Milestone Toys and Gifts for 2-Year-Olds

Kids change a lot from the time they turn 2 to the time they turn 3. You get to watch your little one learn new words and phrases every day and get much stronger, taller and more coordinated physically. Along with this growth, there are several milestones that typically come during this year, and, of course, plenty of products that are made to help parents make these changes more easily.

If you’re a parent or a grandparent, you might want to incorporate some of these products into an upcoming birthday or holiday celebration, or just into your upcoming budget.

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Potty Training

Many kids won’t potty train until they’re 3 or even 4, but many are ready to begin as early as 18-24 months (You can consult your doctor or check these lists of signs of behavioral, physical and cognitive readiness for potty training. Potty training is a big deal, so I wrote a full post just about potty training toys and gifts: Click here to read it.

Transition from Crib to a Big Kid Bed

Big Enough for a Bed Board Book, $5 and under

Tots typically transition out of a crib to a big bed sometime during the time they’re 2. They can stay in a crib as long as they fit in it, but for some, it starts getting a little snug sometime within this year. Others need to transition out earlier because a new sibling is on the way.

The best article I found comparing the pros and cons of buying a toddler bed versus just skipping right to the twin is here on Apartment Therapy.

If you’re looking for a gift for a 2 year old who might move to a new, big kid bed soon, you could splurge on fun, twin-sized sheets or even a full bedding set to get them excited about the change. You might also consider one of several books available on the topic, especially if you think the new bed will be a hard sell. The Elmo book shown here got great reviews on Amazon.

OK to Wake! Children’s Alarm Clock and Nightlight, $28

Finally, along with the transition out of a crib comes the inevitable power trip toddlers get when they realize that they technically don’t have to stay in their beds anymore. My kid took about a week to realize there was nothing physically holding him in bed, and then the battles began – both at bedtime and for early morning wakeups.

Several clocks have been developed that help kids understand when it’s OK for them to actually get out of bed without having to understand how clocks or time work. The clock shown here, for example, simply changes color when kids are allowed to get out of bed, according to the times you set.

Becoming a Big Brother or Sister

My New Baby, by Rachel Fuller

Of course, not every 2-year-old must go through this fun period, but it’s certainly a very common time for kids to have to adjust to the idea of a new little sibling.

If this describes the 2-year-old in your life, there are plenty of books on the subject to help get them used to the idea, including the one shown here.

You can also get your little one a baby doll and some accessories to get him or her used to the idea of a baby being around. Some good baby doll options are Corolle dolls and Baby Stella dolls.

Eating at the Table (Instead of On the High Chair Tray)

It might be a little more difficult to pass this one off as a fun gift, but your 2-year-old might get excited about out-growing their baby high chair and getting one for bigger toddlers, like this OXO toddler booster seat.

It’s a bit pricey at $75 or so, but you can use it throughout their preschool years — and you might need it if you have another little one coming along who needs the other high chair.

I wish I had purchased one of these when mine was younger. I hesitated to spend the money, and he is now almost 4 and has been sitting in a grown-up chair on a yoga block covered with a towel to eat. It’s not a good look. I’m going to end up buying one of these now when I could have had a few more years of use out of it. (At least I will be able to use it with my second.)