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The Development Process of an Infant’s Vision

Monday, November 17, 2014 @ 05:11 AM
Author: Amit Mathur

Your infant learns to see the same way he or she learns to walk and talk. Unfortunately, not every child is born with the vision capabilities they need to develop properly. A child’s ability to focus his or her eyes is what allows him or her to move with accuracy.

Processing Visual Information is a Learned Skill

From the moment your child is born he or she will start exploring the world with his or her eyes. Before they learn how to reach out and grab things, their eyes teach them. This is why your child’s vision is so important to his or her early development.

Vision and eye problems can cause significant developmental delays in children. This is why an important part of being a parent is knowing how to spot problems with your child’s vision.

The Steps in Which Your Infant’s Vision Develops

When your child is born, he or she will not be able to see as well as you do because their eyes have not had time to develop yet. During their first few months of life, there will be a significant improvement to how well they can see.

Newborn to Four Months

Until your baby is at least 3 months old, you should not expect him or her to focus on anything that is not very close to his or her face. From the moment your child is born, he or she will be consumed with visual stimulation. Everything will be fuzzy and overwhelming. It will take your child a while to adjust.

It is normal for your baby’s eyes to appear to wander or become crossed until about two months of age. If this continues into your baby’s third month, you should express concern to a doctor. At three months, you should notice your child’s interest in starting to follow moving objects.

Five to Eight Months

It is not until a child is five to six months old that he or she will start to develop depth perception. It is also believed that a child does not see color very well until the age of five or six months. Babies who learn to walk a lot earlier do not get the same vision development benefits of a baby who spends a lot of time crawling. This is because crawling helps develop your child’s hand and eye coordination better than walking does.

Nine to Twelve Months

Between nine and ten months is when the average baby learns how to pull him or herself up and start to cruise along objects. Even at twelve months, it is still a good idea to encourage crawling in order to help your child really develop his or her hand and eye coordination. By this point in your child’s development, he or she should have no trouble judging distance.

12 to 24 Months

By the time your child is two, he or she should have developed strong hand and eye coordination. He or she also should have great depth perception. Your child should not have any trouble recognizing objects he or she is familiar with.

Spotting Vision and Eye Problems

Eye and vision problems are uncommon in an infant, but they do happen. Some of the signs your infant has an eye and vision problem includes:

Lots of Tears: If your child sheds a lot of tears, it could mean his or her tear ducts are blocked.

Red Encrusted Eyelids: Sign of an eye infection.

Frequent Eye Turning: Problem with controlling eye muscle.

Noticeable Sensitivity to Light: Sign of too much pressure in the eye.

White Pupil: Sign of eye cancer.

If you notice any of these signs, you should take your child to a pediatrician or optometrist for an examination as soon as possible.

How Can You Help Your Child

Fortunately, there are a lot of things you can do to help your child’s vision develop properly. This can include frequently changing the position of your child’s bed and putting a nightlight in his or her room. This also includes introducing your child to toys that can enhance your child’s find motor skills.

Even if you do not notice any vision or eye problems in your child, you should still schedule your infant for an eye examination after the age of six months. The optometrist will check for eye health issues, nearsightedness, astigmatism, farsightedness, and movement abilities. Chances are pretty good you have nothing to worry about because of how rare vision and eye problems in infants are. However, it is always better for you to find the problem early to help with the development of your child.

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