Vision Development in Infants and Toddlers: Milestones, Red Flags, and Early Intervention

Vision development in infants and toddlers is crucial to their overall growth and development. Human vision continues to develop throughout the first few years of life. By age two, a toddler’s vision should be almost as developed as an adult's. Ensuring the vision of infants and toddlers develops properly is a crucial part of that. Here are milestones, red flags, and early intervention strategies.

Milestones in Vision Development

You should know the different milestones and seek early intervention if your little one is not reaching them or has difficulties meeting them. Regular eye exams ensure that vision problems are caught early and addressed appropriately.

Here are some milestones:

  • Newborn babies can perceive light and dark. Their eyes are yet to develop fully.

  • By three months old, infants should be able to focus on objects up close and reach for them.

  • By six months, they should be able to track objects with their eyes, have depth perception, and see colors.

  • By nine months, they should understand simple words and gestures. They should use their eyes to explore their environment.

  • On their first birthday, they should be able to recognize familiar people and objects. They should also use their eyes to learn about their surroundings.

  • By two years old, toddlers should have almost fully developed vision. They should be able to see colors, shapes, and distances almost as well as adults.

Red Flags in Vision Development

Every child's vision development is unique. Yet, parents should be aware of red flags that could suggest a vision problem, such as the following:

  • Frequent eye rubbing or blinking.

  • Constantly rubbing or pressing on one eye.

  • Abnormal eye movements, such as crossed eyes or eyes that do not move together.

  • Excessive tearing or discharge from the eyes.

  • Delayed or lack of response to visual stimuli, such as faces or toys.

  • Consistently turning or tilting the head to one side.

  • Consistently squinting or closing one eye.

  • Avoiding eye contact or not making eye contact when interacting with others.

Parents should talk to their child's pediatrician if they notice these red flags. They should consider scheduling a comprehensive pediatric eye exam. Early intervention is critical in addressing vision problems. It can prevent potential long-term effects on a child's development and quality of life.

Early Intervention for Vision Development

Early intervention is vital to ensure proper vision development. Regular eye exams should begin at six months old and continue throughout childhood. Early intervention strategies may include vision therapy or corrective lenses if necessary.

Importance of Eye Exams

Regular eye exams are essential for the early detection of vision problems. Many eye problems are correctable or manageable with early intervention. A pediatric eye doctor can recommend the best course of treatment.

Common Vision Problems in Infants and Toddlers

Common vision problems in infants and toddlers include crossed or misaligned eyes, refractive errors, and amblyopia. If left unaddressed, these ocular issues can lead to permanent vision loss. So, it is best to address them early on.


Vision development in children depends heavily on their early years. Parents should know the crucial milestones and red flags and seek early intervention if necessary. That can help ensure their child's vision develops appropriately. Regular eye exams and healthy habits can also play a key role in maintaining good eye health. They can help prevent vision problems later in life.

To learn more about vision development in infants and toddlers, visit Clarendon Vision Development Center at our Westmont, Illinois office. Call (630) 323-7300 to schedule an appointment today.

admin none 9:00 AM - 6:00 PM 9:00 AM - 6:00 PM 9:00 AM - 6:00 PM 10:00 AM - 7:00 PM 9:00 AM - 3:00 PM 8:00 AM - 2:00 PM Closed optometrist # # #