Toddler Development and Milestones: Your 2 Year and 6 Month Old
Get ready to be chatty! You will be amazed by the new things your toddler says each day now that he can speak in three-word sentences.
While parents are still grappling with the terrible twos, up next is the 2 year and 6 month old toddler development phase to set your toddler up to be a threenager.
Although still defiant and emotionally attached, your two-and-a-half-year-old child’s social and language skills will take a huge leap during this phase. But the most exciting part concerning the 2 year and 6 month old toddler development phase is the possibility to start potty training your child, which is a really huge transition from diapers and wet wipes!
This guide will give you pointers on what to expect during the 30 month old toddler development phase. Remember, every toddler develops at a different pace — late bloomers will achieve these milestones when they are ready.
2 Year and 6 Month Old Development and Milestones: Is Your Toddler on Track?
After months of mimicking mum and dad, you might find your two-and-a-half year old quite the independent little toddler!
This shift means that suddenly your toddler just wants to do everything by himself! You might find him lending a hand while dressing up, or insisting that he can brush his teeth (with your help of course), and yes, even washing his own hands.
In line with personal hygiene, it is also a great stage to start introducing potty training.
- Support this newfound independence by teaching your child simple personal hygiene habits like how to brush his teeth the right way, and keeping his little hands clean.
- Provide healthy snacks like fruits and try not to introduce too much sugar into his diet.
- Allow your child to dress himself and be patient when teaching him. Allowing him to choose his own clothes for the day is a great way to foster self-expression.
- Continue to get him involved with simple chores like putting his own toys back. You might want to teach responsibility, but try to focus on fostering helpfulness instead. That might actually do the trick, because then he can be Mummy’s little helper.
- What to expect during your child’s 30 month old toddler development checkup: height, weight, physical exam (eyes, ears, heart, lungs, etc), immunisations and developmental screening.
At two-and-a-half years old, your child’s median height and weight* should be as follows:
– Height: 91.3 cm (36 in)
– Weight: 13.3 kg (29.3 lbs)
– Head Circumference: 48.9 cm (19.3 in)
– Height: 90.3 cm (35.6 in)
– Weight: 13 kg (28.8 lbs)
– Head Circumference: 47.9 cm (18.9 in)
At two-and-a-half years old, your child should be able to jump up and down with both feet off the floor and go down the stairs while alternating feet. He might even be able to pedal a tricycle all by himself now.
His balance may also have improved and this will allow him to run while avoiding obstacles in his way. With better control over his hands and feet at this stage, be ready for your child’s newfound obsession with balloons and balls.
By the time your child is 30 months old, he should be able to do simple cutting, fold papers, doodle and even name a few colours like red and yellow. Big buttons and zippers shouldn’t be a problem as well as rotating his wrists to open caps on bottles. Puzzles and blocks will definitely keep him entertained!
- Ensure proper child-proofing in your home to keep your toddler safe.
- Set up small obstacle courses at home with climbing and crawl through areas to allow him to spend some active energy.
- Parks and playgrounds are great places for him to run, explore and climb safely. Just be sure to watch him closely and remind him to watch out for bigger children.
- Give your toddler bright coloured paints and crayons to experiment with, and try not to worry too much about the mess.
- Be sure to teach him that cleaning up afterwards is part of the game.
- Build city blocks together. By mimicking you, this will further enhance his grip as well as hand-eye coordination.
When to Talk to Your Doctor:
- If you feel that your child’s development isn’t on point, such as if he is having some trouble with his coordination, then you might want to visit your paediatrician.
- Your child’s balance should also be well-developed at this age, so if he tends to fall down a lot or isn’t as confident with running, jumping, or even walking like other kids, it’s a good idea to get your child checked out.
Your toddler’s brain would have developed by leaps and bounds by the 2 year and 6 month toddler development mark.
With kids having a longer attention span, parents can really take this time to promote developmental learning and play. Now is a great time to incorporate simple problem-solving activities or even activities that encourage trial and error. 30 month old toddlers should also be able to sort objectives into sets according to shape, size and colour.
