Infants are born with a complete visual system but must actually learn how to see. A child’s vision will develop throughout the first year of life.
We have highlighted some of those milestones below.
THE NEWBORN STAGE
Newborns can differentiate between light and dark but can’t see all colors. They are also extremely nearsighted, so far-away objects are blurry. This nearsightedness may explain why babies seem to gaze at nearby objects. Studies have shown that infants enjoy looking at faces, but they probably aren’t able to see much facial detail.
Depth perception is not present at birth, but around months 3-5, the eyes are capable of working together to form a three-dimensional view of the world. Focusing ability improves so much that a baby can differentiate between a mother’s face and a stranger’s face. Also around this time, a baby usually develops the ability to track and follow a slow-moving object and reach for things.
6-12 MONTHS OF AGE
By 6 months, sight becomes a baby’s most dominant sense. This is the time to schedule your baby’s first eye exam. While preschool screenings are great, they do not substitute for a comprehensive eye health exam. The doctor tests for excessive nearsightedness, farsightedness or astigmatism, eye movement, focusing and teaming as well as muscle control and eye-health problems.
We proudly participate in the national InfantSEE program sponsored by former President Jimmy Carter. We see infants under age 12 months for a comprehensive vision exam for FREE.