Newborns often have small pupils. After a couple of weeks, pupil widening and retinal formation are expected, allowing them to appreciate various colors, as well as differentiate shapes and sizes. Upon reaching their first month, their focusing ability will start to take shape, which is why they start showing interest in nearby things at 8-10 inches. Their caregivers face is the perfect target!
Two to Four Months Old
The eyes of two-month old babies may still have problems coordinating with each other, which is why they appear crossed most of the time. This usually resolves on its own after some time. However, if an eye appears to turn in or out constantly, an evaluation is warranted. They are also learning to follow moving objects with their eyes. By their fourth month, their tracking and eye-arm coordination are good enough for them to reach for nearby objects.
Five to Eight Months Old
Five-month old babies have developed depth perception skills, letting them reach for both far and close things. You can also expect them to recognize your face, even if you’re across the room. We recommend having their eyes checked as early as six months of age to check for signs of potential vision problems. As they turn eight months old, they may start crawling around, enhancing their hand-eye coordination skills. Color vision develops around 5 months, but will not be as sensitive as an adult’s color vision.
Nine to Twelve Months Old
At this age, babies usually have their final eye color. They may also have a fairly good sense of judging distances. This is helpful as they start exploring their fine and motor skills by throwing, grasping, standing, and even walking.
Upon reaching their first year, your children should have an intact sense of sight, which is why you may notice growing interest in their surroundings. Since most refractive errors, like nearsightedness, develop during childhood, we advise having them undergo routine eye exams. This way, we can render necessary myopia control or other appropriate management as soon as possible
There are many things parents can do to help their baby’s vision develop properly. The following are some examples of age-appropriate activities that can assist an infant’s visual development. Remember, gross motor skills should be strongly developed, as they are the foundational skills for fine motor and oculomotor development.
Birth to four months
- Change the crib’s position frequently and change your child’s position in it.
- Keep reach-and-touch toys within your baby’s focus, about eight to twelve inches.
- Talk to your baby as you walk around the room.
- Alternate right and left sides with each feeding.
Five to eight months
- Hang a mobile, crib gym or various objects across the crib for the baby to grab, pull and kick.
- Give the baby plenty of time to play and explore on the floor.
- Provide plastic or wooden blocks that can be held in the hands.
- Play patty cake and other games, moving the baby’s hands through the motions while saying the words aloud.
Nine to twelve months
- Play hide and seek games with toys or your face to help the baby develop visual memory.
- Name objects when talking to encourage the baby’s word association and vocabulary development skills.
- Encourage crawling and creeping. Floor play is still very important opposed to walkers or play centers.
One to two years
- Roll a ball back and forth to help the child track objects with the eyes visually.
- Give the child building blocks and balls of all shapes and sizes to play with to boost fine motor skills and small muscle development.
- Read or tell stories to stimulate the child’s ability to visualize and pave the way for learning and reading skills.