Your 28-month-old toddler is probably moving all over the place—they can now run and climb and move astonishingly fast. All this developing athleticism means that even though you baby-proofed when your child was little, you’ll want to do another round.
Every day is a new adventure with your 28-month-old baby. They’re likely talking up a storm, running around and looking to help you with everyday tasks. As your toddler continues to grow and develop, you’re probably wondering what 28-month-old milestones your child should be hitting. From sleep schedules to meal ideas, keep reading to learn what you can expect during this next month of your toddler’s life.
Your 28-month-old is probably changing quickly, developing new skills and some adorable—albeit sometimes challenging—personality traits.
28-month-old weight and height
Average weight for a 28-month-old is around 28.1 pounds for girls and 29.3 pounds for boys. Average height is around 35 inches for girls and 35.4 inches for boys, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
“What should my 28-month-old be doing?” you ask? While every child is different, the following are some 28-month milestones you can start keeping an eye out for:
- Speech. When it comes to language, your child is catching on quickly, learning new words at an astounding rate. Their grammar, on the other hand, still needs a little work. Don’t sweat it! You can gently correct, but over time they'll learn how to use language properly by listening to others. At this age, they should be repeating two digits, identifying and naming 10 to 15 pictures and using pronouns, such as “I,” “me” and “you.” A 28-month-old who’s not talking may need early intervention for a little extra speech help, so talk to the pediatrician if you suspect your child is behind verbally.
- Potty training. If your child is showing signs of readiness, now may be a good time to potty train. Some parents say that potty training a 28-month-old girl and potty training a 28-month-old boy can be quite different. Boys are notorious for taking a bit longer to potty train—but that's not always the case. Start your boy learning to pee while sitting down, since good aim takes some time and practice. If you have a girl, teach her to wipe carefully from front to back.
- Teething. Your 28-month-old child may be teething with their second molars. Also known as the 2-year molars, these pearly whites tend to erupt between 20 and 33 months. And since they're big, it can be a painful process. The good news is they're the last teeth to come in until around age 6, when kids can better deal with the discomfort, so soon, you'll be done with teething woes.
- Extreme personality traits. Some 28-month-olds show fear of trying new things, and others display tons of independence.
- Trouble with transitions. It might be tough for your kid to stop playing and get dressed, or to quit splashing in that puddle and walk the rest of the way to school. Lots of patience and verbal warnings can help you get your 28-month-old moving along.
- Separation anxiety. If your child is going to preschool or daycare, they may have trouble saying goodbye to you in the mornings. Keep drop-offs short and sweet. Most kids are okay soon after their parents leave, even though they put on a pretty good show (of tears) to try to get them to stay. The good news is that separation anxiety will soon start to fade if it hasn’t already.
- A desire to help. Your toddler can probably now follow directions—with up to four steps—and likes to pitch in and help with chores or errands.
Health is always a top concern for parents, and this age is no different. Some common health questions parents of 28-month-olds have are:
Your 28-month-old is probably pretty good at feeding themselves. They probably can use a fork fairly successfully, but spoons are a little trickier. It will be a while before your toddler can feed themselves a bowl of soup without making a huge mess.
How much should my 28-month-old be eating?
Two-year olds should continue to eat three meals per day, plus two snacks. Offer your child a variety of foods in all food groups—vegetables, fruits, grains, protein and dairy—daily. Portion size isn't big at this age: Expect your kid to eat only ¼ to ½ as much as an adult.
Your 2-year-old should be drinking 1 percent or skim milk (not whole milk). Try to offer low-fat dairy products too, such as yogurt and cheese. Doctors recommend kids ages 1 to 3 get 700 mg of calcium per day. Fat should account for less than 30 percent of your toddler's daily calories.
Remember, your 28-month-old is still prone to choking, so avoid potentially hazardous foods such as whole grapes and raw carrots, and keep cutting their food into tiny pieces.
What to feed my 28-month-old
Looking for some tasty and nutritious meal inspiration? Check out these food ideas for a 2-year-old:
28-month-old feeding schedule
28-month-old eating problems
Want to get your 28-month-old to eat more healthy food? Get them involved in the process. Give your child choices of what to make for dinner; then plan the meal together. Go grocery shopping together and let them pick out the fruits and veggies. Encourage your kiddo to help prep (the non-dangerous parts of) the meal. Kids tend to love to stir ingredients or help their parents sprinkle in seasonings.
