Vision development in babies

Vision is the last sense to develop in a child, with critical growth between 25 and 35 weeks of gestation.   The eyes will continue to grow rapidly until the child is about two years old, and then growth resumes near puberty.

Infants as young as one week should have a strong blink reflex to bright light.  At two weeks old, most children will have good but monochromatic vision at a distance of nine to twelve inches, and by six weeks should be able to make and keep eye contact.

Between three and five months, infants begin to distinguish colors.  During this period your infant’s field of vision will expand to several feet and will continue to expand until his second birthday, at which point he should have reasonably good distance vision.  Most children are farsighted (hyperopic) but can compensate for this without problems.

Children begin to develop depth perception at around four months, and this sensory function will improve over the next ten years as your child becomes ambulatory and refines his or her hand-to-eye coordination.  While toddlers can see things such as stairs or obstacles, they may not visually understand that the steps lead down or that an obstacle will interrupt their route.