How can I tell if my baby has vision problems?
The visual behavior and vision of infants follows a fairly regular developmental pattern and is about 90 percent complete by the end of the first year of life. It is, in fact, one of the few body systems to be this well developed at such an early age.
The following points summarize the steps in vision development that you should expect to see.
- In the first six weeks of life: Both eyes are open when the baby is awake. A baby's eyes have an obvious response to bright lights. They can perceive details, slightly washed-out colors and motion.
- From age 6 weeks to 3 months: A baby can fixate on objects and track them with interest. Near objects are more easily perceived than distanct ones. Although you can't measure it yourself, your baby is experiencing improved clarity, detailed vision, color vision and development of depth perception.
- At 3 months to 1 year: Your baby has the ability to fixate constantly on an object and to pursue objects with both eyes when alert and attentive at both near and far distances. Although you can't measure it yourself, about 90 percent of adult visual ability (detail vision, color vision, depth perception, slow and fast eye movements) should be present.
If your child is not meeting these milestones, it is important to bring this to the attention of your baby's pediatrician for evaluation and possible referral to an eye-care professional.