Ways to Track and Boost Your Baby’s Developing Vision

Baby with GlassesOne of the many things new parents of an infant struggle with is an inability to communicate with their new little bundle of joy, especially on a verbal level. When they cry, are they hungry, need a diaper change or is there a realistic medical problem happening with their health and welfare that needs our immediate attention … sometimes it’s difficult to tell.

When it comes to their irreplaceable eyesight, monitoring these formidable years are vital when it comes to recognizing possible vision development problems that could affect them in the future. With a myriad of different types of diseases, conditions and terms to deal with when it comes to their valuable vision, it’s almost always difficult for parents to know where to start with this important process.

Early AOA Recommendations

The renowned American Optometric Association (AOA) is all too happy to guide parents on this important pathway. They offer valuable advice on developmental processes and better vision for growing eyes, from birth to the toddler stage. After they’re born, although their environment is full of visual stimulation, infants have not yet developed the ability to recognize two objects at once.

Their primary focus is on something 8 to 10 inches from their face, which is usually mirrored by their parent’s face in front of their own. After a couple of months, they should start tracking objects, but don’t be overly concerned if they have difficulty focusing, their eyes appear crossed or seem to wander since this is completely normal at this stage.

Five, Six, Seven, Eight – Is Everything Going Great?

After three or four months of age, babies should start to track objects and reach for them with their hands. The perception of color should start developing further now and although it’s not as advanced as their older parent’s eyes, there’s still a general consensus that these tots start to disseminate different shades, colors and start to develop better depth perception. To help boost their perception skills, at this age, parents should:

  • Give them plenty of toys, blocks and other objects for them to grasp
  • Play patty-cake and other games that use eye-hand coordination
  • Make sure they have time to explore by letting them crawl around frequently

Nine and Ten – Let’s Do It Again – Getting To Year One

Baby with remoteAt nine months, babies will start to pull themselves up and while they’re continuing to approach their first birthday, they should be grabbing and grasping objects firmly. Once they’ve reached twelve months of age, they should be walking, but also encouraged to continue to crawl to heighten their depth perception and advance coordination skills. More ways to improve their developing vision during this time is to:

  • Play hide-and-seek with their playthings
  • Encourage them to continue crawling and entice them to go further distances
  • Name toys and objects to begin developing word association with vision

One Or Two – Before We Buckle A Shoe

There are still a few years before we begin teaching advanced techniques like tying shoelaces, but this time is when toddlers should be developing much better eye-hand coordination techniques. Rolling a ball to them and expecting the same in return for example. They’ll probably start throwing things on their own at this point without our help. Look for better aim as they continue to develop and participate with this process. To continue enhancing their visual skills, parents should:

  • Roll a ball back and forth to them
  • Read to them and show them pictures in the book
  • Give them balls, blocks and puzzle games to play with

If you believe your child may have possible or potential vision problems, take them to see an eye care professional as soon as possible. Eye exams are recommended initially at birth, at six months and then not again until they’re three years of age. But these rules aren’t set in stone and the majority of eyesight issues can be corrected, especially when caught early.

About the Author

Tara Heath is a 37 year old health professional and works as a freelancer writer in the evenings. Her writing focuses mainly on health, such as skincare and how to live a healthy lifestyle overall. She lives in Burbank, Ca. with her husband and two beautiful daughters ages eight and twelve.

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