Infant Vision

“When my son was about 2 weeks old, I noticed him staring at mural on the wall above his changing table. It was a mural of Noah’s ark, and on it was a multitude of brightly coloured animals. I followed his gaze that day, and noticed his eyes were resting on a small black and white panda. I found it fascinating that a baby so young was already trying to explore the world. In the coming days, I took him back frequently to look at this panda. Each time, his eyes would fixate on it and he would look at it steadily and patiently. I remember being awestruck and the memory is vivid to this day.”

Sayjel x

JayceeBaby Founder

 

Babies need to learn to see, just as they learn to crawl or work, according to the American Optometric Association. Not only do they need to learn to move and focus their eyes, but they also need to learn how to understand the information their eyes are sending to their brains.

Whilst vision develops naturally, it is never too early to provide stimulation for your baby. Books, toys, walks outside and even time with primary caregivers is all beneficial, as long as your baby is interested and not getting overtired. It is also useful to remember that a baby’s vision develops rapidly in their first year of life, and therefore different forms of stimulation might be more appropriate at some stages than others.

The table below highlights some key changes in vision during this first year, and some tips of how to interact with your baby and her developing vision.

Age

Mummy Tips

Newborn

  • Fuzzy vision at birth
  • By 1 week, can focus on objects 20-30cm away
  • Sees the world in black and white. Colour vision is developing.
  • Hold baby close so she can see your facial expressions
  • Show baby black and white pictures and patterns
  • Consider using bright colours in nursery – pale colours aren’t soothing if you can’t distinguish between them!
1 Month

  • Can identify big contrasts in colour
  • Keep showing baby black and white pictures
  • Introduce bold, contrasting colourful toys and pictures for baby to focus on
4 Months

  • Colour vision is improving!
  • Baby is now beginning to develop depth perception
  • As depth perception increases, baby will reach out for toys. This also means baby will try to reach for your hair, earrings and necklaces! Avoid long earrings and necklaces made with small parts!
  • Offer baby bright colourful toys during tummy time.
5 Months

  • Vision is improving each day; baby will look closely at an object and study its detail.
  • Baby can now identify familiar objects, even if they are partly obscured.
  • Try partly covering a toy and seeing if baby recognizes it. She might coo and laugh at you if she does!
  • Play hide and seek with her favourite toy.
8 Months

  • Baby’s vision is almost like an adults. She can see colours clearly.
  • Her long distance vision is improving day by day
  • Go for walks to the park or down the street. Point out objects that she might recognize. Eg. Bus, car, tree.
9 Months

  • Eye colour will probably be what baby will have as an adult
  • Her vision is very acute now – she can identify objects as small as a crumb!
  • Baby will point and demand for objects now. Tell her the name of the object she wants whilst giving it to her to help build her language skills.
12 Months

  • Now baby can see near and far
  • Long and short distance vision is great
  • Visual acuity is 20/20
  • Keep exploring the world with baby!
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