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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 correctly. The following are some age-related guidelines that may help you know if your child is having vision problems. It is important to remember that not all children are 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 their 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, and 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, and 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 correct holes

  • Becomes interested in pictures

  • Recognizes familiar objects and pictures in books, and 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, and may imitate drawing straight line or circle

  • Can point to body parts (nose, hair, and 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

Parents can take steps to help their baby's vision develop correctly. These include:

  • Watching for any signs of vision problems and bringing them to your pediatrician's attention

  • Getting infant or child eye screening as recommended to catch any vision problems as early as possible

  • Talking to your pediatrician about age-appropriate activities you can do with your baby to help vision development. 

Online Medical Reviewer: Chris Haupert MD
Online Medical Reviewer: Tara Novick BSN MSN
Online Medical Reviewer: Whitney Seltman MD
Date Last Reviewed: 1/1/2023
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