Causes for Concern

Español (Spanish)

If your child does not reach the milestones below, it could be cause for concern, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. How your child plays, learns, speaks, and acts provides important clues about development. If you check some of the boxes below, you should talk to your doctor, or seek assistance through Help Me Grow by contacting your local program here.

Baby Diaper
At age 2 months, your baby:

  • Doesn’t respond to loud sounds
  • Doesn’t watch things as they move
  • Doesn’t smile at people
  • Doesn’t bring hands to mouth
  • Can’t hold head up when pushing up when on tummy

At 4 months, your baby:

  • Doesn’t watch things as they move
  • Doesn’t smile at people
  • Can’t hold head steady
  • Doesn’t coo or make sounds
  • 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

At age 6 months, your baby:

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

At age 9 months, your baby:

  • Doesn’t bear weight on legs with support
  • Doesn’t sit with help
  • Doesn’t babble (“mama”, “baba”, “dada”)
  • Doesn’t play any games involving back-and-forth play
  • Doesn’t respond to own name
  • Doesn’t seem to recognize familiar people
  • Doesn’t look where you point
  • Doesn’t transfer toys from one hand to the other
At age 1 year, your baby:

  • Doesn’t crawl
  • Can’t stand when supported
  • Doesn’t search for things that she sees you hide
  • Doesn’t say single words like “mama” or “dada”
  • Doesn’t point to things
  • Doesn’t respond to simple spoken requests
  • Doesn’t use simple gestures, like shaking head “no” or waving “bye-bye”
  • Loses skills he or she once had

At age 18 months, your baby:

  • Doesn’t point to show things to others
  • Can’t walk
  • Doesn’t show affection to familiar people
  • Doesn’t know what familiar things are for
  • Doesn’t copy others
  • Doesn’t gain new words
  • Doesn’t have at least 6 words
  • Doesn’t notice or mind when a caregiver leaves or returns
  • Loses skills he once had

At age 2 years, your child:

  • Doesn’t use two-word phrases (for example, “drink milk”)
  • Doesn’t know what to do with common things, like a brush, phone, fork, spoon
  • Doesn’t copy actions and words of others, especially adults and older children
  • Doesn’t follow simple instructions
  • Doesn’t points to things or pictures when they are named
  • Doesn’t walk steadily
  • Loses skills he or she once had

At age 3 years, your child:

  • Falls down a lot or has trouble with stairs
  • Drools or has very unclear speech
  • Can’t work simple toys (such as peg boards, simple puzzles, turning handle)
  • Doesn’t speak in sentences
  • Doesn’t understand simple instructions
  • Doesn’t play pretend or make-believe
  • Doesn’t play with other kids or with toys
  • Doesn’t make eye contact
  • Loses skills he once had
At age 4 years, your child:

  • 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 toileting
  • Can’t retell a favorite story
  • Doesn’t follow three-part commands
  • Doesn’t understand “same” and “different”
  • Doesn’t use “me” and “you” correctly
  • Speaks unclearly
  • Loses skills he or she once had
    At age 5 years, your child:
    African Baby

  • Doesn’t show a wide range of emotions
  • Shows extreme behavior (unusually fearful, aggressive, shy or sad)
  • Is unusually withdrawn and not active
  • Is easily distracted, has trouble focusing on one activity for more than 5 minutes
  • Doesn’t respond to people, or responds only superficially
  • Can’t tell what’s real and what’s pretend
  • Can’t give first and last name
  • Doesn’t talk about daily activities or experiences
  • Doesn’t draw pictures
  • Can’t brush teeth, wash and dry hands, or get undressed without help
  • Loses skills he or she once had

To learn more about age-appropriate milestones, check the website of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at cdc.gov/Milestones

This chart was developed by The Children’s Trust, the Children’s Services Council serving Miami-Dade County.