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Well Child Care > Well child care: 2 1/2 Years (30 Months)

Well child care: 2 1/2 Years (30 Months)

At this visit, your pediatrician or nurse practitioner will review language and social development, behavior issues, and growth.

Developmental Goals

  • Increasing vocabulary and more complex sentence structure is noted at 30 months. Many of the child’s words are still difficult to understand at this age. Encourage verbal growth by expanding on what kids say. For example, if they say, “blue ball,” you can say, “yes that is a big blue ball bouncing away!”
  • Talk about colors, name body parts, discuss shapes, sing the ABCs, and count often. This all helps kids learn a number of things many parents didn’t think they could!
  • Encourage running, kicking, throwing, and climbing – with supervision!
  • Expect curiosity about genitals – teach the correct terms.
  • At this age they should know 6 body parts.
  • A 30 month old should be able to follow a 2-step command, such as “pick up your shoes and give them to me.”
  • Potty training: Kids develop at various stages. Let them take the lead when to start potty training. They are ready when they show interest (wanting to sit on a potty chair, wanting a wet diaper off, telling you when they are wet). If you push, they will resist. Show excitement and give praise for interest and any steps in the right direction (sitting on potty, peeing in potty, washing hands, etc.). You can put the idea in their head … “I’m going to the potty. Boy, do I feel good! I went on the potty, didn’t get my pants dirty, got to flush the toilet, got to use the foamy soap, etc.” … but don’t tell them directly to go. They resist being told anything!
  • Screen time: For children 2-5 years, limit screen time to 1 hour a day of high-quality, age appropriate programming. Watch with your children to help them understand what they're watching and to apply it to the world around them. Designate media-free times, such as during dinner, and media-free spaces, such as bedrooms. Use the Family Media Use Plan tool from the AAP to help.
  • Read daily! What a fun way to bond, to teach language and to continue a love of books!
  • Messiness is common. Allow kids to get messy with foods as they build on their coordination eating with utensils. They also appreciate and learn from working with different textures: play dough, finger paints, sand, etc., are a great way to learn!
  • Separation anxiety is common at this age. Try to arrive at your destination a bit early to let them adjust, then give a hug or high five and leave. A teacher or sitter might need to hold them for you to leave. Typically they soon start having fun and don’t want to leave when you come to pick them up. But then they cry at drop off again the next day. Don’t worry – this is normal!
  • See also Speech Development


  • Use time-outs (2- 2.5 minutes).See our time out rules.
  • Children learn by example. Never hit them to teach that hitting is wrong.
  • Praise good behavior, be consistent, and reinforce limits.
  • Ask your 30 month old to help with tasks around the house, such as picking up toys or putting clothes in the laundry basket. Make it fun by singing songs or making it into a game.
  • Be sure to keep a routine for eating and sleeping times. When kids are tired, sick, or hungry, they tend to become whiny and throw tantrums!


  • Kids can eat an unrestricted variety as long as it's a well balanced diet. A parent should decide what kids eat, but they decide how much! If they favor one type of food, offer it after other healthy foods have been eaten to ensure a good balance.
  • Toddlers graze – offer healthy snacks. Be sure to balance all the food groups over the course of the week. Try to give a plant (fruit or vegetable) plus a protein each time your child eats. This helps them get to the 5-a-day fruit/vegetable recommended intake. 
  • Limit juice and minimize sugary snacks. Juice offers little nutrition and has a lot of sugar! See Dr. Stuppy's summary of the AAP Juice Guidelines for more. 
  • Don’t force feed. Toddlers don’t need many calories, just be sure what they eat is good for them.
  • Low-fat milks are appropriate. Limit to no more than 24 oz. daily. Too much milk is dangerous because it fills kids up and they don’t eat other nutrient rich foods, leading to deficiencies in other vitamins and iron.
  • All children should receive a supplement of vitamin D and iron because they do not get enough in their diet. Learn more about vitamin D.
  • Sippy cups, straw cups or regular cups may be used. No bottles at this age unless the child has developmental issues!
  • See our feeding section for more age-specific feeding recommendations.


