What visual milestones should I watch for as my infant develops over his first 6 months?

Q: I am pregnant with my first child and am curious what visual milestones I should be watching for as my infant develops over his first 6 months?

A: In his first week, your baby sees little detail. His first view of the world is indistinct and in shades of gray. His eyes don't yet have the ability to focus on near objects, including mom's face. However he can see many colours after week one : red, orange, yellow and green. In the first month, your baby's eyes are not very sensitive to light – 50x less sensitive than an adult's, so do not hesitate to leave some lights on in the nursery at bedtime. Your baby's eyes may seem uncoordinated at this time – this is common, however if you notice large and constant eye misalignments, notify your optometrist right away. At 2-3 months, infants develop sharper acuity and their eyes begin to move as a team. Your child should now be following moving objects and reaching for things he sees. At 3 months, he is only 10x less sensitive than an adult in detecting light, so you may want to dim the lights at bedtime. By 6 months, infants have developed much more detailed acuity as well as full colour vision. His eyes are moving quicker and more accurately which correlates with better eye-hand coordination allowing him to quickly locate and pick up objects. By age 6 months, your baby should have his first eye exam. Even though he is unable to recognize symbols on the eye chart, your optometrist will perform non-verbal testing to assess his acuity, eye alignment, ocular health and look for conditions that might interfere with normal and continuing vision development.

Dr. Pozzer is accepting new patients...babies always welcome!

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Dr. Kristyn Pozzer

OPTOMETRIST

Millcroft Shopping Centre
2080 Appleby Line, Unit E6
Burlington, Ontario, L7L6M6
Tel: (905) 319-1066