Checklist for Babies & Infants1
Healthy eyes and good vision are critical in how babies and infants learn to see. Babies learn to see, just like they learn to walk and talk. Use this eye-health milestone checklist to help ensure proper vision development during your baby’s first couple of years. Eye and vision problems during this time can cause critical developmental delays that affect education and learning later on.
Birth to four months
- There are all kinds of visual stimulation early on. The ability to easily tell the difference between two targets or move their eyes between two images has not yet developed.
- Within two months, a baby eyes are not well coordinated and may wander or cross. This is usually normal. But, see an eye care professional (ECP) if an eye appears to turn in or out constantly.
- By two months, eyes begin to focus on faces directly in front of them, but can’t focus on objects more than 8 to 10 inches away.
- At three months, eyes start working together and vision improves; eye-hand coordination begins to develop and babies begin to follow moving objects with their eyes and reach for things.
Five to eight months
- Control of eye movements and eye-body coordination skills continue to improve.
- The eyes become capable of working together and begin to see in depth.
- Take your infant to their first thorough eye examination at six months, even if no eye or vision problems are apparent. Vision development and eye health problems are easier to correct at this age if discovered and treated early.
- Although an infant’s color vision is not very sensitive, good color vision is mostly developed by this age.
- Most babies start crawling around eight months, which helps further develop eye-hand-foot-body coordination. Early walkers who did minimal crawling may not learn to use their eyes together as well as babies who crawled a lot.
Nine to 12 months
- Babies should be using their eyes and hands together.
- Babies begin to pull themselves up to a standing position.
- By 10 months, babies should be able to grasp objects with thumb and forefinger.
- Babies can now judge distances fairly well and throw things with precision.
One to two years old
- Children at this age are highly interested in exploring their environment, looking and listening.
- By age two, eye-hand coordination and depth perception should be well developed.
- Familiar objects and pictures in books are easily recognized.
- American Optometric Association. Infant Vision: Birth to 24 Months of Age. [Accessed June 26, 2014]