Happy almost-second birthday to your toddler! With nearly two whole years under your belt, here are some of the milestones to celebrate with your little one.

Your 24-month-old’s milestones in cognitive development

As their mind develops, your child remembers where things are, like that their favorite cereal is in this cupboard and bowls are in that one. They can point to objects you name, such as a picture of a tree in a book. They understand how objects are used and may demonstrate that through play. 

More and more, they copy your everyday activities, like feeding and grooming their toys and stuffed animals. It’s as helpful for them as it is adorable to you.

Your 24-month-old’s motor-skill milestones

Your almost-2-year-old is not only active but surprisingly agile. They can walk while carrying toys, run faster, or climb higher. This is also the time when most toddlers become fascinated by stairs, first holding on but eventually taking them without any help or support by the time they’re three. You can help by giving them space to explore while taking any necessary safety precautions.

Your 24-month-old’s communication milestones

 Most toddlers stick to simple sentences for several months before they leap into ones with more words. First sentences can happen any time from 18 to 24 months, and tend to be two words like, “Dog go.” Straight to the point! You probably understand your toddler’s unique language, which can sound like gibberish to others. 

As they approach the second birthday a language explosion often begins. Children learn more words and begin to string together full, yet short, sentences. Even if you aren’t able to understand everything completely, your toddler’s pronunciation should quickly improve.

Your 24-month-old’s social milestones

Get ready for a little competition because around their second year, some toddlers develop a strong preference for one parent over the other. This favoritism can last for a few days or longer. Then it may reverse itself. The feelings often follow a separation, such as a trip.

Although this development may hurt you or your partner’s feelings, it’s a natural part of learning to separate—and to love. It’s only temporary, even if it feels like an eternity.

On the bright side, at this age your child may become more interested in playing with other kids and expanding their social circle. So, get ready to add some playdates to your busy calendar. 

Those are some of the exciting things happening in your toddler’s world at 21 to 24 months. Of course, just like those adorable giggles and inevitable meltdowns, there are even more incredible developments to come.