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.

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    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)

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    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)

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    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

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    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

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    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

    Originally published in the June 2010 issue of Parents magazine.

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