Guide to Baby’s Vision Development

Did you recently welcome a new addition to the household? Congratulations! The first year is filled with many new developments, and one of them is vision. Unlike hearing, which is fully developed by the time your baby is born, vision is not as mature. As your baby’s eyesight changes, it’s important to know if his or her progress is on track.

Before we go over the month-to-month changes you can expect, let’s explain why your baby was born with developing vision. Surprisingly, it’s not because the eyes aren’t capable of seeing, but rather because the brain isn’t able to process all of the visual information. Because of this, your baby sees blurry and in black and white.

Monthly Milestones

As the brain develops, so does the baby’s eyesight. Let’s go into the vision changes you can expect in your newborn through each month.

●   One Month

When your baby is first born, he or she doesn’t know how to use the eyes as a pair. It is common for the eyes to cross or wander randomly, but this will change by next month. At this age, infants see 8-12 inches away and everything is in black, white, and shades of gray. Faces and geometric patterns are the most captivating to look at.

●   Two Months

At two months, your baby will begin to distinguish colors. He or she will probably show a preference for brighter colors and more intricate designs. Spend time looking at pictures books, photos, and soft toys. Your baby should also be able to hold a gaze for 10 seconds and move his or her head from side to side to track toys.

●   Four Months

Between 2-4 months, infants can begin moving their eyes to track objects. Infants are also discovering depth perception, which is why grasping onto hair, glasses, and jewelry is common.

●   Five Months

Object permanence is a milestone at this age, which refers to being able to determine what/where an object is without seeing the entire thing. For example, your baby will learn that you don’t disappear when playing peek-a-boo. Babies at this age prefer bold colors and can even see differences in pastel colors.

●   Eight Months

It’s hard to believe that at birth, your baby was born with vision at 20/200 to 20/400 and just 8 months later has vision that is comparable to yours! You might notice that your baby’s vision is more focused on things that are up close, but he or she can recognize faces and objects across the room.

What’s Next?

During the first year, your pediatrician will check your baby’s vision at every well check. Let your doctor know if there are serious eye problems that run in your family. Also, keep an eye out (no pun intended) for potential signs of a problem such as eye crossing, shaking, or structural abnormalities. If you notice anything out of the ordinary, talk to your doctor who can refer you to a pediatric eye specialist.