Vision Corner: Vision Development: Birth – 2 months
Editor’s Note: This article is oriented to parents, but is excellent reference for pediatric therapists as well
by: Lynn Hellerstein, Developmental Optometrist
Babies often don’t focus on you or other targets, as nerve cells in their retina and brain are not fully developed. The infant cannot accommodate (focus on near objects) very well. However, within a few days after birth, infants prefer looking at an image of their mother’s face to that of a stranger. Visual acuity is estimated to be approximately 20/400.
Your child’s eyes may look huge! Your baby’s eyes are approximately 65% of their adult size. They “grow into” their large eyes, as the head develops over time.
Eyes may cross or drift. This is normal (as seen in this picture of Edina at one month).
At one week after birth, they can see red, orange, yellow and green. It takes longer for them to see blue and violet.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR:
- Begins to develop a smile
- Begins to imitate some facial expressions
- Watches faces intently
- Begins to follow moving objects
OTHER DEVELOPMENTAL MILESTONES:
- Stretches legs out and kicks
- Opens and shuts hands
- Holds head with little support
- Pushes down on legs when feet are placed on a firm surface (no, the baby is NOT ready to walk yet!)
- Responds to loud noises
- Finds hands
- Should be able to move eyes in all directions of gaze
HOW TO ENCOURAGE DEVELOPMENT:
- Frequent interactions (visual, speech, movement) with your newborn child.
- It’s ok to leave some lights on in the nursery- it won’t affect your baby’s ability to sleep (and keeps you from bumping into things when you wake up in the middle of the night!)
- Start talking and singing to your child immediately.
- Decorate your child’s room with bright, cheerful colors. Include artwork and furnishings with contrasting colors and shapes. Hang a brightly colored mobile above or near the crib.
This Month’s Featured Author: Lynn Hellerstein, O.D., FCOVD, FAAO
Lynn F. Hellerstein, O.D., FCOVD, FAAO, has inspired thousands of people to improve their vision and enhance their lives through vision therapy. For more than 30 years in optometric practice, she has treated children and adults with learning related vision problems, vision perception deficits or brain injuries. An author and international speaker, Dr. Hellerstein has published extensively on vision related topics. Her award-winning book, See It. Say It. Do It!: The Parent’s & Teacher’s Action Guide to Creating Successful Students & Confident Kids (HiClear Publishing LLC, 2010) is a remarkable resource for parents, educators and therapists. See It. Say It. Organize It! is a complimentary workbook with tear out cards designed for parents and patients to implement the recommendations of the therapist.
A Fellow of the College of Optometrists in Vision Development (COVD) and American Academy of Optometry, Dr. Hellerstein is Past-President of COVD. In 2005, she created the COVD Tour de Optometry program. As a COVD Board member representing the Tour, she visited every school of optometry in the US and Canada. She is an adjunct faculty member at Illinois College of Optometry, Pacific University, Southern College of Optometry and University of Houston.
Dr. Hellerstein serves as a consultant to educational groups, rehabilitation facilities and sports teams. Hellerstein and Brenner Vision Center, P.C., her private optometric practice, is located the Metro-Denver area.
Dr. Hellerstein lives in Colorado, and is available for interviews and speaking engagements.
Please support our contributing authors and visit Dr. Hellerstein’s websites at www.LynnHellerstein.com and www.HBVision.net
PediaStaff is Hiring!All Jobs
PediaStaff hires pediatric and school-based professionals nationwide for contract assignments of 2 to 12 months. We also help clinics, hospitals, schools, and home health agencies to find and hire these professionals directly. We work with Speech-Language Pathologists, Occupational and Physical Therapists, School Psychologists, and others in pediatric therapy and education.