What does a Baby See?

An infant’s vision improves significantly during his first 6 months. Basic visual function develops rapidly during the first year.

Newborns focus on objects that are 8-10 inches away and will wince and blink in response to bright light, but only for a brief amount of time. At birth approximate visual acuity is 20/800. Infants will stare intently at high contrast images such as the edges of faces. Newborn eyes may cross or wander for the first 4 months.
By two to three months, babies have an approximate visual acuity of 20/400. At this age, they will track movement as well as smile at objects that are about a foot away. Reaching for objects around 3 months is expected.
At 6 months the vision has improved to at least 20/100. A 6 month old infant will open his mouth to a spoon and will recognize his own face in the mirror. Both eyes should focus equally. Depth perception is developing.
A twelve month old child will have visual acuities of 20/60 and can judge distances fairly well, throw things with precision and pick up small objects with the fingers and thumb.

A comprehensive visual assessment between 9-12 months is recommended, earlier if the infant is at risk for eye or vision disorders. Early intervention is critical to successful vision and treatment.

Acuity Testing Infants

Preferential Looking Test


First Exam for Infants

The first year of life is one of the most critical stages in childhood development. From the moment a baby opens it’s eyes, newborns undergo dramatic physical and mental changes.Acuity Testing Infants
During the first 12 months, infants should have a comprehensive vision assessment to determine proper development and identify any health problems. Early detection and treatment of potential problems are vital to a child’s development . For information about how Dr. Griffith examines babies click here.
One in every 10 children is at risk from undiagnosed eye and vision problems, yet only 13 percent of mothers with children younger than 2 years of age said they had taken their babies to see an eye doctor for an examination. Early intervention is critical to successful and cost-effective treatment. Unfortunately, during the course of their young lives, most children probably never have an eye examination.
Please take advantage of the InfantSee program. Dr. Griffith fully supports this American Optometric Association program designed to examine all infants between 6-12 months. There is no cost or qualification required. Call the office (707)762-8643, and ask for an InfantSee exam for your infant.