Well-Child Checkup: 2 Years
At the 2-year checkup, the healthcare
provider will examine your child and ask how things are going at home. At this age,
checkups become less often. So this may be your child’s last checkup for a while.
checkup is a great time to have questions answered about your child’s emotional and
physical development. Bring a list of your questions to the appointment so you can
all of your concerns.
This sheet describes some of what you
Development and milestones
The healthcare provider will ask
questions about your child. They will observe your toddler to get an idea of your
child’s development. By this visit, most children are doing these:
Saying at least 2 words
together, like "more milk"
Pointing to at least 2 body
parts and points to pictures in books
Using gestures such as
blowing a kiss or nodding yes
Running and kicking a
Noticing when others are hurt
or upset. They may pause or look sad when someone is crying.
Playing with more than 1 toy
at a time
- Trying to use switches, knobs, or buttons on a toy
Don’t worry if your child is picky
about food. This is normal. How much your child eats at 1 meal or in 1 day is less
important than the pattern over a few days or weeks. To help your 2-year-old eat well
and develop healthy habits:
Keep serving different finger
foods at meals. Don't give up on offering new foods. It often takes a few tries
before a child starts to like a new taste.
If your child is hungry
between meals, offer healthy foods. Cut-up vegetables and fruit, cheese, peanut
butter, and crackers are good choices. Save snack foods such as chips or cookies
for a special treat.
Don’t force your child to
eat. A child of this age will eat when hungry. They will likely eat more some days
Switch from whole milk to
low-fat or nonfat milk. Ask the healthcare provider which is best for your
Most of your child's calories
should come from solid foods, not milk.
Besides drinking milk, water
is best. Limit fruit juice. It should be100% juice and you may add water to it.
Don’t give your toddler soda.
Don't let your child walk
around with food. This is a choking risk. It can also lead to overeating as the
child gets older.
Brush your child’s teeth
twice a day. Use a small amount of fluoride toothpaste no larger than a grain of
rice. Use a toothbrush designed for children.
If you haven’t already done
so, take your child to the dentist.
Many 2-year-olds are not yet ready
for potty training. But your child may start to show an interest in the next year.
your child is telling you about dirty diapers and asking to be changed, this is a
that they are getting ready. Here are some tips:
Don’t force your child to use
the toilet. This can make training harder.
Explain the process of using
the toilet to your child. Let your child watch other family members use the
bathroom, so the child learns how it’s done.
Keep a potty chair in the
bathroom, next to the toilet. Encourage your child to get used to it by sitting on
it fully clothed or wearing only a diaper. As the child gets more comfortable,
have them try sitting on the potty without a diaper.
Praise your child for using
the potty. Use a reward system, such as a chart with stickers, to help get your
child excited about using the potty.
Understand that accidents
will happen. When your child has an accident, don’t make a big deal out of it.
Never punish the child for having an accident.
If you have concerns or need
more tips, talk with the healthcare provider.
By 2 years of age, your child may
be down to 1 nap a day and should be sleeping about 8 to 12 hours at night. If they
sleep more or less than this but seems healthy, it’s not a concern. To help your child
Encourage your child to get
enough physical activity during the day. This will help them sleep at night. Talk
with the healthcare provider if you need ideas for active types of play.
Follow a bedtime routine each
night, such as brushing teeth followed by reading a book. Try to stick to the same
bedtime and routine each night.
Don't put your child to bed
with anything to drink.
If getting your child to
sleep through the night is a problem, ask the healthcare provider for tips.
Don’t let your child play
outdoors without supervision. Teach caution around cars. Your child should always
hold an adult’s hand when crossing the street or in a parking lot.
Protect your toddler from
falls. Use sturdy screens on windows. Put gates at the tops and bottoms of
staircases. Supervise the child on the stairs.
If you have a swimming pool,
put a fence around it. Close and lock gates or doors leading to the pool. Teach
your child how to swim. Children at this age are able to learn basic water safety.
Never leave your child unattended near a body of water.
- Have your child wear a good-fitting helmet when riding a
scooter, bike, or tricycle. or when riding on the back of an adult's bike.
Plan ahead. At this age,
children are very curious. They are likely to get into items that can be
dangerous. Keep latches on cabinets. Keep products like cleansers and medicines
out of reach.
Watch out for items that are
small enough to choke on. As a rule, an item small enough to fit inside a toilet
paper tube can cause a child to choke.
Teach your child to be gentle
and cautious with dogs, cats, and other animals. Always supervise the child around
animals, even familiar family pets. Never let your child approach an unfamiliar
dog or cat.
In the car, always put your
child in a car seat in the back seat. Babies and toddlers should ride in a
rear-facing car safety seat for as long as possible. That means until they reach
the top weight or height allowed by their seat. Check your safety seat
instructions. Most convertible safety seats have height and weight limits that
will allow children to ride rear-facing for 2 years or more. All children younger
than 13 should ride in the back seat. If you have questions, ask your child's
Keep this Poison Control
phone number in an easy-to-see place, such as on the refrigerator:
If you own a gun, keep it unloaded and locked up. Never allow
your child to play with your gun.
Limit screen time to 1 hour per day. This includes time watching
TV, playing on a tablet, computer, or smart phone.
Based on recommendations from the
CDC, at this visit your child may get the following vaccines:
Over the next year, your child’s
speech development will likely increase a lot. Each month, your child should learn
words and use longer sentences. You’ll notice the child starting to communicate more
complex ideas and to carry on conversations. To help develop your child’s verbal
Read together often. Choose
books that encourage participation, such as pointing at pictures or touching the
Help your child learn new
words. Say the names of objects and describe your surroundings. Your child will
pick up new words that they hear you say. And don’t say words around your child
that you don’t want repeated!
Make an effort to understand
what your child is saying. At this age, children begin to communicate their needs
and wants. Reinforce this communication by answering a question your child asks,
or asking your own questions for the child to answer. Don't be concerned if you
can't understand many of the words your child says. This is perfectly normal.
Talk with the healthcare
provider if you’re concerned about your child’s speech development.