Babies are born with a variety of abilities that they will demonstrate very quickly, such as crawling, talking, and walking. Seeing clearly is also one of the abilities that babies have. However, the newborns haven’t yet developed the ability to focus their eyes, so their sight is not clear yet.
Every mom wonders when her baby will be able to see clearly. In fact, the baby’s vision will develop gradually in accordance with his age. Knowing when your baby can see clearly is very important for you since vision and eye problems in babies can lead to developmental delays.
Okay, let’s see how the baby’s vision matures from newborn to 12 months below!
Baby’s Vision: Born to 3 Months
When a baby is born, he will immediately be peering up at you and the world around him through his very small pupil. But it is normal that the small pupil can restrict how much light enters his eyes since newborns are very sensitive to light.
Because vision is still blurry, newborns cannot focus on seeing far or near. Generally, babies can only see objects that are approximately 20–25 cm away from their eyes. The first colors that can be seen by newborns are black and white.
Thus, he can see the silhouettes of faces and large shapes, as well as the movement going on around him. Since nerve cells in the retina have not developed optimally, newborns cannot yet distinguish between two objects or move their eyes in the direction of two objects.
When your baby turns 3 weeks old, your baby can start to recognize your face since he can now see objects within 20 to 35 cm. Of course, it is an approximate distance between the baby’s face and your eyes while breastfeeding.
At the age of 1 month, the baby will be able to stare at your face for a few seconds. When he turns 8 weeks old, he can focus his eyes on looking at people near him. However, his eye coordination is not quite perfect yet and may be a bit uneven between the left and right eyes. Well, this condition is normal since it will return to normal over time.
At the age of 2 months, your baby can commonly follow moving objects with his eyes since his eye coordination has increased.
When your baby turns 3 months old, his eyes can start to follow moving objects, and their hand-eye coordination will get better, so they can see an object nearby.
Baby’s Vision: 4 to 6 Months
At the age of 5 to 8 months, the baby’s vision can start to adjust how close or far an object is around it, so your baby could see both near and far objects better. At 5 months old, your baby now has the ability to see different colors. He also has depth perception, which means that his eyes can work together to form a three-dimensional view, allowing him to know whether an object is closer or farther away than another object.
At the age of 6 months, your baby can see further objects and focus on a certain view without crossing his eyes. Of course, the coordination between his eyes and hands has rapidly developed. It is no wonder that you may occasionally see your baby staring at a certain object for a while, then slowly moving to reach it.
Aside from that, your baby is much more aware of his surroundings. He can now attempt to follow the path of a rolling ball and even see the quick movements of people around him. At this age, you may often see your baby staring at the toy he is holding with full concentration.
Baby’s Vision: 7 to 9 Months
Between 7 and 9 months, the babies can have clear enough vision to see people and objects from across the room. Your baby can also see when you are smiling at him, even if you are across the room.
At the age of 7 months, your baby will be able to see things outside through a window. He may know what it is, though he only sees part of its shape.
When your baby is 8 months old, his vision improves to the point where he can see and distinguish between different colors. At this age, your baby can start crawling and begin to demonstrate his interest in something, such as liking to see certain colors or touching his reflection in the mirror.
At 9 months, your baby can see farther and closer. He can even focus on fast moving objects. He may see a toy across the room and focus on it. Then, he moves closer to grab it. He also shows a desire to play with many objects that he can reach in many ways.
In addition, your baby can enjoy looking at colorful pictures in a book. He may also like to see certain objects with moving parts and even spend a lot of time staring at and playing with them to identify how or why they work. To stimulate his hand-eye-body coordination, you need to frequently invite him to move from one place to another. Make sure to invite him to talk about objects that you can see with your baby.
Baby’s Vision: 10 to 12 Months
When he turns 10 months old, your baby can hold an object that he sees using his thumb and forefinger.
At the age of 11 months, your baby can focus his eyes on a crumb-sized object from a good distance away since his vision is almost as clear as that of an adult. He can also start to quickly track and hold the objects between his thumb and forefinger. To increase this skill, you can keep training your baby to do it.
When your baby turns one year old, he or she will be able to tell you how far away something is. He may be able to throw objects in a more directed manner. He can also start to crawl and walk to reach objects that he sees from a distance. At this age, your baby also starts to demonstrate an interest in exploring their environment and recognizing objects in books or videos.
How to Stimulate Your Baby’s Vision?
After you know how old your baby can see, it’s the right time for you to give him stimulation to increase his vision. There are some things you can do to train your baby’s vision so that it gets better. Of course, the way to stimulate the baby’s vision will differ according to the baby’s age.
1. Birth to 4 months
The following are some ways to stimulate your baby’s vision from birth to 4 months:
- Make sure to always use dim lights in your baby’s bedroom.
- Invite your baby to talk while he’s walking around the room.
- Let your baby pick up his toys; keep them about 3.5 cm away.
- Try to change the position of the crib as often as possible, and make sure to change the position of your baby to see different parts of the room.
2. 5 to 8 months
The following are some ways to stimulate your baby’s vision from 5 to 8 months:
- Let him play on the floor a lot.
- Try to hang any object above his crib and stimulate your baby to hold and pull it. Make sure to hang some safe objects above him.
- Always provide wooden or plastic blocks, which are very easy to hold in hand.
3. 9 to 12 months and higher
The following are some ways to stimulate your baby’s vision from 9 to 12 months and higher:
- Invite your baby to play hide and seek to develop his visual memory.
- Invite your baby to crawl.
- Give him blocks of various sizes and shapes to stimulate his fine motor skills and also develop his muscles.
- Read him some fun stories to stimulate his ability to imagine and his reading skills.
- Allow him to play by rolling the ball back and forth to improve his vision so he can find a specific object.
Is It Necessary to See an Optometry to Check Your Baby’s Vision?
It’s all about your decision! If you find some problems with your baby’s eyes and vision, seeing a doctor is a must. Otherwise, if the development of your baby’s vision always increases in accordance with his age, it’s okay not to go to the doctor.
If you decide to see an optometrist to check your baby’s vision, it is best for you to bring him at the age of 6 months. This check aims to ensure whether or not your baby’s vision has developed well in accordance with his age.
Aside from that, checking your baby’s vision at an optometrist’s office is very necessary to find out the risk of some conditions, such as impaired eye muscle movement and eye alignment, as well as problems with nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism, or other visual disturbances.
Basically, problems with a baby’s eyes and vision are not very common. However, when the baby is growing up, problems with his eyes and vision may occur. The following are some of the characteristics that may occur in a baby who has some problems with his eyes or vision:
- Blocked tear duct due to excessive tearing.
- Eye infection marked by red eyelids.
- Nystagmus (a rapid, involuntary movement of one or both eyes) is due to inappropriate control of the eye muscles.
- Your baby’s eyes are too sensitive to light.
- A white pupil in a baby’s eye indicates an increased risk of eye cancer.
If you find these problems in your baby’s eyes, you need to immediately bring your baby to an optometrist to check his condition and know the diagnosis.