- Building blocks and colourful shape puzzles are a great way to teach your child sorting skills.
- Try setting up scavenger hunts to teach him the difference between top, under and inside. It would be great to achieve this by the 30 month old toddler development milestone.
- Water play with containers of various sizes can teach your toddler the concept of size.
- Repetition of songs and nursery rhymes will help with memory skills.
- Take a deep breath and be patient. It might be a trying time for some parents during the 2 year and 6 month old toddler development stage, especially if their toddler behaves like a threenager already.
When to Talk to Your Doctor:
- You should see a doctor if your child has trouble figuring out simple problem-solving.
- Likewise, if your child has trouble sorting things, or has trouble identifying things by shape, colour, and size, it’s a good idea to visit the doctor. That way, you can be sure of your child’s development and you can address any problems early on.
Social and Emotional Development
Rejoice, parents! Because at the 2 year and 6 month old toddler development stage, your child is slowly starting to play WITH other kids and not just alongside them.
But don’t expect uninterrupted catch-up time with other mums during a playdate. While your child may start to interact more and engage in play with other children, some still struggle with the concept of sharing.
They might also be quick to be frustrated as they struggle between wanting to be independent and still needing a little help from mum.
As part of your 30 month old toddler development timeline, he will still find it quite a challenge to express emotions. Do not be alarmed if he becomes upset when you cannot understand him. Parents might find this phase really frustrating, but patience is key. Remember that your child is probably more frustrated than you at this point.
You might see some improvement with separation anxiety, however, your toddler may start to develop new fears, such as being alone in the dark and the boogeyman.
Changes in routines might mean risking some tantrums. But the plus point through this trying phase is that your child is starting to regulate his behaviour as he slowly begins to distinguish between right and wrong.
- It is okay to catch up with other mums at a playdate, but keep an eye out in case your child needs you to resolve a situation.
- Playing in the same group helps your child to be more comfortable playing with familiar faces.
- Be encouraging. Engage with your child. Show him what it’s like to take turns and to share.
- DO encourage your child to introduce himself to his peers now that he is able to refer to himself by name.
- Encourage pretend play and make it funny! This is not only fun, but it will also help develop your child’s sense of humour.
- Commend them when they are behaving well. Try to be more encouraging than commanding.
- Hear them out when they have something to say because that makes them feel important and loved.
- Be gentle when correcting them. After all, they are still learning the difference between what’s right and what’s wrong.
When to Talk to Your Doctor:
- If you notice that your child has a lot of trouble playing with other kids, or refuses to play with other kids outright, then it might be a good idea to take him to the doctor. At this age, kids should start becoming more sociable, and while children develop at different rates, you’ll definitely notice if your child isn’t getting along or playing well with other children.
Speech and Language Development
At this point, your toddler can distinguish the difference between simple words like “hot and cold” or “up and down.”
The biggest change during the 30 month old toddler development period is slowly progressing from one-word answers to short phrases and getting better at following simple instructions. It is also easier to understand what he’s actually saying although most of the time he’ll be asking “What?” and “Where?” questions.
Despite being mostly loud, he is learning the difference in volume levels and tones.
- When reading, get your toddler to repeat after you. Enunciate each word clearly and ask him to watch your mouth when you pronounce a certain word. Read with varying tones.
- Books with a lot of pronouns are a great way to teach him how to communicate.
- Pictorial flashcards can help your toddler’s vocabulary and are way more interactive and fun!
- Continue to communicate with your toddler during this time. Talking gives him a chance to widen his vocabulary.
- Be patient when he is asking questions. He will be extremely inquisitive during this time!
When to Talk to Your Doctor:
- While some kids can have a hard time learning words, for the most part, you’ll notice some development in his vocabulary. However, if your child’s vocabulary has remained the same for a few months, then a visit to the doctor might be in order.
- If your child has trouble understanding instructions, even if you keep explaining it to him, then you might also want to get him looked at by a specialist to find out if there might be something that’s causing the developmental delay.
