Toddler Development and Milestones: Your 2 Year and 8 Month Old

Toddler Development and Milestones: Your 2 Year and 8 Month Old

Evolving tastes, outgrowing shyness, and engaging in simple conversations — find out what other milestones you can expect now that your toddler is 2 years and 8 months old!

At two years and eight months old, your toddler is asserting her independence in small ways. She’s starting to open up to peers, but she can also have her shy moments. Yes, she still has her tantrums, but she’s more equipped to show you what her wants and needs are. Get ready, mums and dads, your child is nearing her third birthday! So what 32 month old milestones can you expect? 

Ahead, we’ve rounded up some of the key changes (and constants) to expect from your two-year-and-eight-month-old tot!

2 Year and 8 Month Old Development and Milestones: Is Your Toddler on Track? 

32 month old development and milestonesPhysical Development

At 2 years and 8 months old, your little one is getting more active and curious about her surroundings. He or she is beginning to master her jumping and balancing skills. She’s fond of jumping off of furniture and trying to walk backwards down the stairs. Make sure to engage her physical development by taking her to parks or even your own backward, where she can safely run and play.

As for his or her fine motor skills, 2 year and 8 month olds begin to favour using a particular hand, with which they can already copy or trace simple shapes.

At 2 years and 8 months, your child’s median height and weight* should be as follows: 

  • Boys
    – Height: 92.7 cm (36.5 in)
    – Weight: 13.7 kg (30.1 lbs)
    – Head Circumference: 49.1 cm (19.3 in)
  • Girls
    – Height: 91.7 cm (36.1 in)
    – Weight: 13.3 kg (29.4 lbs) 
    – Head Circumference: 48.1 cm (19 in)


  • The best way to enhance these skills is to provide them with kid-friendly art supplies. She also enjoys stacking blocks and working on puzzles.
  • Bedwetting can be a problem for your toddler. Cover her bed with plastic sheets or protectors if needed. To further avoid accidents, make using the toilet a part of your nighttime ritual. 

When to Talk to Your Doctor:

  • Observe your toddler for developmental delays, such as not being able to run or climb stairs well. If this is the case, consult a paediatrician as to how to boost her motor development. 

Cognitive Development 

You’ll be amazed at how your little one is managing to tell colours apart! Encourage her burgeoning knowledge by sharpening her ability to identify shapes, too! Draw and come up with fun arts and crafts that not only boost her brain development, but also facilitates bonding and communication. 

At this age, she’s fascinated by crayons and pencils. At first, her drawings might be in the form of random scribbles. But as she grows, she’ll begin to notice certain shapes and images. 


  • You can also ask your little one to help you cut up paper in a straight line (be sure to give her safety scissors, though!)
  • Count, count, count practically everything! And of course practice your alphabet through song, play, and even visual aids.
  • Stimulate your child’s brain development through sensory activities, like sculpting play-doh, or identifying animal sounds.

When to Talk to Your Doctor:

  • Each child learns differently and at her own pace, so get to know what works best for your child and keep at it. If your child seems to be struggling with counting or identifying shapes and colours, then it’s time to consult your child’s paediatrician.
32 month old development and milestones

Cognitively, some of the most fascinating 2 year and 8 month old milestones is how your toddler is able to distinguish between colours and shapes. Nurture this by reading and talking to them constantly. | Image courtesy: Dreamstime

Social and Emotional Development

At this age, your growing toddler may prefer to play alone or with a playmate. Regardless of her preferred form of play, encourage her sense of collaboration and communication, even if she prefersto only play with mum and dad — for now.

Though she’s starting to become more open in making friends, there will be tense times. She might get in adorable little arguments, while bossing other kids around. She could also be the opposite, shrinking back in the face of a bossy playmate.


