July 04, 2024 3 min read

By the age of 24 months, a child undergoes significant growth and development, making this period a crucial milestone in their early years. At this age, toddlers exhibit notable progress in various domains including physical, cognitive, language, and social-emotional development. This article outlines the key milestones expected by 24 months, discusses their importance, and provides guidance on addressing developmental concerns if milestones are not met.

Key Milestones by 24 Months

Physical Development:

1. Walking and Running: Confidently walks and runs.

2. Climbing: Climbs onto and down from furniture without assistance.

3. Kicking and Throwing:Can kick a ball forward and throw a ball overhead.

4. Stair Navigation: Begins to walk up and down stairs while holding onto a railing or hand.

5. Jumping: May start jumping with both feet off the ground.

Fine Motor Skills:

1. Drawing and Coloring: Begins to draw simple lines and circles.

2. Building: Can build a tower of four or more blocks.

3. Using Utensils: Uses a spoon and fork more proficiently.

4. Page Turning: Turns book pages one at a time.

Cognitive Development:

1. Problem-Solving: Shows increasing ability to solve problems, such as figuring out how to get a toy out of reach.

2. Understanding Cause and Effect: Demonstrates understanding of cause-and-effect relationships.

3. Pretend Play: Engages in more complex pretend play, such as feeding a doll or playing house.

Language Development:

1. Vocabulary: Has a vocabulary of around 50 words or more.

2. Combining Words: Forms two- to three-word sentences like “want cookie” or “go park.”

3. Following Instructions: Can follow two-step commands, such as “Pick up the toy and give it to me.”

4. Naming: Points to and names common objects and pictures in books.

Social and Emotional Development:

1. Imitating Actions: Imitates the behavior of adults and older children.

2. Independence: Shows signs of independence, wanting to do more tasks on their own.

3. Playing with Others: Begins to engage in parallel play, playing alongside other children without direct interaction.

4. Emotional Expression: Shows a wider range of emotions and can express needs and desires more clearly.

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The Importance of 24 Months

The age of 24 months marks a pivotal time in a child’s development as they transition from infancy to early childhood. This period is characterized by rapid advancements in language, motor skills, and cognitive abilities. Reaching these milestones is crucial for setting the foundation for future learning, social interactions, and overall growth.

What to Do if Milestones Are Not Met

If your child has not reached the expected milestones by 24 months, it’s important to take proactive steps:

1. Consult Your Pediatrician: Schedule an appointment to discuss your concerns and observe your child's development.

2. Developmental Screening: Request a comprehensive developmental assessment to identify any potential issues.

3. Monitor Progress: Keep detailed records of your child’s development and any areas of concern.

4. Seek Specialist Advice: If necessary, obtain referrals to specialists such as speech therapists, occupational therapists, or developmental pediatricians.

Concerns of Professionals

When a child does not reach appropriate milestones, professionals may be concerned about:

1. Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD): Characterized by challenges with social interactions and communication.

2. Speech and Language Delays: Issues with expressive or receptive language skills.

3. Motor Skill Delays: Difficulties with gross or fine motor skills, potentially indicating neurological or muscular issues.

4. Cognitive Delays: Challenges with problem-solving, memory, or learning skills.

Questions to Ask the Doctor

When discussing your child’s development with a doctor, consider asking the following questions:

1. What specific milestones should my child have reached by now?

2. Are there particular areas of concern in my child’s development?

3. What tests or evaluations do you recommend to assess my child’s development?

4. What are the possible causes of these developmental delays?

5. What interventions or therapies would you suggest?

6. How can I support my child’s development at home?

Addressing Developmental Delays

To address developmental delays and ensure milestones are met:

1. Early Intervention: Access early intervention services that provide support and therapy for children with developmental delays.

2. Therapies: Engage in speech therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, or behavioral therapy as recommended.

3. Enriched Environment: Create a stimulating environment with plenty of opportunities for play, exploration, and interaction.

4. Parental Involvement: Stay actively involved in your child’s therapy and daily routines.

5. Regular Monitoring: Keep regular appointments with healthcare providers to monitor progress and adjust interventions as needed.

By understanding the key milestones for a 24-month-old child and taking proactive steps when delays are identified, parents can play a crucial role in supporting their child’s development and ensuring they are on the path to achieving their full potential.