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Vision Conditions

Learn more about the visual system and vision conditions.
Child Development Timeline
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As a parent, it is important to know how your child's vision development is affected as they grow.

Infants are not born with complete vision. Good vision is developed through a learned process of looking, touching, and exploring. Parents can play an important role in helping to ensure that their baby learns to see well.


If you notice your baby's eyes turning outward or inward (lasting more than a few seconds) or any other signs of eye problems, Locate a Doctor who is experienced in comprehensive exams for infants.

 

Birth - 6 months

Encouraging development at this stage:

  • Lots of tummy time
  • Follow faces up, down, sideways, closer, farther
  • Make noises to the side so baby turns toward them
  • Change position frequently so their view of the world changes
  • Let baby bounce on the bed with support for both hands to encourage balancing
  • Lots of toys to touch, grasp, listen to and find with eyes and ears

1 month

Your baby should be able to follow an object with his or her eyes

  • Hold and feed your infant from alternating sides to promote development of both eyes.
  • Place your baby in their crib from different directions.
  • Periodically change the location of the crib so the infant can see the world from different viewpoints.
  • Hang a mobile off to the side so your baby can see it through the slats of the crib. 

2 months

Your baby should be able to bring his or her hands together

  • Allow your baby to explore with their hands.
  • Provide stimuli of many different textures, sizes, weights, and forms.
  • Place a lightweight rattle in your baby's hands and help them shake it.

4 months

Your baby should be able to turn his or her eyes together to focus on near objects

  • Allow your baby to help hold the nursing bottle
  • Provide objects that can be explored with mouth and hands.
  • Start to play the "patty cake" game.

5 months

Your baby should be able to make the sounds for "P", "B", "T", "D", and "M"

  • Play "peek-a-boo" to develop visual memory.
  • Move the crib mobile closer to your baby so it can be reached, touched, and moved.
  • Tie bells on booties so the infant can learn about their body through sound.

Schedule your baby's first eye exam around 6 months of age

6 - 12 months

Encouraging development at this stage:

  • Lots of creeping and crawling time
  • Manipulative toys to grasp, roll, pick up, push, pull, bang, throw, squeeze
  • Play games that include dropping and picking up objects
  • Slowly roll balls for them follow and stop
  • Use simple words and sentences about clothing, food, toys and baby
  • Play Hide-and-Seek

7 months

Your baby should be able to roll over independently

8 months

Your baby should be able to sit up without support

  • Talk to your baby frequently so they can associate experiences with words.
  • Place objects on a highchair tray that can be pushed off and dropped to the floor.

9 months

Your baby should be able to creep and crawl

  • Do not rush your baby into walking. Creeping on all fours is very important for developing coordination of both the body and the eyes.

12 - 18 months

Encouraging development at this stage:

  • Language is developing quickly: use names for actions and objects
  • Engage in water and sand play with containers, cups, pails, plastic bottles
  • Provide crayons and large sheets of paper for creative scribbling
  • Introduce to things to put together and take apart, fit shapes into spaces
  • Pretend play: telephone, human and animal dolls

18 - 24 months

Encouraging development at this stage:

  • Build towers and structures
  • Provide toys to put together / take apart
  • Encourage imagination and storytelling
  • Find four-wheeled toys to straddle and move
  • Challenge child to conquer an obstacle course of furniture and pillows

2 years - 3 years

Encouraging development at this stage:

  • Running, tumbling & climbing
  • Give lots of time to create and draw
  • Play make-believe games, dolls, dress-up clothes, stories
  • Assist as beginning to classify objects, colors, shapes
  • Set up playdates as learning to socialize with one playmate at a time

3 years - 4 years

Encouraging development at this stage:

  • Challenge child to dodge, throw, stop/go, turn sharp corners
  • Set up times to encourage to play well in small groups
  • Encourage manipulatives, puzzles, hidden pictures, sames/differences
  • Give time for drawing, coloring, activities with clay and play-dough
  • Read lots of books and stories together

4 years and older

Encouraging development at this stage:

  • Tells stories, makes up names, Talk and talk and talk...
  • Intellectual development moves ahead quickly
  • Fine motor development continues
  • Provide lots of opportunities to explore these new abilities.
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