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Ages & Stages

Your Checkup Checklist: 2 ½ Years Old (30 Months)

At 2 ½ years old, your toddler will have built on all of the skills that were beginning to blossom at age 2. Physically, children this age have more control over their bodies. They can jump with both feet, run and slow quickly to a stop. They can take off some clothes, and use their fingers to turn doorknobs and pages of a book.

The way they play is more advanced as well. Children this age love to act out things they see family members do. They may pretend to feed a doll or talk on a phone. They like routine and order, lining up toys and even categorizing them. They may request the same story at bedtime over and over. Children this age like to play independently but also collaborate sometimes. They may play next to other children one moment, and with them the next.

Your child may have more to say these days, as 30-month-olds use words more to communicate. Their vocabulary has expanded to about 50 words, and they use phrases of two or more words. They may name what they see in a picture book if you point and ask, "What is this?"

Besides performing a complete physical exam and asking you about your concerns, the pediatrician will focus on language and social development at the 30-month checkup. Here's what else to expect at this visit:

✅ Immunizations

At 30 months, most children are caught up with vaccinations. Your pediatrician will recommend the influenza (flu) vaccine if it's flu season, and likely will discuss the latest Covid-19 guidelines. Any missed or delayed vaccines will be given. See "Vaccines Your Child Needs by Age 6."

✅ Health Screenings

Your pediatrician will perform a physical exam and plot your child's growth on a CDC Growth Chart. Your child's coordination, use of words, and socialization will be observed. The pediatrician will be looking to see how you and your child communicate, and what questions and phrases your child uses. If the child doesn't yet have a dentist, a fluoride varnish may be applied to their teeth. The pediatrician may ask about any emergency room visits, and assess risk for hearing and vision problems.

✅Developmental Screenings

Keep in mind that not all children reach milestones at the same time, but don't wait out any concerns. If your child does not meet CDC developmental milestones, or is losing skills, share your concerns and ask about developmental screening. Complete a CDC milestone checklist or use the milestone tracker app. Early action ensures your child will have access to interventions like speech therapy. States offer Early Intervention programs including evaluations, therapies, and other services for children under age three. Some services are free.

Social development also is important at this age. Your pediatrician may ask how often your child plays with other children and how playtimes go. Playdates and playgroups are good ways to promote social development if your toddler isn't in child care or preschool.

Questions your pediatrician may ask

  • Does your child engage in imaginary play with toys?

  • Can your child name at least one color?

  • Is your child able to grasp a crayon with their thumb and finger, rather than making a fist?

  • What new things is your child doing now? Can your child catch a large ball?

  • Is your child using a potty or toilet?

  • Does your child try to get you to watch them by saying "Look at me!"

  • Tell me about your child's personality? What are favorite things, people, and activities?

Questions you may have

❓ Did you know
Routines are important for a toddler's development. Routine family meals help children work on language and motor skills, and bedtime routines help young children transition from an active day to a good night's sleep.

✅Feeding & Healthy Nutrition

Just like two-year-olds, this age should have three meals, and one to two snacks a day. Provide healthy food, and then allow your child to choose how much to eat. Offer drinks in cups, and encourage the use of utensils.

Questions your pediatrician may ask

  • What routines do you have for meals?

  • Is your child using a cup? Can your child spear food with a fork?

  • How many cups of water and milk is your child drinking each day?

Questions you may have


As your child is more mobile, you may have more questions about safety. Your pediatrician will be concerned about car seat safety, water safety, and outdoor safety. Unintentional injury is the number one cause of death in young children.

Questions your pediatrician may ask

  • Does your child wear a helmet when riding as a passenger on a bike?

  • How do you keep your child safe around water?

  • Do you supervise your child around animals?

  • How do you supervise your child outside to keep them safe?

Questions you may have

✅ Communication Tips

One of your pediatrician's top priorities is to answer your questions and address your concerns. Don't hesitate to ask about your child's health, development, or behavior. Your pediatrician can offer advice on further evaluations if they are needed, and refer to specialists if warranted. Also, if your pediatrician is unable to see your child, but thinks care is necessary, they will let you know how quickly your child needs medical attention and advise you where to go.

More information

Last Updated
American Academy of Pediatrics (Copyright © 2022)
The information contained on this Web site should not be used as a substitute for the medical care and advice of your pediatrician. There may be variations in treatment that your pediatrician may recommend based on individual facts and circumstances.
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