Parent Information (2 years)

We encourage all parents to schedule well-child appointments.

Vaccines

View our Immunization schedule.

If your child seems fussy or uncomfortable, we recommend giving a dose of Tylenol. This can be repeated once every 4 hours as needed.

General Information

At this stage, your child shows more independence, but she continues to reassure herself about her environment through parental cues. When playing with other children, two-year-olds tend to play independently rather than with their peers. This concept is referred to as parallel play. When planning activities, it is important to recognize your toddler’s limits. You should not expect her to sit for long stories or remain focused on one task for a prolonged period of time. These skills will steadily improve between 2 and 3 years of age. Just like a scientist conducts experiments, two year olds repeatedly try new activities to fully understand them: Where will my teddy bear land when I throw it down the stairs? What does the dog do when I drop food? How far can I splash water out of the tub? Thus, it is often curiosity and not a rejection of the standards you have set forth that drive your child’s actions.

Language development continues to blossom. By now your child should be creating 2 word phrases, and she should have at least 50 words in her vocabulary. As her ability to express her wants and needs improves, she experiences less frustration.

When faced with anxiety-provoking situations, such as a new daycare environment, transitional objects like stuffed animals and blankets can be comforting.

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Discipline

As your child begins to show more independent behavior, setting limits is important. Remove your child from potential dangers and be consistent in your responses. Helpful tactics to avoid temper tantrums include offering choices, picking your battles, and praising neutral as well as good behavior.

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Diet

Picky eating habits are common at this age. Remember, you may need to offer a new food 15 times before your toddler will accept it. Combat these picky habits by offering nutritious foods for snacks as well as meals. Do not get into battles regarding your child’s eating. Allow your child to feed herself. Try to eat meals together as a family without the TV on.

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Oral Health

Brush your child’s teeth daily with a soft toothbrush. If you use toothpaste, be sure it is fluoride-free until she can spit on command. Now is a good time to schedule your child’s first dental appointment.

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Potty-Training

In general, girls become potty-trained between 2 1/2 -3 years old, and boys closer to 3. Even as they master daytime dryness, most children will still wear a diaper at nighttime.

Here are some signs your child is ready to potty-train:
  • She stays dry for two hours at a time.
  • She is able to pull her pants up and down.
  • She knows the difference between wet and dry.
  • She tells you after she has soiled a diaper.
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Safety Reminders

At this age, all play should be supervised. Make sure toys are age-appropriate to avoid choking hazards.

Continue to inspect your home for potential dangers. Stabilize heavy furniture that could topple if a child climbs on it. Shorten cords that dangle from blinds or other window coverings. Hide exposed wires and cover plugs. Keep safety caps on all medicines and toxic household products. Post the Poison Control Center number (1-800-222-1222) by your phone for accidental ingestions.

To prevent accidental drowning, drain water from buckets and bathtubs immediately after use. Never leave your child alone in or near a bathtub. Be sure to apply sunscreen liberally during warmer months. Secure all firearms unloaded and lock ammunition in a separate location. When traveling, your child should always be in an appropriate car seat in the rear of the vehicle.

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Additional Resources

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