Flores changed her name and adopted her mother's maiden name (Milian) in the hopes of landing a wider range of acting roles. The oldest of three sisters, including Danielle and Elizabeth, she moved with her family to Waldorf, Maryland, soon after her birth. Milian was four years old when she showed an interest in show business, and when her family realized that she was a talented actress, she became determined to pursue an entertainment career. As a child, Milian was "very imaginative and very creative", and watching television and listening to the radio became her life. They inspired her to have fun, and she convinced her parents that she "did not want to be inside the TV", although it took some time to convince them. By the time she was nine years old, Milian had begun auditioning with local talent agencies, shot commercials for Wendy's and Honeycomb, and played the lead role in the musical Annie. Milian's mother noticed her daughter's potential and left her husband and moved to Los Angeles with her three daughters when Milian was 13 years old. Her father had to stay in Maryland and divorced her mother soon after the move.