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When Should Infants Have Their First Vision Examination?

The Answer: Starting at 6 Months Of Age!

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Home » Eye Care Services » Infant Eye Exams

Infant development is not linear, but cyclic

Children move forward and backward while reorganizing and achieving higher developmental levels. A child rehearses this growth process throughout life. Infants are born with poor color vision and should develop it by the age of six months.

Infant’s eyes are generally observed as straight after birth. If you observe an eye turn after 3 months, it is important to have this evaluated as soon as possible. The cause, which is frequently motor or sensory, can be a manifestation of an underlying disease process. Early identification and treatment of such conditions may prevent permanent vision loss.

Infants can only see about 20/400 after birth, but can see 20/40 by the age of one. An awareness of self (orientation) must develop before objects can accurately be found (localization) in their world.

smiling baby lying on bed in room

Infants and toddlers are usually farsighted. Interferences in a child’s motor development can influence development of visual skills and the process of becoming less farsighted.

Infants learn to see their world through a process in which they look, touch and explore. Simple household items like pots and pans are a gold mine for exploration and learning.

Vision problems are one of the leading causes of handicapping conditions in children, most of which can be detected, prevented or treated during the infant years.

toddler lying on pink fleece pad

Infant Vision Milestones

Your infant should be able to:

  • Momentarily follow an object with eyes or head by 5 weeks.
  • Bring both hands together by 8 weeks.
  • Hold and sustain direct eye contact with you by 3 months.
  • Turn both eyes together and locate near objects by 4 months.
  • Make the sounds p, b, t, d, and m by 5 months.
  • Rollover independently by 7 months.
  • Sit without support by 8 months.
  • Creep and crawl by 9 months.

Visual Development Recommendations


Talk and interact at every opportunity. This provides time for learning, communication and eye contact. Make sure infants have “tummy time” each day. This helps to develop neck and back muscles, which lead to the proper development of their visual systems.

1 Month

Hold and feed infants from alternating sides. This encourages adequate visual development of both eyes.

Place infants in their crib facing different directions as well as change the location of the crib so they can see the world from many different viewpoints.

2 Months

Allow infants to explore with their hands. This provides many different stimuli including texture, size, weight and form.

These experiences provide them with a foundation upon which they build their knowledge.

4 Months

Allow infants to help hold their bottles and have clean, smooth objects available so they can explore with their mouths.

This allows the infant to reinforce learning through different senses.

6 Months

Play peek-a-boo to develop memory and recall.

Tie bells on their booties so they can learn about their body through sound and movement patterns.

For a more extensive list of visual guidance recommendations, please contact our office.

lovely baby boys family

What a Comprehensive Infant Visual Evaluation Includes

  • Developmental Patient History
  • Visual Acuity Assessment
  • Refractive Analysis (farsightedness, nearsightedness and astigmatism)
  • Visual-Motor Development
    Eye Movements
    Eye Focusing
    Eye Teaming
    Eye-Hand Integration
  • Assessment of Eye Health

We are proud to offer InfantSEE®! As a participating optometric practice of the American Optometric Association’s program, we offer a FREE comprehensive eye exam for infants between six months and one year of age, no matter your insurance or family income!

Call us for more information or to make an appointment.

baby boy

For Further Information on Infant Visual Development:

  • BOOKS-available at libraries and bookstores
  • Amazing Babies ~ Beverly Stokes ~ Move Alive Media
  • Right From Birth: Building Your Child’s Foundation for Life ~ Craig and Sharon Ramey ~ Goddard Press
  • 125 Brain Games for Babies ~ Jackie Silberg ~ Consortium Book Sales
  • Enhance Your Infant’s Development ~ Etta Rowley ~ Optometric Extension Program
  • Games to Play with Babies ~ Jackie Silberg ~ Gryphon House
  • The Out of Sync Child ~ Carolyn Stock-Kranowitz ~ Perigee
  • Smart Moves ~ Carla Hannaford ~ Great Ocean Publications