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Vision milestones

​Vision develops over time as your baby grows.

Newborns do not see well, but as they age vision becomes sharper.

Your can mark your child's progress with these general vision guidelines. If you suspect a problem contact your child's doctor.

Marshfield Clinic cares about your child's health and our doctors are your best resource for health questions.

Vision Milestones

Vision normally sharpens as a baby matures into childhood. However, vision problems may be suspected in children who are not responding to their environment properly.

The following are some age-related guidelines that may help to decide if your child is having vision problems. It is important to remember that not every child is the same.

Some children may reach milestones at different ages. Talk with your child's healthcare provider if you are suspicious that your child is not seeing correctly or is experiencing other problems with his or her vision.

Milestones related to vision or seeing


  • Poor eyesight

  • Infant will blink in response to bright light or touching eye

  • Eyes are sometimes uncoordinated, may look cross-eyed

  • Able to stare at object if held 8 to 10 inches away

  • Initially fixes eyes on a face or light then begins to follow a moving object

1 month:

  • Looks at faces and pictures with contrasting black and white images

  • Can follow an object up to 90 degrees

  • Watches parent closely

  • Tears begin to form

2 to 3 months:

  • Begins to be able to see an object as one image

  • Looks at hands

  • Follows light, faces, objects

4 to 5 months:

  • Beginning to reach hands to objects, may bat at hanging object with hands

  • Can stare at a block

  • Recognizes bottle

  • Will look at self in mirror

  • Will look at own hand

5 to 7 months:

  • Has full color vision, able to see at longer distances

  • Can pick up a toy that is dropped

  • Will turn head to see an object

  • Likes certain colors

  • Will touch image of self in mirror

7 to 11 months:

  • Can stare at small objects

  • Begins to have depth perception

  • Plays peek-a-boo

11 to 12 months:

  • Can watch objects that are moving fast

12 to 14 months:

  • Able to place shapes in proper holes

  • Becomes interested in pictures

  • Recognizes familiar objects and pictures in books, may point to some objects when asked, "Where is the ...?"

  • Points and gestures for objects and actions

  • Recognizes own face in mirror

18 to 24 months:

  • Able to focus on objects near and far

  • Scribbles with crayon or pencil, may imitate drawing straight line or circle

  • Can point to body parts (nose, hair, eyes) when asked

36 to 48 months:

  • Can copy shapes

  • Vision is nearing 20/20

  • Names colors

48 to 72 months (4 to 6 years):

  • Recognizes and recites the alphabet

  • Ready to begin reading

  • Has complete depth perception

  • Uses scissors

  • Can name coins and money

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What Do You Know About Child Development?

Test your knowledge of child development by taking this quiz.

1. When riding in a motor vehicle, how tall should a child be to sit in a regular seat and use an adult seat belt instead of a being strapped into a car safety seat or booster seat?
2. For which of these should you call your doctor instead of trying at-home treatment?
3. Two out of 3 teen girls don't get enough of which of these in their diet?
4. How much has the rate of obesity in children increased in the last 35 years?
5. Menstruation can begin at which of these ages in girls?
6. It's estimated that 3 to 7 percent of American school children have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Which of these famous people is thought to have had the condition?