Five Things to Know About Your 2-Year Old

by Allison Bush Editor

Kids are interesting little creatures, especially two-year olds. It's at this age that they start becoming independent beings and you see their personalities begin to bloom. Here are five things you can expect to happen during a child’s second year.

They're emotional

Once he or she turns two, you will no longer have to guess how your child is feeling. At this age, children start expressing their emotions - sometimes through their voice, fists and feet.

At this point, it's your job as the parent to start showing your child how to express his or her emotions in a healthy way, but make sure you let them know it's okay for them to feel sad sometimes.

They'll talk more

Before, your child had a very limited vocabulary and would speak only enough words to get his or her point across. Now, at two, he or she should be able to ask questions, give directions, and tell stories--albeit, they'll be only in two to four word sentences).

They may start to exhibit separation anxiety

Separation anxiety is most common in preschoolers when they're out of their normal routine, in a new environment, or when they're just not in the mood to be away from mom or dad. To help relax them, be sure to tell your child that you'll always return when you're away.

They can brush their teeth

Many two-year-olds insist on brushing their teeth. Let your child make a first pass, but follow up with a more thorough cleaning yourself. Your child won't be capable of adequate tooth-brushing until much later, possibly not until he or she is six or seven. But at two, let him or her do a bit, so they get into the routine and feel some independence.

They can dress themselves

While your child may already know how to undress herself, at this age, she's likely to go through several clothing changes a day just for the sake of wearing different outfits. Resist the urge to stop her, though. Don’t try to control this activity, even if it's creating a messy bedroom.

Allison Bush
Meet Our Writer
Allison Bush

Allison Bush is a former HealthCentral editor who covered a wide range of health topics.