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Age-Appropriate Vision Milestones

Vision problems may be suspected in children who are not responding to their environment properly. The following are some guidelines related to a child's age that may help to decide if your child is having problems. It is important to remember that not every child is the same. And 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 having 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 crossed-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 work

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 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, and eyes) when asked

36 to 38 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

Online Medical Reviewer: Griggs, Paul B., MD
Online Medical Reviewer: Bogus, William J. OD, FAAO
Last Review Date: 08/20/2015
© 2000-2016 The StayWell Company, LLC. 780 Township Line Road, Yardley, PA 19067. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.
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