Q&A: Baby’s Two-Year Checkup?
Just like at your toddler’s past well visits, his pediatrician will likely have his measurements taken to make sure his growth looks on track. She’ll also ask you about your child’s behavior and development.
At two years, parents are usually eager for their children to be talking — it’s normal for a child to know at least 50 words and to put two words together into a phrase. But if your child isn’t quite there yet, it’s usually not a cause for concern. The pediatrician will likely give him a few more months to develop his speech skills. If there are any concerns that speech delays could be caused by a hearing problem, the pediatrician may have your child’s hearing checked out.
Developmentally, your child’s “self” is probably emerging and that means he’s probably really headstrong and emotional — the “terrible twos” tend to start before they turn two! Kids his age can’t regulate their emotions as well as we can, so they come out as tantrums. Talk over strategies with your child’s pediatrician about how to handle his outbursts — some parents find that shushing alone can help calm their toddler. Others know their child needs a nap; still more just need to let their child have the tantrum, calm himself and then move on. Every child is different.
As far as physical development goes, a two-year-old is likely able to walk up the stairs one foot at a time. He can probably jump with two feet — up until now, he only pretended (so cute when they do that!). Fine motor skills are developing too: Your child may be able to pretend to write, to use buttons and to play with Duplo blocks or other larger versions of Legos. Imaginative play is a normal part of his development too. That means playing with cars or trains, or “feeding” a baby doll or taking her for a “walk.”
At the two-year checkup, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends blood tests for lead exposure and for iron deficiency anemia. It also recommends the M-CHAT, a test for signs of autism, which consists of a series of questions about the child’s behavior, at both the 18-month and two-year appointments. Your child also may receive a flu shot, if he’s due for one.
The doctor will likely suggest you switch to 2 percent or skim milk if your child drinks whole milk now. She may also talk to you about how to start potty training — that often happens around age three, but children can show signs of readiness around age two and a half.