Key development areas: 25-27 months

toddler tantrums
toddler tantrums 

The terrible twos that are usually defined by difficult behaviour is usually concentrated between two and three years of age but it can persist past three years of age. Toddlers become conditioned to respond in certain ways when in particular situations either through classic conditioning (learning by association) or operant conditioning (learning by effect) and both play an enormous part in toddler behaviour.

A two year old’s posture will be better and she should have cut at least 15 of her baby teeth. She will often squat for long periods while playing and will start trying to jump up and down, sometimes falling when she does. She will walk with a smooth heel to toe motion by now and may even be able to walk backwards. Your two year old can also drink from a straw and will spend time opening doors, drawers and cupboards. Her breathing will be more regularly paced, both when she is awake and when she is sleeping. Body temperature changed depending on the activity she is engaged in, as well as her emotional state and environment.

Nose picking and distaste for new foods may also emerge in your toddler when she is between twenty five and twenty seven months.

Toddlers may speak so quickly that they are quite often still difficult to understand even though their speech is a lot more polished, and some stammering and other minor speech impediments commonly occur around this time. On average, a two year old toddler will be learning about 50 new words each month. She will also name some objects based on their description and will perhaps use pronouns in sentences. She is also able to recognise pain and its location and tell you about it.

Your toddler will probably be using a combination of different forms of attention, including selective attention where she chooses to focus on one thing, there by ignoring other things to do so, as well as dividing her attention so she can pay attention to multiple things and will also maintain periods of sustained attention where she can block everything out and concentrate solely on certain tasks for a few minutes at a time. It is not unusual for a toddler to take frequent breaks when undertaking tasks such as drawing or looking at a book.

Your toddler will find it hard to wait or make choices and cannot understand reason or control their impulses.

For this reason, toddlers of this age may also seem totally absorbed in play at times because they have no sense of time and giving them plenty of warnings to help make the transition to the next task will lead to less resistance to other activities that interrupt play, such as baths and bedtime. Instant gratification to reward good behaviour is best for promoting self-confidence in a toddler of this age.

Your toddler will begin to display some empathy and care for others, such as comforting or offering affection to another person who shows signs of emotional distress but can also be physically aggressive if angered, and is usually quite possessive of her toys. She may also become frustrated when they are unable to complete tasks such as building with blocks. Your toddler will find it hard to wait or make choices and cannot understand reason or control their impulses. They are also still unable to distinguish between reality and fantasy.


The information provided on Essential Baby is, at best, of a general nature and cannot substitute for the advice of a medical professional (for instance, a qualified doctor, child health nurse, pharmacist/chemist, and so on). If you have any concerns about your child’s development please contact a medical professional.

Discuss your 2-3 year old’s development the Essential Baby Forums.