A Kelowna Optometrist Explains Infant Visual Development
If you’ve recently become a parent, congratulations! It’s such an exciting time in any parent’s life to watch as their baby begins to grow and discover new things. From the first time your baby makes eye contact with you to their first words, there are so many things to look forward to. Here are a few milestones to watch for as baby’s eyesight naturally progresses, and what to look for before taking them to see a Kelowna optometrist.
Your precious little baby’s eyesight actually begins developing during pregnancy. By maintaining a healthy pregnancy, you can reduce the likelihood of vision problems occurring in the future.
Vision Development at Birth
When your babe is first welcomed into the world, their vision is limited. Babies at birth tend to see only in black and white and shades of grey. They also have trouble focusing on objects in front of them.
The First Month
During the first month of their lives, baby’s eyes won’t be very sensitive to light. In fact, this is why newborn babies have a tendency to sleep almost anywhere. During the first month, babies are also able to pick up on some colours. To help stimulate their vision, be sure to introduce brightly coloured objects in a variety of shapes and sizes early on.
The First Year
By the time your bundle of joy turns six months old, their vision should be nearly 20/20. Some of the things you should be watching for during this time include:
- An eye that tends to turn in or out and does not resolve by three months
- An eye that appears to frequently cross into the nasal area
- Difficulties with tracking a moving object by three months of age
If you’ve noticed any of these abnormalities, it may be time to bring your babe in to see a Kelowna optometrist. They can do an early eye exam and check for any visual impairments.
By this age, your child will be ready for their first eye exam with a Kelowna optometrist. As your baby grows into a toddler, their focus, depth perception, tracking, and hand/eye coordination should be gradually improving. To encourage growth and development, teach your toddler how to utilize their fine motor skills. Some activities that can help facilitate this include:
- Playing catch
- Playing with Lego or building blocks
The Preschool Years
At this stage of their life, it’s important to encourage your preschooler to develop their reading skills. This includes reading with them and pointing out pictures of items you’re reading about. Some warning signs to be on the lookout for include:
- Short attention spans
- Poor hand/eye coordination
- Avoiding activities that involve close vision
Once your child has been acquainted with a trusted optometrist, it’s important to ensure your child attends regularly scheduled eye exams. This will help ensure your child’s growth and development is not impeded by vision problems.
For a little more insight into why eye exams are so important, be sure to read our post Why are Regular Eye Exams Important?
If you’re looking for a Kelowna optometrist that’s great with children of all ages, come in and meet the team of experts at Orchard Park Optometry. Our optometrists are kid-tested and mother approved! We also offer flexible appointment times and are conveniently located in the Orchard Park Shopping Centre.