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Infant VisionVisual Acuity- Birth to 4 months old

At birth, babies' vision is abuzz with all kinds of visual stimulation. While they may look intently at a highly contrasted target, babies have not yet developed the ability to easily tell the difference between two targets or move their eyes between the two images. Their primary focus is on objects 8 to 10 inches from their face or the distance to parent's face.

During the first months of life, the eyes start working together and vision rapidly improves. Eye-hand coordination begins to develop as the infant starts tracking moving objects with his or her eyes and reaching for them. By eight weeks, babies begin to more easily focus their eyes on the faces of a parent or other person near them.

For the first two months of life, an infant's eyes are not well coordinated and may appear to wander or to be crossed. This is usually normal. However, if an eye appears to turn in or out constantly, an evaluation is warranted.

Babies should begin to follow moving objects with their eyes and reach for things at around three months of age.

Even if no eye or vision problems are apparent, at about age 6 months, you should take your baby to your doctor of optometry for his/her first thorough eye examination. Things that the optometrist will test for include:

- Excessive or unequal amounts of nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism
- Eye movement ability
- Eye health problems

These problems are not common, but it is important to identify children who have them at this young age. Vision development and eye health problems are easier to correct if treatment begins early. (Source: AOA website)

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