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 consult an expert in development 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

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