35 answers

1 Month Old Not Making Good Eye Contact

My son just turned 1 month old and is not yet following things with his eyes or making sustained eye contact. I am in a panic that something could be seriously wrong with him! Any advice would be much appreciated!

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

Start with pediatrician, then eye specialist. It could be muscular -- weak eyes -- which there are treatments for, but if it is something like Autism, the sooner you get help the better. Some kids who start treatment for Autism by age one are able to be mainstreamed by Kindergarten.

Ask you pediatricain, but i bet he is just fine. Their eyes do all kinds of crazy stuff in the begining. Have you tried contrasting colors. There are those cute little play mats with the toys overhead, try laying him on one of those. Get the colored one, he will enjoy it for longer. Dont worry, i bet he is developing fine at his own pace.
M.

More Answers

If you put a bright toy in front of him, is he relating to it? Some babies don't get clear focus until 6wks. I would give it just a couple of wks. and if your still finding that he is not following movement take him to your Pediatrician or Family Physician who will refer you to and eye doctor for examination. Until then don't panic. Within the next 2wks. just watch for any change.
Take care and I hope all works well for you.

1 mom found this helpful

THIS HAPPENED TO ME!! I was freaked out with my son. He had "gaze aversion" which means he avoided eye contact. He also didn't smile until 10 weeks. I got early intervention through my state (Illinois) when he was 3.5 months old and a team of five specialists of different areas of child development came to our house to assess him. It turns out that his gaze aversion was a coping mechanism for over-stimulation.

Follow everyone else's advice and talk with the doc. Also look in to some kind of early intervention program in your state. Follow your gut instincts, and try to relax a little bit. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

I would work with your lil guy.Does he follow your voice if you are doing something close to him start with a small toy alone with no other interruptions put it in front of him does he act interested in it.Did you ask the ped.@ his well visit if so what did he say.Ok I just pulled out some info on newborn-1yr it say'smy eye's follow somethiong that moves in front of my face.I can see objects best from about 8 inches away from my face.Babies don't see color back & white is stimulating.This is an early sign of autisim but all babies & toddlers learn @ different timelines.

1 mom found this helpful

i have a little girl with downs and you can take your child to an eye doctor, they can test for vision.

1 mom found this helpful

J.,
Take this up with your pediatrician! Not to scare you, this can be an early sign of autism. Simply contact a center in your area that tests young children for this, it can be free, you want to rule this out as early as possible for your son to give him the best opportunity.
Pediatricians will sometimes put this off until they are older. Centers that specialize in this, know the benefit of early testing, and will help you immediately to rule it out. Enjoy your son and relax, the pediatrician can explain to you what is happening with the development of babies eyes at this age, and it may be as simple as that.
I would do both.

Look up baby's vision on line. I forgot what the number is, but they can't see very far at all. I know at 4 months it is still only at abou 20/100, they do not achiev 20/20 until age 1 or so. Don't worry mama it is normal. : )

Hi J.,
Don't worry!
At this age, babies are looking mostly right or left, and rarely look straight ahead. Try sitting next to your son in his peripheral vision and see if he looks at you more from the side.
Also, when they DO look at your face, they are mainly focusing on your hairline (think of the contrast between skin color and hair color).
Your baby's eyes are still maturing and will continue to mature over his first year. Provide him with lots of stimuli-lights, contrast (horizontal blinds are great), and dangly things.
So far it sounds like your baby is totally normal. :)

HTH,
E.

Don't worry! At one month old, no baby makes good eye contact. Their little eyes are still very unfocused and sleepy so they look like they're all over the place. If I remember correctly, babies don't start to focus on objects until around two months old. Congratulations on the new baby! :)

J. he is only 4 weeks old, a litle early to worry, but I know being a mom,we always wory first. Unless his pedeatrician has concerns, don't worry, I think my babies were around 6,7 weeks before I noticed they focuss a little. let the doctor know your concerns at his next well baby check up, so he/she could give you pece of mind. J.

Give him another month beforeyou worry. Just enjoy him and change his environment (things hanging over him while he lays/plays on the floor.) Go on walks outside and talk to him about what you see. Sing to him.

I would talk to your pediatrician about getting a referral to a pediatric ophthalmologist. They are best suited to determine if there is a problem with the eye muscles or vision. I know it's hard sometimes to go to so many doctor's but in the end you can put your mind at ease knowing what is going on. Remember you are paying them for their service - so it's never a waste of time. My husband and I took our son to the eye dr when he was 6 months old for a lazy eye - that no one else saw (including our general pediatrician!!). It turned out that his vision was so bad in that eye he stopped using it. With our early intervention we have prevented any significant loss in vision and can help him develop normally. Best of luck - and always follow your instincts!!

J. S.

Give him time. Relax and enjoy him.

I was worried about the same thing with our baby. She is now 5 months old and couldn't be more alert, social and aware. The ped said this is their #1 fear in new parents and it is completely NORMAL. Enjoy your little guy!

