How Do I Know If My Baby Has Vision Problems?

How Do I Know If My Baby Has Vision Problems?

It might not be obvious if your baby has any vision problems, as they can still have normal-looking eyes. Instead, there may be something about a child’s behaviour or habits that will suggest there might be an issue with the way they see. 

Most babies start to focus on faces and objects by 4-5 weeks of age. By about 6-8 weeks, most babies will start smiling at the familiar faces and things they see. Babies with a vision impairment might have trouble doing these things. If by 3 months of age your baby isn’t focusing on and following objects, we would recommend that you bring them in for an eye test.

Signs your baby has vision problems 

In young babies, signs can be as subtle as:

– Eyes move/jerk/wander randomly or quickly

– Eyes don’t follow your face or an object

– Minimal eye contact with family and friends

– Eyes don’t react to light being turned on or off

– Pupils seem white or cloudy

– Eyes don’t line up, but turn inwards or outwards

How to keep your baby’s eyes healthy 

There are things you can do to keep your baby’s eyes healthy:

– Place toys within your baby’s focus range (20-30cm)

– Give your baby’s appropriate toys to hold and play with (no sharp edges!)

– Hang a mobile over their cot to encourage eye stimulation

– Use UV-blocking hats and sunglasses when outside

– Use stroller covers on sunny days

– Encourage crawling

Early detection  

Eye checks are the main weapon against avoidable vision loss and blindness. It is the early detection that prevents learning difficulties and problems, and identifies issues that are often missed and ignored.

We can identify the following potential issues through early detection: squintinglazy eyes, poor vision and eye health, and colour blindness (which if correctly identified can enhance learning, as people see different things).

At Optical In Sight, we specialise in eye care for children under six. To find out more about behavioural optometry, visit our Behavioural Optometry page.



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