Little Bear Little Bear, What Do You See? Your Infant’s Vision.

Vision guides our learning experiences from the moment we are born. Unfortunately though, our ability to see is not automatic, just like all of our skills and abilities, our vision develops over time.  Your infant’s vision changes rapidly over the first six months of life. When first born we see very little detail past about 10 inches (perfect for seeing the faces of Mom and Dad). During this time faces and high contrast targets will keep your baby’s attention best.

It is very normal at this age (up to 6 months) for the eyes to wander and almost seem to move independently of each other much like those of a chameleon. By 3 months of age your child’s tracking skills, eye alignment and focusing have improved to a point that he can follow moving objects and reach for things that get his attention. At 5-6 months old your child’s vision has developed to a point that she has a 3D view of her world. Color vision has also developed to a point that bright primary colors are very appealing, but she can also tell differences between softer hues. By around the age of 9 months your infant should be able to recognize you from across the room. Once he is approaching his first birthday, depth perception has improved to where he can throw toys with some degree of accuracy (watch out for flying Hot Wheels!) and by 2 yrs old this visual skill is at near adult levels. ( more info and tips on how to help with visual development up to 2 yrs of age )

Signs of problems parents should be aware of include excessive tearing, red or crusted eyelids, a constant eye turn, extreme light sensitivity or the appearance of a white pupil. Any of the above should concern you enough to see your optometrist. Even with no apparent problems I would encourage you to take advantage of the InfantSee program which provides a no cost assessment of your little one’s eyes and vision between the ages of 6-12 months. All TMS Eyecare doctors are providers for InfantSee.  For more information see InfantSee.org.