Always remember to be patient and encouraging towards your toddler. Do not compare your toddler’s achievements with his peers. Instead, take it easy, and make things light and fun because everyone has different learning styles too.
Your little one won’t stay so little forever, so for now, enjoy his incessant curiosity and inquisitive nature while preparing the foundation for great things to come.
Health and Nutrition
By this age, your little one should also already be eating mostly solid food, and milk should be only drank to supplement his meals. Proper diet and physical activity are both very important when it comes to keeping your child healthy.
Your child needs approximately anywhere between 1100 calories to fuel him/her through the day. This is, of course, depending on growth and activity level. Typically, the calorie intake for boys and girls of this age are as follows:
- Boys: 1,103.70 Kcal/day
- Girls: 1,080.56 Kcal/day
Their nutrition should be composed of the following:
Your options for sources of protein are many. In total, your child needs just 24g each day. One serving equals one cup of greek yoghurt, 3 oz of chicken breast or 4 hard-boiled eggs.
Your child needs about three (100g) cups of fruits everyday. One cup of fruit equals one cup of fresh, frozen, or canned fruit, half (1/2) cup dried fruit, half (1/2) of a large apple, one eight- or nine-inch banana, or one medium grapefruit.
If your child wants to drink fruit juice, make sure it’s 100 percent juice without added sugars.
The sooner your child becomes accustomed to eating vegetables, the better! At this stage, your child requires 1.5 cups (150g) of vegetables every day. One cup of vegetables equals one cup of cooked or raw vegetables, two cups of raw leafy greens, one large tomato, or two medium carrots.
Make eating vegetables fun by providing a varied plate of colourful veggies in fun shapes. These could include greens, reds and oranges, beans and peas, starchy veggies and others, each week. When selecting canned or frozen vegetables, look for options lower in sodium.
Grains are an important part of your child’s diet, so make sure he/she gets three ounces of grains every day. One ounce of grains equals one slice of bread, one cup of ready-to-eat cereal, or half (1/2) cup of cooked pasta or cooked cereal.
Choose whole grains, such as whole-wheat bread, oatmeal, popcorn, quinoa, or brown or wild rice. Limit refined grains such as white bread, pasta and rice.
Your child should drink a minimum of 16 to 19 ounces of milk a day. You may also substitute one cup of milk with one cup of yogurt or soy milk , 1½ ounces of natural cheese (around the size of four stacked dice), or two ounces of processed cheese (around the size of five stacked dice).
Here’s what you child needs every day (refer above for what the amounts look like):
- Fruits: 3 cups for boys and girls
- Vegetables: 1.5 cups for boys and girls
- Grains: 3 ounces for boys and girls
- Proteins: 24g for boys and girls
- Milk: 16-19 ounces for boys and girls
- Water: 1,200mL for boys and girls
Giving your child a balanced diet is very important. Be sure to provide him with carbohydrates, protein, iron, and all of the essential vitamins and minerals that his body needs.
When to Talk to Your Doctor:
- If it seems that your child is smaller than the other kids, or if he’s not developing as you had hoped, then it might be a good time to visit your doctor. Monthly visits to the doctor are also a good idea if you want to make sure that your child’s development is right on track.
Vaccinations and Common Illnesses
There are no new vaccinations due this month. To find out what vaccinations your child should have got up to now, and check if this schedule is up-to-date, click here.
When it comes to vaccines, your child should already have their chickenpox, MMR, flu, hepatitis A, and hepatitis B vaccine. If your child is missing any of these vaccinations, don’t hesitate to consult your doctor.
Common illnesses by 30 months include chickenpox, mumps, measles and the common flu, many of which your child should already be vaccinated against. (Your child should already have their MMR, chickenpox, flu, and hepatitis vaccines by this age.) If your child is missing any vaccines, be sure to talk to your doctor to get it sorted out.
Fever can also be common, so be sure to always monitor your child’s health.
When to Talk to Your Doctor:
- In case of any prolonged illnesses, such as fever, cough, or colds, be sure to take your child immediately to the doctor as it can potentially be something serious.
Your toddler’s previous month: 29 months
Your toddler’s next month: 31 months