Children generally start pointing around age 1 but it isn't really cause for concern if not unless they are still not pointing by 18months. By this time they should be pointing out things of interest as well as pointing to things they want.
Its a difficult one because I dont really have that sort of relationship where I could say something and know that it would be received in the right way IYSWIM.
We do have a mutual friend, but she doesnt have kids etc etc.. it is really awkward. I have been thinking this for last couple of weeks and dont know what to do. She doesnt have much family and no kids there either.
I wouldn't say anything because unless she pushes she won't get anywhere with the system at this age- you'll be shot as the messenger. Unfortunately unless the parents are very switched on and push you get nowhere. I thought there were problems with ds1 at this age, but my attempts to alert others got me nowhere. Of course now I know I should have been more insistent.
you see they'll say "oh all children develop at different rates" and as you don't actually want anything to be wrong with your child you accept that (although the relief is, ime, short lived).
Unless as a parent you can reply "actually here is the CHAT test, he fails so I want a referral to a developmental paediatrician please" then you get nowhere. Of course if there's anything wrong with ds3 that's exactly what I'll do (its what I'll do if he's not pointing at 18 months) - but I think that's very hard to do first time round. And unless she already has concerns herself then I doubt you'll get very far.
However when I start a national campign for the CHAT test at 18 months (I do intend to do something), then you are more than welcome to join us!