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Look at Those Eyes, Baby!

POSTED ON July 20, 2012

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We had an exciting event in my family last week, my nephew turned one! At his birthday party, he was looking at all of the balloons and it got me thinking: what can he actually see? So, I did some research about the development of his eyes. I found that in the first month of his life, he was 50 times less sensitive to light than adults. Meaning, he could barely tell the difference between the lights on or off! After about a week babies ...

We had an exciting event in my family last week, my nephew turned one! At his birthday party, he was looking at all of the balloons and it got me thinking: what can he actually see? So, I did some research about the development of his eyes.

I found that in the first month of his life, he was 50 times less sensitive to light than adults. Meaning, he could barely tell the difference between the lights on or off! After about a week babies can see red, orange, yellow, and green. It takes another few weeks to see blue and violet because they are shorter wavelengths of light.

In the next 2-4 months, eyes start to work together as a team to try to process images. You might notice that your child isn’t turning his head as much; that is because he is learning that he can shift his eyes to see objects, instead of turning his entire head. Now, he is only 10 times less sensitive to light. Still less sensitive than you and I, but at this point he might notice when you leave the lights on during a nap.

By 6 months, his brain has made significant enough developments to allow for hand-eye coordination (bottle to mouth, etc) and following moving objects with his eyes.  Babies should have their first eye exam at the age of 6 months, just to check for interferences and normal vision development.

Finally, we get to 1 year old. (Where my nephew is!) At this age, he has a good sense of depth perception and he is mastering the movement of his body parts with his vision. You can see this when he starts to walk. Also, his eye color might start to change – as we age the darker pigments become more apparent in our eyes and blue eyes might turn to brown, green, hazel, or any combination of these!

No matter the age, make sure you child’s eyes are developing correctly and on the right time schedule. If they aren’t at any time, Dr Tavel will be sure to get everything back on track!

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