From the AOA:
At birth, babies can’t see as well as older children or adults. Their eyes and visual system aren’t fully developed. But significant improvement occurs during the first few months of life.
The following are some milestones to watch for in vision and child development. It is important to remember that not every child is the same and some may reach certain milestones at different ages.
Birth to four months
Up to about 3 months of age, babies’ eyes do not focus on objects more than 8 to 10 inches from their faces.
- At birth, babies’ vision is abuzz with all kinds of visual stimulation. While they may look intently at a highly contrasted target, babies have not yet developed the ability to easily tell the difference between two targets or move their eyes between the two images. Their primary focus is on objects 8 to 10 inches from their face or the distance to parent’s face.
- During the first months of life, the eyes start working together and vision rapidly improves. Eye-hand coordination begins to develop as the infant starts tracking moving objects with his or her eyes and reaching for them. By eight weeks, babies begin to more easily focus their eyes on the faces of a parent or other person near them.
- For the first two months of life, an infant’s eyes are not well coordinated and may appear to wander or to be crossed. This is usually normal. However, if an eye appears to turn in or out constantly, an evaluation is warranted.
- Babies should begin to follow moving objects with their eyes and reach for things at around three months of age.
Five to eight months
- During these months, control of eye movements and eye-body coordination skills continue to improve.
- Depth perception, which is the ability to judge if objects are nearer or farther away than other objects, is not present at birth. It is not until around the fifth month that the eyes are capable of working together to form a three-dimensional view of the world and begin to see in depth.
- Although an infant’s color vision is not as sensitive as an adult’s, it is generally believed that babies have good color vision by five months of age.
- Most babies start crawling at about 8 months old, which helps further develop eye-hand-foot-body coordination. Early walkers who did minimal crawling may not learn to use their eyes together as well as babies who crawl a lot.
Nine to twelve months
By the age of nine to twelve months, babies should be using their eyes and hands together.
- At around 9 months of age, babies begin to pull themselves up to a standing position. By 10 months of age, a baby should be able to grasp objects with thumb and forefinger.
- By twelve months of age, most babies will be crawling and trying to walk. Parents should encourage crawling rather than early walking to help the child develop better eye-hand coordination.
- Babies can now judge distances fairly well and throw things with precision.
One to two years old
- By two years of age, a child’s eye-hand coordination and depth perception should be well developed.
- Children this age are highly interested in exploring their environment and in looking and listening. They recognize familiar objects and pictures in books and can scribble with crayon or pencil.
This information is brought to you by Clarin Eye Care, please contact our office for more information.