Hey, cool. A question I can answer and sound like I know what I'm talking about.
My older boy stopped sleeping in his crib shortly before his second birthday. He was fighting bedtime, trying to climb out, etc. (My younger one is only 9 months old and sleeps with us. Actually they both do.)
Older son didn't start talking till he was 2 1/2, but he had a speech delay (i.e. not saying a single word at the age of 2). I think even without speech therapy he would've started talking at 3... I remember there was this sudden explosion of both language and articulation, again, just before his birthday. He just didn't need to be in therapy anymore at that point.
Incidentally, both milestones have an extremely wide range. There's not really any "average," I don't think. Maybe there is in some ways, but it's not like rolling over or walking for an infant IMO (which also have ranges, just not as wide).
LOL! I don't think it has that much to do with genius, actually. Just personality and what they're ready for. For instance my friend's son was perfectly comfortable in his crib until he was 3, 3 1/2. Other babies start to climb out at age 18mos. Some take really well to a bed; others don't. (I'm sure we could've fought that battle if we felt like it, but we didn't.)
Speech is similar. One girl down the street was 2 but talked like my son at 3. Another boy in speech therapy wasn't saying anything at 3 because his older sister did all the talking for him (plus I think his mom babied him a bit, as the last child in the family).
BTW - you didn't ask about potty training, which is another big readiness/personality thing!
No potty references in this one. The conversation is really the key. She can be 2 1/2 but I don't think I can get away with three and keep the timeline. How does this look?
“Hey pumpkin, what’s with the tears?”
“So happy to see you, Daddy.”
“I’m happy to see you too, sweetheart. Are you ready to go?”
“Can you pick me up everyday?”
“We’ll see.” I swing her down to the floor, take her little hand in mine, and we saunter out into the sunshine. I look back at the receptionist and give her a wave. She wears a smile that makes her look as happy as we are. “What do you want to do today?”
“Can we see monkeys?” I strap her in her car seat. The wonder that is Central Park Zoo always begins and ends with the monkeys for Lily. Sometimes Lily makes my heart burst with joy.
“You are a monkey.”
“No I’m not. I’m a girl.”
I garb her sides and tickle her. I look down at my watch. “The zoo is a great idea. We’ve only got about an hour, so we better get a move on. After that we’re going to go and see Abby and Sara.”
If I remember correctly, two-year-olds say, "I want..." a lot. They're all into themselves, and their responses might not have anything to do with a question that's asked. Also, their tears are never tears of joy.
I'm obviously not a mom, though, so what do I know? ;)
"So happy to see you, Daddy" doesn't ring quite true for a 2yo. Often our older boy, at 4, still can't name why he feels a certain way. I usually have to give him choices: "Are you crying because you're sad, or because you're mad?" and then reasons: "Are you mad because I said no, or because your brother took your toy?" or whatever.
And Jude's right - he doesn't cry tears of joy. He might quiver and grin and say "I'm incited!" (Excited. LOL) He started with that when he was 3. As often, and I think this is age-appropriate for Lily, he comes running over with a "DADDY!!!" You know, the classic kid thing.
This is a conversation I can see having with my 4yo but I'm not sure we would've had when he was 2. If I asked him what he wanted to do he might have said "Monkeys." As for "No I'm not...." - we're definitely talking like that now. Not sure what it would have been at 2.
Researching and writing conversation with a small child is tricky because it's not just a matter of full sentences - it's also a matter of cognition, higher ordered thinking, etc. At what ages is a child capable of thinking and then saying certain things? I wonder if you could find a book or two on the subject.
That made me laugh! Sorry. :) Good luck. And don't expect his/her attention span to be longer than a couple of minutes at most. As soon as the kid senses this is important to you, they're gone. You *might* be able to squeeze a few extra seconds out if you do the interview during their favorite activity.
I am a bad mother. I don't remember. Maybe in a toddler bed at about 20 months? Speaking in sentences? Earlier, I think. Her first words were Chinese, so we don't know what they were, but her first English word was "cat" about three weeks after we brought her home. She was 14 months old.