Your toddler is two! They will develop so much over the next year in terms of speech, growth, toilet training... read below for details on your toddler's growth over the next 3 months.
The key aspect of development between 2-3 years of age is speech, both with expressive language that your toddler uses to communicate, and receptive language that she deciphers and acts on when listening to other people.
Signs that could suggest your toddler has a developmental problem include preferring to be in her own world rather than interacting with others, not being able to run smoothly or safely climb stairs or onto low furniture, persistently drooling or speaking unclearly, always having extreme difficulty in being separated from her parents, not responding to her own name, not being able to interpret non-verbal communication such as facial expressions or gestures, not maintaining or making eye contact, or being overly sensitive to sensory stimulation such disliking to be touched.
How they grow
At age 2 your toddler should be twice the height she was when she was born and her chest circumference will now be greater than her head circumference. She will weigh approximately 11-13 kilograms (four times her birth weight) and be about 80-82 centimetres long. She will gain between 1-3 kilograms and grow approximately 9 centimetres each year after.
Her head size is now in proportion with the rest of her body and her chubbier baby shape will start to become leaner as her limbs and torso grow and her posture becomes better, and she should have cut at least 15 of her baby teeth.
At this age, your toddler is still quite self centred and can be resistant to change.
Physical and motor skills
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 when moving forward and be developing her ability to walk backwards well.
She will spend time using her hands to open drawers and cupboards, turn pages in a book and complete small puzzles.
Distaste for new foods may also emerge in your toddler when she is between twenty five and twenty seven months. You can encourage her to try new things such as serving new foods next to favourite foods, cutting them into fun shapes, using food colouring to make a food seem novel and pureeing foods with other foods (such as other vegetables with potato) to help her acquire a taste for things she hasn't eaten before.
Toddlers will also be influenced by seeing how others eat. If your toddler sees family members eating something she will most likely be curious to try it and this is why it is crucial to have good food habits yourself as a parent. When she does try something new let her touch, smell and lick it before she actually takes a bite.
Language and speech
Toddlers can understand simple directions only but your child will acquire an understanding of one or two new words each day if people are speaking, reading and writing in front of her on a regular basis so that she can soon say a collection of words, phrases and simple sentences and you may find she repeats syllables over and over.
She will also name some objects based on their description and is able to recognise pain and its location and tell you about it.
Social and emotional skills
At this age, your toddler is still quite self centred and can be resistant to change. She will have favourite toys, chairs and clothes and can be quite possessive and for this reason is likely to resent sharing toys. She can also be physically aggressive when angry or frustrated when she is unable to complete tasks such as building with blocks, because she doesn't have empathy to understand anyone's needs or feelings besides her own and cannot reason or control her impulses yet.
This is why when your toddler has tantrums or behaves badly she will respond better to humour or distraction than discipline or reason. And her ability to understand other people's emotions will progress in the next twelve months so don’t delay in teaching her about sharing and not lashing out physically. The best way to do this is by leading by example and sharing your own things with her and respecting her possessions so that she doesn't feel protective towards them. Explain the importance of taking turns with siblings and other children and show her that when she gives her things to other people they will be returned to her safely.
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.
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 your toddler plenty of warnings to help her make the transition to a new task more easily will lead to less resistance to other activities that interrupt play, such as baths and bedtime.
She will still need help finishing activities she starts and taking the time necessary to do this enables her to be completely engaged in what she is doing as a way of building concentration and allowing her to develop interests by being exposed to a wide range of experiences.
A twenty five to twenty seven month old toddler will still try to solve simple problems with trial and error by constantly practising activities until she perfects them, such as putting a big item into a smaller item until she realises it won't fit but she may refuse assistance when offered as a way of asserting her independence.
She likes to look at books, will recognise sounds in the environment and can identify some plants and animals although she often views movement as a sign that something is alive even when it is not, such as a wind-up toy or the vacuum cleaner.
Toddlers sleep an average of twelve hours a day at this age, give or take a few hours and are likely to have given up at least one daytime nap, with only one to two hour nap each afternoon and she will probably wake later in the mornings.
She could still wake frequently at night though due to the fact that her sleep cycle still includes a lot of time in the light REM sleep phase and fewer hours in the heavier, deep sleep phase. A toddler that has been taught to self-soothe at a younger age will fall back to sleep easily, while others may call out or cry.
The average age for toilet training ranges from 18 months to 30 months. You will know when your child is ready to be potty trained when she notices when she needs to go when wearing a nappy and tells you about it, or if she asks to be changed, sometimes displays discomfort when wearing a full nappy and if she can go for longer periods without having her nappy changed.
But even if your toddler does these things, she may not be ready emotionally so be patient and accept that it may take a while to toilet train her, with little accidents along the way. Don’t get upset about accidents or be discouraged by regressions. If your toddler regresses there is most likely a reason for it and consistency will get her back on track.
Some parents are tempted to put a toddler in a nappy to make certain situations easier such as when leaving a toddler with a baby sitter or when travelling but using nappies once toilet training has begun will cause confusion for your toddler and slow down the process, even for short periods so try not to do this.
Discuss your toddler's development with Essential Baby Mums.