Developmental Milestones by the End of 2 Years


Walks alone
Pulls toys behind her while walking
Carries large toy or several toys while walking
Begins to run
Stands on tiptoe
Kicks a ball
Climbs onto and down from furniture unassisted
Walks up and down stairs holding on to support

Hand and Finger Skills

Scribbles spontaneously
Turns over container to pour out contents
Builds tower of four blocks or more
Might use one hand more frequently than the other


Points to object or picture when it’s named for him
Recognizes names of familiar people, objects and body parts
Says several single words (by 15 to 18 months)
Uses simple phrases (by 18 to 24 months)
Uses two- to four-word sentences
Follows simple instructions
Repeats words overheard in conversation


Finds objects even when hidden under two or three covers
Begins to sort by shapes and colors
Begins make-believe play


Imitates behavior of others, especially adults and older children
Increasingly aware of herself as separate from others
Increasingly enthusiastic about company of other children


Demonstrates increasing independence
Begins to show defiant behavior
Episodes of separation anxiety increase toward midyear then fade

Developmental Health Watch

Because each child develops at his own particular pace, it’s impossible to tell exactly when yours will perfect a given skill. The developmental milestones will give you a general idea of the changes you can expect as your child gets older, but don’t be alarmed if he takes a slightly different course. Alert your pediatrician; however, if he displays any of the following signs of possible developmental delay for this age range.

Cannot walk by 18 months
Fails to develop a mature heel-toe walking pattern after several months of walking, or walks exclusively on his toes
Does not speak at least 15 words by 18 months
Does not use two-word sentences by age 2
By 15 months, does not seem to know the function of common household objects (brush, telephone, bell, fork, spoon)
Does not imitate actions or words by the end of this period
Does not follow simple instructions by age 2
Cannot push a wheeled toy by age 2


Excerpted from Caring for Baby and Young Child: Birth to Age 5, Bantam 1999
© Copyright 2000 American Academy of Pediatrics

This information has been created for educational purposes only and is not intended to serve as medical advice. It should not be used for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease. It is not a substitute for professional care. If your child has any health concerns, please consult your health care provider.