In a baby’s eyes
Your baby’s vision develops throughout the first year.
(Getty Images)
The day he is born, your baby sees the world as a blur.

Here’s are some landmarks in the first 12 months.
Month 4 – 6: Your baby starts to reach for the mobile or toys you hold in front of him. Your baby’s vision, depth perception and understanding grows.
Month 6 – 8: Entice your baby visually with a toy to encourage rolling over.
Month 8 – 12: Vision is very important when your baby is learning how to crawl, cruise and walk.

Remember that depth perception is still maturing, so tumbles on uneven surfaces are common. Babies this age won't understand that the steps lead down, or the edge of the bed leads off into empty space.

  • Your baby’s eyes will be checked at birth.
  • High-risk newborns (including premature infants), those with a family history of eye problems, and those with obvious eye irregularities should be examined by an eye specialist.
  • Your baby’s eyes should be checked at each clinic visit throughout the first year.

Possible problems

To children with vision problems, the world is simply a blurry place. And because these children aren't aware of how things should appear, their parents may be oblivious to the problem too. If you notice a problem, go to the doctor so that it can be monitored and dealt with if necessary.

Refractive errors
This means that the shape of the eye doesn't bend light properly, so images appear blurred.
  • Nearsightedness is poor distance vision.
  • Farsightedness is poor near vision.
  • Astigmatism is imperfect curvature of the front surface of the eye.

- If a baby has this problem, babies’ eyes may be turned in, turned out or not working together.
Nystagmus - This condition can develop during infancy. Your baby might have it if her eyes jump, wiggle or move back and forth. Nystagmus may be inherited. Babies with nystagmus may have normal vision or poor vision.
Amblyopia (lazy eye) - This is poor vision in an eye that appears to be normal. If untreated, amblyopia can cause irreversible visual loss in the affected eye.
Retinoblastoma - A malignant tumor that may appear in the first 3 years of life. The affected eye may have visual loss and whiteness in the pupil.
Infantile cataracts - A gradual clouding of the eye's lens that even a newborn can develop in rare cases.
Congenital glaucoma in infants - a rare condition that may be inherited. It is the result of incorrect or incomplete development of the eye drainage canals before birth and can be treated with medication and surgery.

If your family has a known history of genetic eye disease, it’s important for kids to have eye exams at an early age and regular screenings.

Signs of eye trouble
  • Constant eye rubbing
  • Extreme light sensitivity
  • Poor focusing
  • Poor visual tracking (following an object)
  • Abnormal alignment or movement of the eyes (after 6 months of age)
  • Chronic redness of the eyes

Has your baby had any trouble with his eyes? Have you had your baby's eyes examined yet?

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