Frequently Asked Questions about Infant Vision Development


Did you know that babies don’t see as well as older children or adults at birth? Like many milestones, an infant’s vision develops slowly over a period of time. Read our following guide to learn the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about infant vision development.

How Does a Baby’s Vision Develop?

At birth newborns can only see about 8 to 12 inches from their face and can only see black, white, and grey colors. After only 1 week, a baby can respond to movement and focus on a face. By 3 months of age, a baby can follow moving objects, recognize faces and toys, and see the full spectrum of colors.

When Do Babies Begin to See Clearly?

Hand-eye coordination and depth perception begins to develop around 4 months of age. By 6 months of age, a baby may already have 20/20 vision, which is considered normal for an adult.

What Are Signs of Vision Problems?

Although rare, eye and vision problems can develop in babies. The following are some of the most common signs of vision problems:

  • Excessive tearing: This sign may indicate blocked tear ducts.
  • Constant eye turning: This sign may indicate a problem with muscle control.
  • Red or encrusted eye lids: This sign may indicate an infection.
  • Extreme sensitivity to light: This sign may indicate elevated pressure in the eye.
  • Appearance of a white pupil: This sign many indicate the presence of eye cancer.

The presence of any of these signs requires immediate medical attention.


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