If you buy something through a link on this site, I may receive a small commission. (Disclosure policy).
  • Post last modified:May 19, 2020
  • Post comments:1 Comment


I have a question about when a toddler not talking rolling eyes and has tantrums…

My nephew, who is a 21 months toddler is still not talking at all. He also recently has started to roll his eyes and has terrible temper tantrums.

I am really concerned about him as even the nursery commented on his eye rolling. I have mentioned it to my sister, but she says there is nothing the matter and he is fine.

Do you think there is reason for me to be concerned?


Baby Helpline:

Toddler is Not Talking, Rolling Eyes and Have Tantrums -Normal?

I understand that you are concerned and before commenting on the specific situation I want to say two things.

First of all, doctors often say that the one person that really knows if something is wrong with a baby or a young toddler is MOM.


Because she is usually the one who spends the most time with the baby and knows him or her the best. So if your sister says that her son is fine, chances are he really is.

Secondly, I’m not a doctor. And even if I was, trying to give medical advice online would be a really bad idea, I think.

Still, I want to share a few thoughts on the situation.

Not Talking at 21-Month-Old

Regarding the boy not talking, that doesn’t have to mean anything. Does he understand words at all? At around 18 months of age, at least in some countries, there is a health checkup at which the parents are asked if the toddler can say 10 words. If the baby can’t, then no big deal.

But if the baby says nothing, understands nothing and takes no part in the spoken family interaction at all, it could indicate a hearing or even a developmental problem. So such cases are usually followed up.

Here is a Q&A with another 21-month-old baby that doesn’t talk. It includes milestones to look for and warning signs that the verbal development needs to be followed up.

Toddler Tantrums – Normal or Not?

Regarding the tantrums – what does he do?

If he yells, cries, kicks, tries to bite etc when not getting his way, it is completely normal. At the age of 1.5 to 2 years, however, many babies are still quite easily distracted and thereby calmed. But that varies.

Here are some tips on how to deal with toddler tantrums without losing your own temper.

Eye-rolling in Toddlers

The one thing that that seems the most relevant to check-up is that the toddler is rolling eyes. Again, even though some babies do this because they can or because they are tired, I think it is advisable to talk to a doctor to rule out any illness.

If your sister decides that she wants to talk to a doctor, then filming the boy while rolling his eyes is probably a good way to get relevant help from a pediatrician.

Here is another Q&A about babies that roll their eyes and what the reason might be.

I hope this helps,

Add your comments below or return to Baby Development Q&A.

Share with your friends! :-)

Leave a Reply

This Post Has One Comment

  1. Worried

    You have to be careful on how you approach your sister with regards to her little boy, bearing in mind that she loves him more than anything & will fight for what she believes is the best for him.

    However, sometimes mums do suffer from denial & seem to not want to admit that there may be a cause for concern.

    What you should bear in mind is the fact that the nursery staff deal with & have dealt with a lot of kids, so if they are making comment or expressing concern maybe your sister should have a chat with her health visitor?