Milestones: Red Flags to Watch For

Red flags to watch out for when children reach a milestone

Source: By Jessica Snyder Sachs from Parents Magazine

Milestones: Red Flags to Watch For

While young children can reach milestones at different ages, the CDC says you should talk to your doctor and consider an early-intervention evaluation if your child displays any of these signs or has a dramatic loss of skills.

Birth to 4 months

  • Has trouble moving eyes or crosses them most of the time
  • Doesn't respond to loud noises
  • Doesn't notice own hands (by 2 months)
  • Doesn't follow moving objects with eyes (by 3 months)
  • Doesn't grasp objects (by 3 months) Doesn't smile at people (by 3 months)
  • Can't support head (by 3 months)
  • Doesn't babble or try to imitate sounds (by 4 months)
  • Doesn't bring objects to mouth (by 4 months)
  • Doesn't push down with legs when feet are on firm surface (by 4 months)

At 7 Months

  • Seems very stiff, with tight muscles
  • Seems very floppy, like a rag doll
  • Head still flops back when body is pulled to a sitting position
  • Reaches with only one hand
  • Refuses to cuddle Shows no affection for the person who cares for him
  • Persistent tearing, eye drainage, or sensitivity to light
  • Difficulty getting objects to mouth
  • Doesn't roll over in either direction (by 5 months)
  • Can't sit with help (by 6 months)
  • Doesn't laugh or make squealing sounds (by 6 months)

At 1 Year

  • Doesn't crawl or drags one side of body while crawling
  • Can't stand when supported
  • Doesn't search for objects that he sees being hidden
  • Says no single words
  • Doesn't use gestures such as shaking head "no"
  • Doesn't point to objects or pictures
  • Can't walk (by 18 months)
  • Doesn't walk heel-toe within a few months of walking

At 2 Years

  • Doesn't speak at least 15 words
  • Doesn't use two-word sentences
  • Doesn't imitate actions or words
  • Doesn't follow simple instructions
  • Can't push a wheeled toy

At 3 Years

  • Frequently falls or has difficulty with stairs
  • Drools persistently or speaks unclearly
  • Can't build a tower of more than four blocks
  • Has trouble manipulating small objects
  • Can't copy a circle
  • Can't communicate in short phrases
  • Doesn't engage in pretend play
  • Doesn't understand simple instructions
  • Shows no interest in other children
  • Makes poor eye contact
  • Has little interest in toys

Related Blog Posts

aggression in playground

School yard Aggression: are boys meaner than girls?

According to a recent article in the Sydney Morning Herald, a study conducted in Sydney high schools suggests female students are more likely to engage in social and relational aggression – rumour spreading and manipulation – in the junior years. But, by years 9 and 10, the boys overtake them

Learn more
gaming

Video Games 101: A guide for families

Video games are increasingly a huge part of children’s lives, but many adults do not have an understanding of their potential advantages and disadvantages, what is appropriate for each age group, and why children find them so

Learn more
assessments

What are IQ/Cognitive/ Psychometric Assessments?

What You Need to Know about IQ and Cognitive Assessments

Learn more