Children usually progress in a natural, predictable
sequence from one developmental milestone to the next. But each child grows and
gains skills at his or her own pace. Some children may be advanced in one area,
such as language, but behind in another, such as sensory and motor
Milestones usually are categorized into five major
areas: physical growth, cognitive development, emotional and social
development, language development, and sensory and motor development.
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Gain weight and grow at a steady but slower
pace than during their first 12 months of life. Between 12 and 24 months of
age, expect your child to gain about
3 lb (1.5 kg) to
5 lb (2.5 kg), grow an average
of 3 in. (7.5 cm) to
5 in. (13 cm), and gain about
1 in. (2.5 cm) in head
circumference (the measurement around the top of the head). You can view
standard growth charts at
Thinking and reasoning (cognitive development)
children by age 2:
Begin to understand simple time concepts, such
as "now," "later," or "a few minutes." (The distant future or "forever" are too
complex to conceptualize at this age.)
Follow simple requests, such
as "Put the book on the table." But two-step instructions, such as "Wash your
hands and come here," usually cannot be completed.
symbolism, such as nodding the head for yes or no.
Often want to
do two incompatible things at the same time. For example, a 2-year-old may want
to go out in the snow and wear his or her slippers.
Start to play
"pretend," such as by talking on a toy telephone.
recognize and sort objects by shape and color.