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A Baby's Visual Perception at Different Stages of Development

by Rose Welton

Your baby’s vision development starts in the womb. When a child is born, his eyes are fully developed -- and he spends the next few months developing his brain so that he can perceive his environment. Dr. Gary Heiting, in an article for the website All About Vision, notes that a child's visual acuity improves from about 20/400 at birth to approximately 20/25 when he is 6-months-old. When you are aware of the stages of your child's vision development, you can do your part to encourage it.

Birth

At birth, your baby is unable to focus on objects and can only see in shades of gray without much detail. However, the stimulation she receives from the outside world will add information to her brain, and her vision will begin to develop as her brain forms connections. According to AskDrSears.com, she will best be able to see objects eight to 12 inches away from her face as a newborn, so you can foster her visual perception development by keeping your own face in this range of distance. After just one week, she will be able to see red, orange, green and yellow, although it will take a while for her to see shades of blue due to the color’s shorter wavelengths, notes Dr. Heiting.

2 to 4 Months

Around 2 to 3 months of age, your infant is able to shift her gaze from one object to another. She's more sensitive to light and more focused on the things that she sees. By 4 months of age, her depth perception has developed and she is able to reach out and grab the things. You can encourage her visual perception development at this stage by surrounding her with bright, contrasting colors and shapes, helping her grasp objects, and walking around with her while pointing out objects.

4 to 6 Months

Sometime between 4 and 6 months of age, your baby will be able to see all colors and accurately follow objects with her eyes. She will also have developed some hand-eye coordination that allows her to consistently put things in her mouth and pick things up with ease.

Considerations

Your infant could develop vision problems for a number of reasons, including genetic issues. If he was born prematurely, he is even more likely to suffer from vision complications. Talk to your infant’s doctor if you notice that your baby’s eyes are crossed most of the time, or if they seem especially sensitive to light in the first few weeks. You should also seek help if your baby’s eyes don’t move in sync after a few months, or if he is unable to track objects by 4 months of age.

About the Author

Rose Welton is a journalism major and a freelance writer. Her education is focused on nutrition and early childhood studies, making her an expert when it comes to writing about health and children's growth and development. She has written numerous articles and blog posts on various topics for online publications and has also worked on an Internet news team.

Photo Credits

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