Vision Development: 12-18 months

We continue with vision development through Edina’s eyes.  Please check out previous newsletters to read the first four parts of this story.

Look out!! Ready or not, here they come!  Your baby is now quite mobile, usually transitioning from crawling to walking.  Exploration is your baby’s mission!  Your child’s vision continues to develop.  It is important for your child to continue the development of eye/hand/body coordination, eye teaming and depth perception.

This section includes the developmental time frame from 12-18 months. Remember, your child should have already received their first vision assessment from a developmental optometrist!

12-18 months

By the end of 12 months (1 year), many children are able to:

  • Use simple gestures (waving “bye-bye”)
  • Make sounds such as “ma” and “da”
  • Imitate actions in their play (clap when you clap)
  • Respond when told “no”

By the end of 18 months (1 ½ years) many children are able to:

  • Do simple pretend play (“talk” on a telephone)
  • Point to interesting objects
  • Look at an object when you point at it and tell them to “look”
  • Use several single words unprompted
  • Listen to books…often the same one over and over again!
  • “Dance” with music
  • Interested in ball play (rolling)


  • Good tracking skills
  • Judges distances more accurately when grasping & throwing objects (look out!)


  • Babbling increasing, with inflection of “sentences”
  • Eye-hand coordination continues to improve
  • May be shy with strangers
  • Starting to use eating utensils
  • Explores objects in many different ways (shaking, banging, throwing, dropping).
  • Puts objects in and out of containers

For more pictures, videos and developmental milestones, click here


  • Misalignment of the eyes (called strabismus) should not be present after 4-6 months.
  • Your child does not seem interested in looking at objects or people
  • Extreme sensitivity to lights
  • Excessive tearing
  • Red or encrusted eye lids
  • White pupil

If you notice any of the concerns stated above, take your baby in for a professional eye examination from a developmental optometrist or ophthalmologist.


  • Baby-proof your house.  Bumps, bruises, eye injuries & other serious injuries can occur as your baby begins to physically explore the environment.  Keep cabinets that contain cleaning supplies or dangerous objects locked.  Put barriers in front of stairwells.
  • Roll a ball back and forth to your child
  • Provide plenty of SAFE objects and toys that can be pulled apart
  • Use building blocks and balls of all shapes and sizes to play with to boost fine motor skills
  • Read or tell stories to stimulate your child’s ability to visualize and pave the way for learning and reading

I don’t want any parents worrying about their baby because of certain developmental “cut-off” dates.  Development does not always progress in a smooth manner.  All children develop at their own rate.  Ask your doctor or nurse if you have concerns with the development or health of your baby.

I am blessed to be a part of my child’s and grandchild’s life.

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