Babies and children develop at their own pace, so it's impossible to tell exactly when your child will learn a given skill. The developmental milestones listed below will give you a general idea of the changes you can expect, but don't be alarmed if your own child's development takes a slightly different course.
Important Milestones: By the End of Two Years (24 Months)


Social
  • Imitates behavior of others, especially adults and older children
  • More aware of herself as separate from others
  • More excited about company of other children

Emotional
  • Demonstrates increasing independence
  • Begins to show defiant behavior
  • Separation anxiety increases toward midyear then fades

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

Language
  • 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 2- to 4-word sentences
  • Follows simple instructions
  • Repeats words overheard in conversation

Movement
  • 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 on his or her own
  • Turns over container to pour out contents
  • Builds tower of four blocks or more
  • Might use one hand more often than the other

Developmental Health Watch
  • Cannot walk by 18 months
  • Fails to develop a mature heel-toe walking pattern after several months of walking, or walks only on his toes
  • Does not speak at least 15 words
  • 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
  • Experiences a dramatic loss of skills he or she once had




Content source: Division of Birth Defects, National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention