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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. Their ability to see is therefore something that’s learned, much like walking and talking. Here are some important milestones in the development of your baby’s vision.


Birth to Four Months

Newborns gradually develop their sense of sight. Since there was little visual stimulation inside the womb, it’s important to give babies lots of 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 that are approximately eight to 10 inches from their face. 
  • Between two and four months, they’ll begin following moving objects with their eyes and start to develop hand-eye coordination. 


Five to Eight Months 

This is the age at which babies begin recognizing their parents’ faces. Their colour vision develops fully and they may show a preference for certain colours. Optometrists recommend that a child have their first eye exam at six months of age.

Nine to 12 Months

At this point, your baby’s depth perception (ability to judge the distance of an object) improves and they will start grasping objects. They’ll also begin pulling themselves up, crawling and trying to walk.

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’re able to 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. 

Pediatric Eye Exams in Edmonton

Optometrists’ Clinic Inc. offers comprehensive pediatric eye exams in Edmonton. The exam is tailored to your child’s needs and abilities. Most exams include a vision test, eye alignment test, colour vision test and an ocular health examination. Proper eye care is an important part of your child’s development. Contact us today to book an appointment.