Girl toddler covering one eye with her hand

Your Baby’s Vision: Important Milestones

Vision develops in babies gradually, and they only become accustomed to focusing their eyes and processing visual information over time. Therefore, their ability to see is something that’s learned, much like walking and talking. Here are some critical milestones in the development of your baby’s vision.

 

Birth to Four Months

Since there was little visual stimulation inside the womb, it’s important to give babies many opportunities to practise using their vision during the first weeks and months  of their life. Here are a few interesting facts about their eyesight during this period:

  • Newborns are extremely sensitive to bright lights.
  • They can spot things with their peripheral vision, but their central vision isn’t great. 
  • After a few weeks, they’ll begin noticing large shapes and bright colours. 
  • Their eyes aren’t well-coordinated yet, and they may at times appear cross-eyed.
  • Tears start to form at around one month of age.
  • They can only focus on objects approximately 20 to 25 centimetres away from their face.
  • At three months, your baby should start to follow moving objects with their eyes and reach for things.

 

Five to Eight Months

This is the age at which babies begin recognizing their parents’ faces. Their colour vision develops fully, and they may prefer specific colours. 

 

This is also when your baby should develop depth perception and see the world in three dimensions. Most babies start crawling at eight months old, which improves hand-foot-eye coordination.

 

Six Months: Baby’s First Eye Exam

Regardless of whether you suspect your baby may have vision problems, your child should get a pediatric eye exam at six months. Most exams include vision and eye alignment tests, colour vision tests, and an ocular health examination.


Nine to 12 Months

At nine months, most babies can judge distances well, grasp objects with their thumb and forefinger, and throw things. By 12 months, babies are crawling and will start trying to walk. Crawling develops better hand-eye coordination than early walking, so parents should encourage their baby to crawl as much as possible.


12 to 24 Months 

At one year old, infants become interested in pictures. They can recognize familiar images in books. They start gesturing toward objects, and at 18 to 24 months, they can focus on things that are both near and far.

 

36 to 48 Months

After 36 months, an infant’s vision is almost 20/20. Your child should have an eye exam by the time they’re three years old.


Book a Pediatric Eye Exam with an Optometrist in Edmonton

At Optometrists’ Clinic Inc., our eye doctors can give your child a pediatric eye exam and diagnose problems early. They can also prescribe eyeglasses and sunglasses for your child. Contact us today to schedule an appointment at one of our clinics in Edmonton, Westlock and Leduc.

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