is beginning to include other children in their play.
  • Says sentences of at least 2 words.
  • Points to objects in a book.
  • Begins to sort shapes and colors.
  • Follows 2-step commands such as “Pick up your shoes and put them in the closet.”
  • Runs, kicks a ball, throws a ball, climbs, can draw straight lines and circles.

Diet:

  • Continue to make family mealtimes a priority.
  • Your child should now be drinking 16-20 ounces of low-fat milk per day.
  • Vitamin supplementation is rarely necessary if your child eats a varied diet.
  • Many toddlers resist eating certain foods or will only eat one or two favorite foods.
  • Do not make meal time a battle. The more you struggle with your child, the more determined they will become.
  • Do not fixate on the amount of food your child eats.
  • Continue to beware of choking hazards such as hot dogs, nuts, whole grapes, marshmallows, popcorn, and large chunks of any food.

Other Helpful Notes:

  • Look for signs of toilet training readiness, usually seen at 2 to 3 years of age. They need to be able to pull clothing off, understand if they are wet, and need to inform you that they need to use the potty. Do not pressure your toddler to potty train.
  • It is not uncommon during potty training for a toddler to become constipated. Encourage fluid intake, and increase fiber intake. Call to discuss if condition is causing discomfort.

Watch Out For:

  • Notify your provider if your child is not using 2-word phrases, doesn’t copy actions or words, doesn’t walk steadily, or loses skills they once had.