No one would argue that, for the new parent staring into the face of their tiny creation, it is love at first sight. But for that squirmy bundle of joy peering back up at them, their perspective offers only a fuzzy outline of Mommy or Daddy.
For each infant, the complex form and function of the eye develops miraculously over the course of their nine months inside the womb. But they will also spend the first nine months out of their Mama’s belly completing their visual development. Here are some of the markers of infant vision:
- Baby is able to focus only on objects about 8-10 inches away– the perfect distance to find Daddy or Mommy’s loving gaze as they’re being held
- As they are yet unable to focus on moving objects, infants’ eyes will often wander or become cross eyed when they try
- Baby will prefer simple patterns and color contrasts, such as black and white
- Little ones quickly begin to develop their focusing skills, and will start to be able to follow their parent’s eyes if they move their head side to side, slowly
- They also are starting to distinguish more colors from one another, and will enjoy observing brighter and more detailed pictures and toys
- By three months of age, babies should be able to reach out at objects/faces
- Infant vision is now developed enough to distinguish all the colors from one another
- Depth perception is now at play, helping baby grasp a three-dimensional picture of the world around them
- Motor skills and visual development will now join forces and allow this tiny human to judge the distance of an object and grasp it. Practice this skill by holding out rattles in front of them!
- Every infant should be seen by an optometrist at the age of six months. This allows the eye doctor to check for any vision deficiency, eye movement, and any other eye health problems.
- When baby starts to crawl, his or her eye coordination is greatly improved. Encouraging early crawling, rather than early walking, will speed up their visual development!
- Most little ones’ eyes have now revealed their true colors- though some babies’ eyes may continue to change hues slightly
- By its ninth month, baby is now able to see as well as the average adult!
Most infants’ vision develops without any hitches. But in the case that they have developed any complications, make sure you bring your baby into the optometrist if you notice any of the following signs:
- Excessive tearing
- Red or encrusted eyelids
- Constant or frequent eye turning
- Extreme sensitivity to light
- Appearance of a white pupil
Daddy and Mommy should be aware of the infant vision markers, so they can ensure and encourage proper development. But most of all, parents can enjoy the incredible gift of witnessing their child begin to take in the world around them!