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A Complete Guide to Newborn Vision

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How much do you know about newborn vision? Many people don’t realize that a child’s vision is limited in the first few months and years of their life. If you want to understand just how well your child can see, there are a few important stages of development to read about as your baby’s eyesight improves.

Birth to 4 months

Newborn vision is limited; at this stage, babies are not yet capable of focusing their eyes or telling the difference between two targets. They are only capable of seeing objects that are 8 to 12 inches away from their face. It’s common for a baby’s eyes to become crossed in the first few months of their life and while hand-eye coordination begins to develop. By 2 months, they can start to focus on the faces of their parents and on other individuals. By 3 months of age, they should begin to reach for certain objects that they see. Most children only hold their gaze for several seconds during this stage.

5 to 9 months

A baby’s depth perception begins to develop between the ages of 5 to 9 months. They also develop stronger color vision by this time. Their ability to begin crawling around during this stage helps their coordination to develop.

Signs that your baby needs to have their vision tested include a constant shaking of the eyes, a family history of eye problems or structural abnormalities of the eyes. There may also be signs of eye or muscle issues if the baby tends to be cross-eyed frequently. They may require glasses that will improve the development of their vision.

9 to 12 months

Children’s eyes are close to their normal color by 9 months, and their vision becomes sharper; they can begin to spot crumbs that are visible. They should be capable of pointing at objects that are nearby. By 12 months of age, they can tell the difference between near and far objects once their depth perception is fully developed.

12 to 24 months

Visual milestones that take place between the age of 12 to 24 months include recognizing a change in setting. Babies begin to notice birds or airplanes, locate pictures in books, point to people, identify a unique object that is in a group of other types of objects and match identical objects. They will also be capable of recognizing familiar people from a distance and should get excited to see family members or friends.

Knowing what to expect from newborn vision can help you understand what your baby is capable and then how they will progress during the next few months.

Take a look at the most common questions and answers from pediatrician about newborn baby here.


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