Your two year old - what to expect

A guide to the major milestones...

At two years old, your toddler is getting really independent – speaking a few words, getting dressed and even riding a trike.

Here’s a guide to this all-exciting stage of development.

At a glance

  • Toddler fears
  • Encouraging better listening
  • How to help your child

What your child is doing

All children develop at different speeds, but here’s a guide to the exciting things your child might be doing around now:

  • Riding a scooter or tricycle

  • Saying three word sentences or more

  • Dressing themselves with easy clothes

  • Singing to themselves

  • Being clingy one minute and fiercely independent the next.

Random fears

Most two year olds go through a phase of being suddenly scared of things like thunderstorms, the dark, spiders and even monsters. The key is not to make a big deal out of it, especially if it’s a fear of yours as well (more likely spiders than monsters!). Just reassure them with kind words and a hug, and then get busy distracting them. You may find the topic keeps coming up long after the fear has gone, so just keep reassuring and distracting.

How you can help your child at this age

There’s a lot you can do to help a two-year-old’s development:

  • Get physical - play active games with them like running, jumping and climbing. It will give them a taste for activity and help develop their motor skills

  • Let it all out – if your child is launching into a spectacular tantrum, help them learn how to express their feelings. Rather than telling them off, you can calm them down by asking them to explain what’s upset them

  • Get playing – play  is the main way children learn and you can fire up your child's imagination by playing pretend games with their dolls and cuddly toys.

Learning to listen

Persuading toddlers to listen can be quite a challenge, and many mums find shouting across a room just doesn't work.  

“I love the Supernanny tip where you get down to their level and lower the tone of your voice. I find if I yell from the kitchen it’s too easy for my kids to get distracted and ignore me. Instead I come up to them, get down to their level, which means they have to pay attention to me and then lower my tone so they know I am serious. It works every time especially in public."  Hannah, mum to two. 

You can also see more about your toddler's development with our milestones chart

At a glance

  • Toddler fears
  • Encouraging better listening
  • How to help your child
Most two year olds go through a phase of being scared of things like thunderstorms and the dark

Your toddler's milestones