Consistency is key for a 28-month-old's sleep routine. Try to stick with usual bedtimes and naptimes to keep crankiness and restlessness at bay. When something changes the routine—a special event that runs through naptime, for example—go with the flow. But try to get back on track as soon as you can.
How much sleep does a 28-month-old need?
Most 2-year-olds need around 11 to 12 hours of nighttime sleep, plus a nap of about 1.5 to 3 hours, for a total of about 13 to 14 hours of sleep per day.
28-month-old sleep schedule
Every kid is different, but your child's schedule may look something like this:
28-month-old sleep problems
If your 28-month-old is no longer in a crib, you may find yourself having a middle-of-the-night visitor. Experts agree it's a good idea to kindly but firmly insist your child go back to sleep in their own bed. (Even though it may be tempting to allow them into yours, just this once.) Lead your toddler back to their room, tuck them in and comfort them before leaving them alone to fall asleep. This sets the precedent that your child needs to fall asleep on their own, in their own space. And it can help everyone in the family get a full night's sleep most nights.
Sure, there are fancy kids' play spaces, state-of-the-art toys and learning apps, but truthfully, a 28-month-old doesn't need all that. Sometimes, the best activities are the simplest ones. So what to do with a 28-month-old? Some fun activities, games and toys for a 28-month-old include:
- Blocks. Your child may still love building with blocks. The towers are getting bigger and bigger, along with their attention span.
- Books. Don't be surprised if your 28-month-olds asks you to read a favorite book over and over, instead of choosing something new. Kids this age still love repetition.
- Everyday objects. Together, you and your 28-month-old can set up a backyard obstacle course using old water bottles for cones. Or build a fort out of blankets and pillows. Or build a playhouse out of a large cardboard box. Use your collective imaginations, and the fun is guaranteed to follow.
- Aim to limit screen time to 15-minute increments and two hours or less total per day. Your child learns more by playing and having new experiences than they do by zoning out in front of the TV.
- Playdate? Invite just one friend at a time. At age 2, a two-person playdate is an ideal size.
- Let your toddler help you in the kitchen. This will encourage healthy eating habits, teach early math concepts (if you’re measuring ingredients!) and help them practice fine motor skills.
- Be patient, as your 28-month-old baby is still learning how to verbally communicate. With this often comes pushing, shoving, hitting and grabbing when big feelings arise. Continue to encourage your child to use their words—but don’t be surprised if it takes some time for them to get the hang of it.
- Set aside some dedicated time each day for reading, as this is a pivotal time in your toddler’s developmental growth. Studies have shown that children who were read to at a young age tend to develop a more advanced vocabulary.
- Along with reading to your 28-month-old, introduce them to writing. Showing them their name written down can help build the association between words and their meanings. It’s too soon for your toddler to be able to write their name on their own, but it can get their wheels turning. (Not to mention, they’ll love seeing their name written on things!)
- Don’t be surprised if your 28-month-old baby isn’t willing to share with other children. At this stage, the concept of sharing is still a bit of a stretch. That said, your toddler will eventually realize that not everything is 100 percent theirs, so continue to demonstrate how to take turns with special items like toys.
- Keep an eye out for teething, as your 28-month-old may start developing their two-year molars. While it’s usually not as painful as the previous stages of teething, set aside some soft foods, like chilled applesauce, mashed bananas or pureed fruits and veggies to help ease any pain during mealtime.
- Toddler-proof your home. Make sure bookcases and dressers are secured to the wall, since a climbing 2-year-old can easily cause tall, heavy furniture to topple (yikes!). Sharp or dangerous objects such as knives should be secured well out of reach; 2-year-olds are curious about everything, and they can get their hands on more than you may realize.
A 28-month-old toddler is likely to keep you on your toes! This is an especially exciting period as they continue to explore and learn about the world around them; you can sit back and observe or join in on the fun.
Medical content was reviewed by Alexis Phillips-Walker, DO, a pediatrician at Memorial Hermann Medical Group Pediatrics in Atascocita, Texas.