Vision Development Milestones

Important Developmental Milestones from Birth to 5 Years of Age

This article continues on from Vision Development

Birth to 6 weeks:
  • Stares at surroundings when awake

  • Momentarily holds gaze on bright object

  • Eyes and head move together

  • One eye may seem turned in or out at times

8 weeks to 24 weeks:
  • Eyes begin to move more widely with less head movement

  • Eyes begin to follow moving objects or people (8-12 weeks)

  • Watches parents face when being talked too (10-12 weeks)

  • Eyes move in active inspection of surroundings (18-20weeks)

  • While sitting, looks at hands, toys, food, bottle (18-24 weeks)

  • Now looking for, and watching more distant objects (20-28weeks)

30 weeks to 48 weeks:
  • May turn eyes inward while inspecting hands or toy (28-32weeks)

  • Eyes more mobile and move with little head movement (30-36weeks)

  • Watches activities around them for longer periods of time (30-36weeks)

  • Looks for toy that they drop (32-38weeks)

  • Visually inspects toys they can hold (38-40weeks)

  • Crawls after favourite toy when seen (40-44weeks)

  • Looking around the room to see what is happening (44-48weeks)

  • Visually responds to smiles and voices of others (40-48weeks)

  • More and more visual inspection of objects and persons (46-52weeks)

12 months to 18 months:
  • Now using both hands and visually steering hand activity (12-14months)

  • Visually interested in simple pictures (14-16months)

  • Often holds objects very close to eyes to inspect (14-18months)

  • Points to objects or people using words “look” or “see” (14-18months)

  • Looks for and identifies pictures in books (16-18months)

24 months to 36 months:

  • Occasionally inspects visually without needing to touch (20-24months)

  • Smiles, face brightens when viewing favourite object/people (20-24 months)

  • Watches own hand while scribbling (26-30months)

  • Visually explores and steers own walking and climbing (30-36months)

  • Watches and imitates other children (30-36 months)

  • Can now begin to keep colouring on the paper (34-38months)

  • ‘Reads’ pictures in books (34-38months)

40 months to 48 months
  • Brings head and eyes close to page of book while inspecting (40-44months)

  • Draws and names circle and cross on paper (40-44months)

  • Can close eyes on request, and may be able to wink one eye (46-50months)

4 Years to 5 Years:
  • Uses eyes and hands together well and with increasing skills moves and rolls eyes in an expressive way

  • Draws and names pictures

  • Colours within lines

  • Cuts and pastes quite well on simple pictures

  • Copies simple forms and some letters

  • Can place small objects in small openings

  • Visually alert and observant of surroundings

  • Tells about places, objects or people seen elsewhere

  • Shows increasing visual interest in new objects and places

If your child shows any difficulty in achieving these visual skills on the developmental milestone checklist, you should have them assessed by a Behavioural Optometrist. It is important to deal with any issues as soon as possible. Your child should have a comprehensive examination several times before entering school. The first of these should take place at six months of age. The vision screening that most children receive at school does not replace a thorough examination by a Behavioural Optometrist. Behavioural optometrists are different to other optometrists in the facet that, they treat VISION and not just EYESIGHT. They have a better understanding of VISION and knows how to encourage its development. It tends to be more holistic in its approach as it tries to incorporate the physical, neurological and developmental aspects of VISION. It is the goals of behavioural optometrists to prevent VISION and eye problems from developing and/or provide remediation or rehabilitation for VISION or eye problems that might have already developed. Chih Chi Lee, Behavioural Optometrist Eyecare Plus 77 CecilAve, Castle Hill, NSW 2154 Tel: 02 8677 5483


Recent Posts
No tags yet.

All articles on this website have a copyright.  The use of any material must have permission from Cradle 2 Kindy Parenting Solutions.

Disclaimer: Articles on our website are for education purposes only.  Please consult with your doctor to make sure this information is right for your child.