  • To help her through this phase, try to instill good manners and empathy. Talk to her about what being a friend means.
  • She might also be easily scared at night, but as soon as she starts to know the difference between what’s real and imagined, with your guidance, she can become braver. 
  • Aside from boosting her fine motor skills, arts and crafts can also be a way of gauging their emotions. So let her do this without intervening too much. 

When to Talk to Your Doctor:

  • If your child shows anxious behaviour, like head banging, don’t panic. This is usually just out of curiosity, as a way to test her limits. Watch out, though, because if this happens often, she might be dealing with pain that she still can’t communicate. 
  • Take note if your little one is extremely aloof, shy, or doesn’t make eye contact.

Speech and Language Development

By this time, your toddler will likely be comfortable to refer to herself by name. They’re also familiar with gender and use prepositions — in, on, over — to indicate locations of objects. Your curious toddler can also comprehend and sometimes engage in simple stories and conversations. 

She might tend to interrupt you when you seem to be busy or while you’re having a conversation. But this is just her way of trying to get your attention. 


  • Offering choices helps her regain some form of control. If your toddler starts to cry at this age, it’s just her way of communicating.
  • Encourage her to voice out her needs. When this happens, try to maintain neutral ground — neither coddle her nor scold her. Encourage her to use her words. 

When to Talk to Your Doctor:

  • When your child struggles to pronounce certain words and syllables, it would be good to consult a paediatrician or a speech pathologist to best know how to enhance her communication skills. 
  • If your child is extremely quiet and often unresponsive even to family and friends she should already be familiar with, speak to your doctor.

Health and Nutrition

At this stage, a child’s appetite is proportional to her growth rate. So if she’s eating enough, so too will her growth rate soar. You should offer your toddler a variety of nutritious food with different colours and tastes to boost her appetite.

Your child needs approximately anywhere between 1050 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: 1,139.3 Kcal/day
  • Girls: 1,107.26 Kcal/day 

Their nutrition should be composed of the following: 

  • Protein  

Your child needs one serving of protein each day – in total, 24g. This is easily achieved through a variety of food sources. One serving equals one cup of greek yoghurt, 3 oz of pork chop or 2/3 can of tuna.

  • Fruits 

Fruits are a great source of vitamins, minerals and dietary fibre, and your child needs about three (100g) cups of fruits everyday. Fresh fruit, canned fruit or even fruit juices (without added sugars) are all great sources. 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.

  • Vegetables 

Vegetables are critical for your child’s nutrition and proper development. 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.

  • Grains 

Introduce a minimum of three ounces of grains in your child’s meals. 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.

  • Milk/Dairy 

During your child’s toddler years, milk is a cornerstone of your child’s diet, and he/she 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).

In summary, 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

Of course, your child’s preferences and appetites may vary, so be sure to keep that in mind when preparing his food.


  • It’s important to note that excessive eating at this age might result in obesity later on in life, so it’s best to manage proportions as well as nutritional content.
  • As for sleep, they’re now ready to move from crib to bed. But be patient, as sleep interruptions can happen until your little one adjusts to this change.

When to Talk to Your Doctor: 

  • If your child is severely underweight for her age or has stunted growth, go see a paediatrician. 
  • Though it’s natural for toddlers to have difficulty sleeping away from a crib, consult your doctor if she becomes overly clingy or hysterical. 

Vaccinations and Common Illnesses 

As for their vaccination schedule at this age, ask your paediatrician if the Hepatitis A series, Meningococcal vaccine, and pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (PPSV) vaccines are necessary based on the medical history and predisposition of your child.


Lastly, don’t rush your child. Though these 32 month old milestones are exciting for parents, it’s important to know that each child grows and blossoms at her own pace. Be patient and supportive. Your developing little one needs it!

We hope you found this article helpful. What can your toddler do at 2 years and 8 months?


Sources: Maternal and Child Health Nursing Fourth Edition, Adele Pillitteri

Your toddler’s previous month: 31 months

Your toddler’s next month: 33 months

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Written by

Bianchi Mendoza

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