milestone red flags for toodlers
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Do you really know the milestone red flags for toddlers to watch out for?

It’s true that young children develop at their own rate and in the time that is right for them, and so, they can reach milestones at different ages.

There are certain concerns at specific ages regarding a young child’s development, often called milestone red flags.

These are signs that you should talk to your doctor and consider an early-intervention evaluation.

Here are some key milestone red flags for toddlers you definitely should look out for: 

Milestone Red Flags (1 to 3 months) 

                            1 month

  •                   Doesn’t startle at loud noises.
  •                   Doesn’t briefly follow moving objects with eyes.

                            2 months

  •                    When the child doesn’t respond to loud noises.
  •                    The child doesn’t watch things as they move.
  •                     Doesn’t notice own hands

                            3 months

  •                   Doesn’t smile at people.
  •                   Can’t hold head up and push chest up when on the tummy.
  •                   Doesn’t follow movement by turning head.
  •                    The child doesn’t bring hands to mouth.
  •                   Doesn’t chuckle in response to you.

 Milestone Red Flags (4 to 7 months) 

                            4-5 months

  •                   Doesn’t watch things as they move.
  •                   Doesn’t smile at people.
  •                   Can’t hold the head steady.
  •                   Doesn’t coo or make sounds.
  •                    The child doesn’t bring things to mouth.
  •                   Doesn’t push down with legs when feet are placed on a hard surface.
  •                   Has trouble moving one or both eyes in all directions.
  •                   Poor head control
  •                   Failure to reach for objects by 5 months

                            6 months

  •                   Doesn’t try to get things that are in reach.
  •                   Shows no affection for caregivers.
  •                   Doesn’t respond to nearby sounds.
  •                   Has difficulty getting things to mouth.
  •                   Seems very floppy, like a rag doll.
  •                   Doesn’t make vowel sounds such as “ah,” “eh,” “oh.”
  •                   The child doesn’t roll over in either direction.
  •                   Doesn’t laugh or make squealing sounds.
  •                   Seems very stiff, with tight muscles.

                           7 Months

  •                   Seems very stiff, with tight muscles
  •                   Seems very floppy, like a rag doll
  •                   Head still flops back when the 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

    Milestone Red Flags (8 to 12 months)

  •                   Does not crawl
  •                   Drags one side of the body while crawling (for over one month)
  •                   Cannot stand well even when supported
  •                   Does not babble by 8 months. (“dada,” “baba,” “mama”)
  •                    The child does not learn to use gestures such as waving or shaking head
  •                   Does not sit steadily by 10 months

                           9 months

  •                   Doesn’t bear weight on legs with support.
  •                   Doesn’t sit without help.
  •                   The child doesn’t respond to their own name.
  •                   Doesn’t seem to recognize familiar people.
  •                   Child doesn’t look where you point.
  •                   Doesn’t transfer toys from one hand to another.

    Milestone Red Flags (12 to 24 months) 

                            12 months

  •                   Doesn’t crawl.
  •                   Can’t stand even when supported.
  •                   Doesn’t search for things that are hidden from sight.
  •                   The child doesn’t point to things.
  •                   Doesn’t learn gestures like waving bye-bye or shaking head “no.”

                            18 months

  •                   Doesn’t point to show things to others.
  •                   The child doesn’t know what familiar things are for such as a comb, spoon, or cup.
  •                   Doesn’t copy others.
  •                   Doesn’t gain new words.
  •                   The child doesn’t say at least six words.
  •                   Doesn’t notice or mind when a caregiver leaves or returns.
  •                   Loses skills once had.
  •                   Cannot walk by 18 months
  •                   Fails to develop a mature heel-toe walking pattern after several months of                    walking, or walks exclusively on toes
  •                   Does not use two-word sentences by age 2
  •                   The child does not imitate actions or words by 24 months.
  •                   Does not follow simple one-step instructions by 24 months.

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   Milestone Red Flags (24 to 36 months)

                            2 years

  •                   Doesn’t know what to do with common things, such as a brush, phone,                          fork, or spoon.
  •                   The child doesn’t copy actions and words.
  •                   Doesn’t follow simple instructions.
  •                   The child doesn’t use two-word phrases such as “drink water.”
  •                   Doesn’t walk steadily.
  •                   Loses skills once had.
  •                   Persistent drooling or very unclear speech
  •                   Difficulty manipulating small objects
  •                   Inability to copy a circle by 3 years old
  •                   Inability to communicate in short phrases
  •                   No involvement in pretend play
  •                   Failure to understand simple instructions
  •                   Little interest in other children
  •                   Extreme difficulty separating from the primary caregiver.

    Milestone Red Flags (3 to 4 years)

                            3 years

  •                   Cannot jump in place
  •                   Drools or has very unclear speech.
  •                   Cannot ride a baby trike
  •                   Cannot grasp a crayon between thumb and fingers
  •                   Has difficulty scribbling
  •                   Cannot copy a circle
  •                   Cannot stack 4 legos
  •                   Still clings or cries when parents leave him
  •                   Shows no interest in interactive games
  •                   Ignores other children
  •                   Doesn’t respond to people outside the family
  •                   Doesn’t engage in fantasy play
  •                   Resists dressing, sleeping, using the toilet
  •                   Lashes out without any self-control when angry or upset
  •                   Doesn’t use sentences of more than three words
  •                   Doesn’t use “me” or “you” appropriately
  •                   Falls down a lot or has trouble climbing stairs.
  •                   Doesn’t understand simple instructions.
  •                   Doesn’t speak in sentences.
  •                    The child doesn’t make eye contact.
  •                   Doesn’t play pretend or make-believe.
  •                   Doe not want to play with other children or with toys.
  •                   Loses skills he once had.

                            4 years

  •                   Can’t jump in place.
  •                   Has trouble scribbling.
  •                   Shows no interest in interactive games or make-believe.
  •                   Ignores other children or doesn’t respond to people outside the family.
  •                   Resists dressing, sleeping, and using the toilet.
  •                   Doesn’t understand “same” and “different.”
  •                   The child doesn’t use “me” and “you” correctly.
  •                   Doesn’t follow three-part commands.


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