Infants are not born with complete vision. Good vision is developed through a learned process of looking, touching and exploring. Parents can play an important role in helping to ensure that their baby learns to see well. If you notice your baby’s eyes turning outward or inward (lasting more than a few seconds) or any other sign of an eye problem, please contact us to schedule an appointment for your child as soon as possible. If not, keep this timetable in mind—we recommend your child have their eyes examined at 6 months, age 3, and then during the summer before 1st grade.

To encourage development during these stages:

Birth – 6 months

  • Lots of tummy time
  • Follow faces up, down, sideways, closer, farther
  • Make noises to the side so baby turns toward them
  • Change position frequently so their view of the world changes
  • Let baby bounce on the bed with support for both hands to encourage balancing
  • Lots of toys to touch, grasp, listen to and find with eyes and ears

6 – 12 months 
*Schedule 1st eye exam at 6 months

  • Lots of creeping and crawling time
  • Manipulative toys to grasp, roll, pick up, push, pull, bang, throw, squeeze
  • Play games that include dropping and picking up objects
  • Slowly roll balls for them follow and stop
  • Use simple words and sentences about clothing, food, toys and baby
  • Play Hide-and-Seek

12 – 18 months

  • Language is developing quickly: use names for actions and objects
  • Engage in water and sand play with containers, cups, pails, plastic bottles
  • Provide crayons and large sheets of paper for creative scribbling
  • Introduce to things to put together and take apart, fit shapes into spaces
  • Pretend play: telephone, human and animal dolls

18 – 24 months

  • Build towers and structures
  • Provide toys to put together / take apart
  • Encourage imagination and storytelling
  • Find four-wheeled toys to straddle and move
  • Challenge child to conquer an obstacle course of furniture and pillows

2 years – 3 years

  • Running, tumbling & climbing
  • Give lots of time to create and draw
  • Play make-believe games, dolls, dress-up clothes, stories
  • Assist as beginning to classify objects, colors, shapes
  • Set up playdates as learning to socialize with one playmate at a time

3 years – 4 years
*Schedule eye exam at age 3

  • Challenge child to dodge, throw, stop/go, turn sharp corners
  • Set up times to encourage to play well in small groups
  • Encourage manipulatives, puzzles, hidden pictures, same/different
  • Give time for drawing, coloring, activities with clay and play-dough
  • Read lots of books and stories together

4 years and older
*Schedule eye exam the summer before 1st grade

  • Tells stories, makes up names, talk and talk and talk…
  • Intellectual development moves ahead quickly
  • Fine motor development continues
  • Provide lots of opportunities to explore these new abilities.