  • Kids get 8-12 viral infections per year. Visit our cold and cough page as needed.
  • Smoke exposure and day care increase risk of viral infections.
  • Fever (temperature more than 100.5° F. under the arm) is the body’s response to illness. It can be a good thing by helping to eliminate infection. Treat only if uncomfortable.
  • Continue to wipe or brush child's teeth twice/day.
  • Use a pea sized amount of toddler or training toothpaste to teach your child to spit after brushing.
  • We offer fluoride varnish at well visits until you can establish care with a pediatric dentist.
  • Dentists recommend dental visits at this age.
  • For more on dental care, see our dental section.
  • Smoking in enclosed spaces allows smoke dust to settle on cloths and hair. When held, the child inhales the smoke dust and can develop allergies, asthma, and ear infections. Never smoke around your child or in the home or car – even if the child is not present at the time.
  • If you choose to stop the pacifier, there are many methods. Some parents choose the cold turkey method. Others keep it in the crib only for a few weeks, then stop it. Some will cut off the tip, so the child loses interest. See our dental section for more information.
  • For fever, use Acetaminophen (Tylenol) or Ibuprofen as directed. Dosing chart is on our medication page.


  • Fever is common after shots for 1-2 days. Give Acetaminophen every 4-6 hours only as needed for symptoms. It is no longer recommended to prevent symptoms after shots because that might make the vaccines less effective.
  • Bring your shot record each visit.
  • Review the VIS (Vaccine Information Sheet) before visits.
  • Flu (Influenza) shots are recommended each Fall.


  • Continue a car seat with harness until at least 4 -5 years of age, regardless of weight. Never use thick clothing in the car seat.
  • Street safety: Teach toddlers to stay out of the street and hold hands if possible in parking lots and when crossing the street.
  • Check out Charlie's House for many safety tips, including videos on installing furniture straps. 
  • Lock up poisons, knives and guns. Keep ammunition locked separately.
  • Keep your kids from wandering and getting lost with Dr. Stuppy's 7 tips.
  • To learn how to properly dispose of outdated or recalled medications, see How to Safely Dispose of Medications. For most medicines, do not flush down the toilet or pour down the drain.
  • Sunscreen – use whenever outdoors. Apply 30 minutes before going out and re-apply every 2 hours. Remember to use sunscreen on cloudy days too.
  • Use a helmet whenever on wheels: Trikes, Big Wheels, scooters, etc.
  • Do not expose any children to smoke! Remember that smoke dust stays on clothes, hair, carpet, and upholstery long after the cigarette is extinguished.
  • Change smoke alarm batteries yearly. Write the date of change on the alarm so you remember. Consider putting an alert in your calendar to remind you when to change it again.
  • Install new smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detector every 5 years.
  • We recommend reducing the temperature of your hot tap water to less than 120° F to prevent burns.
  • All parents should learn CPR and refresh skills every 2 years. For a list of CPR classes for both non-medical and medical professionals, visit Kansas City First Aid.
Be sure to obtain any required health forms at your well visit!

Make sure to schedule your child's 30 month well care appointment. Click here to request an appointment.


Review your insurance contract to see who is responsible for payment of specific things within your well visit. Many companies do not require a co pay for well care visits, but if additional topics are discussed (such as ill topics or refills of medications) they might require a payment from you. They might also require you to pay for all or part of any labs or testing done at well visits.

If you have questions about how your insurance handles codes performed at the time of well visits, please visit our insurance pages on patient responsibility with billing and Why am I being billed? I have insurance!

Parents As Teachers

Did you know your school district has a free parent information program for parents of infants to 3 years? This is called Parents As Teachers, and we find it to be a valuable resource for new parents.

Call your school district for more information:

Gardner 913-856-3035 
DeSoto 636-586-1008 
Shawnee Mission 913-993-9380 
Olathe 913-780-8106 
Blue Valley 913-239-4400

Find health information quickly in our parent toolkit.

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