Newborn – Toddler Vision
In the first month
Color vision develops in the first few weeks of life, so your baby is starting to see the world in full color. But visual acuity and eye teaming takes a bit longer — so if your infant’s eyes occasionally look unfocused or misaligned, don’t worry.
The eyes of infants are not as sensitive to visible light as adult eyes are, but they need protection from the sun’s harmful UV rays. Keep your baby’s eyes shaded outdoors with a brimmed cap or some other means.
2 -3 Months of age:
Your baby’s vision is improving each day and their two eyes are beginning to move better as a team. They should be following moving objects at this stage, and starting to reach for things they see. Also, infants at this stage are learning how to shift their gaze from one object to another without having to move their head.
4-6 Months of Age:
By 6 months of age, significant advances take place in the vision centers of the brain, allowing your infant to see more distinctly, move their eyes faster and more accurately, and have a better ability to follow moving objects with their eyes.
Visual acuity develops rapidly, improving from about 20/400 at birth to about 20/25 at six months of age. Your child’s color vision should be nearly fully developed at age six months as well, enabling them to see all the colors of the rainbow with ease.
Children also develop better eye-hand coordination at 4 to 6 months of age. They’re able to quickly locate and pick up objects, and accurately direct a bottle (and many other things) to their mouth.
7-12 Months of Age:
Your child is now mobile, crawling about and covering more distances than you might have expected. They are also better at judging distances and more skilled at locating, grasping and throwing objects, too.
During the 7 to 12 month, your child is developing a better awareness of their overall body and learning how to coordinate their vision with their body movements. At this time, watch them closely to keep them from harm as they explore their environment. Keep cabinets that contain cleaning supplies locked, and put a barrier in front of stairwells.
Q: When is it time for an eye exam?
A: If you suspect something is seriously wrong with your baby’s eyes in their first few months of life (a bulging eye, a red eye, excess tearing, or a constant misalignment of the eyes) take your child to a pediatric ophthalmologist or other eye doctor immediately.
For routine eye care, we recommend you schedule your baby’s first eye exam when they are six months old. Though your baby can’t yet read letters on a wall chart, non-verbal testing can be performed to determine visual acuity, detect excessive or unequal amounts of nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism, and evaluate eye teaming and alignment. During this exam, your doctor will also check the health of your baby’s eyes, looking for anything that might interfere with normal and continuing vision development.
We provide eye care for even the youngest children. For more information about eye exams for kids or to schedule your child’s first eye exam, please call our office at 562-904-1989.