Honestly at this age, I wouldn't worry. Unless your Dr. is concerned, save your worry for later.
M.

my neice had this same issue for like 6 months almost it got better over time. i thought she would be cross eyed the way she would not focus but she is a great thriving two year old now. i would not worry about it until he gets a little older.

you should talk to your pediatrician. I bet they will tell you that it's nothing to worry about this early. babies are kind of out of it, off and on until about 4 months. I'm sure he's fine. And I think one month is pretty early to be tracking everything...

My daughter didnt make eye contact until about 2 months old. I was worried at first and my pedi said it was normal. I would defiantly ask but not worry at all.

Mention it to your pediatrician and your OB/GYN at your six week check up

Ask you pediatricain, but i bet he is just fine. Their eyes do all kinds of crazy stuff in the begining. Have you tried contrasting colors. There are those cute little play mats with the toys overhead, try laying him on one of those. Get the colored one, he will enjoy it for longer. Dont worry, i bet he is developing fine at his own pace.
M.

children at this age do not make eye contact. their eye muscles are not strong yet. At times they will even look cross eyed, but not to worry they will grow out of it.

J.,
There is actually a protocol in place now for early diagnosis of autism and spectrum related disorders. I beleive the starting age for screening is now 3 months old. I don't want to scare you, but my son is autistic and we noticed these signs as early as one month old. Everyone around me- and I mean everyone kept saying "no way" he's fine, don't worry about it. But, our instincts were right and I know its frightening, but honestly I WISH I had someone do a screening earlier on. As it is, we got right on him at 2 yrs. old with lots of early intervention and he is the most amazing gift anyone could have asked for. I simply would recommend you see a seriously qualified pediatrician - a referral from UCLA or Cedars pediatric out patient clinic is a good start. Don't freak out, lots and lots of people out there to help.

A.

No fear, your baby is only 1 month old...their eyes and eye muscle coordination is STILL developing...he is still a newborn. Newborns don't even see clearly, and don't see as far as us, and the color rods & cones in their eyes are still developing too.

If you are really worried, in your gut, just ask your Pediatrician.

A great book, on month by month baby development, is "What To Expect The First Year" by Arlene Eisenberg.

There are lots more phases and developmental changes coming up...I'm sure your infant is fine. Lots of times, newborn infants just sort of stare and they don't "focus" yet per say. Things are just sort of "reflex" involuntary movements, and not "intentional" movements or reflexes yet.

No worries. All the best,
~Susan

J.,
I have worked with a lot of infants as a pediatric physical therapist and can tell you that what your son is exhibiting is absolutely normal for his age. I would invest in a couple of books/charts on normal infant development and it will ease your fears with how your child is developing.
Have fun with your newborn!

It sounds normal for one month old to me. It's so easy to get caught up and worried about every little thing. At 1-2 months I was in a panic that my son didn't react to sound. I read all kinds of things about milestones and was sure he was behind. I had the ped order a special hearing test, which in the end couldn't be done until he was 4 months. In my mind I was already planning taking sign language classes for my deaf son. Of course he was fine! These days everyone is so on the watch for early signs of autism or whatever that we forget that babies go through natural stages on their own terms. Relax a little and enjoy that new baby!

I woulndn't be in a panic i would be terrified my suggestion is to immedatly take him to his doctor and find out for sure.
Don't wast time

He is still very young and he may not have developed to this stage yet. However you can try placing him in front of a mirror and see if he responds better, I have seen children who only respond this way; then you play games with him having him follow your hand or a toy or a light from the mirror to you. Eventually the mirror is no longer needed.

I'll just echo everyone else and say that it's completely normal for him not to be making eye contact. In my experience, you can expect even another 4-8 weeks of him actively avoiding your gaze! :) I totally worried about the same thing, but mine's almost 5 months now and very interactive. It takes a good while for the baby's vision to determine what is important/etc. Try to just enjoy the phase he's at--it goes so quickly!

it usualy takes 6 wks for an infant to start focusing in on things sont freak out just yet

Hi J.,

I agree with the other moms, that this is still really young to detect a vision problem. And for the autism comment - that can't be detected until much, much later. Not a lot of eye contact would be a worry for autism at 1 year, not one month.

I do want to encourage you to go with your gut though. I had the same feelings when my son was very young. I would read developmental information on how he should be making eye contact, and how his favorite thing to look at is people's faces. That simply wasn't true. I asked my pediatrician and everything tested fine for his age, and he told me he was probably just not that interested in people.

Well, we ended up switching insurance and pediatricians and by 15 months my son had developed a lazy eye. The new pediatrician refered him to a pediactric opthamologist and after a series of tests found out that he's extremelly near sighted and had some of his eye muscles attached in the wrong places. After an eye surgery at 17 months and wearing glasses, he is now seeing great.

All this to say, it is probably nothing (especially at this age), but stick with your gut. You are with your baby all day and can detect things that doctors don't in 10 minute appointments. My new peidatrician said that it is normal for babies to gaze and even cross eyes until 2 months. But if they continue after 2 months, they should be seen by a pediatic opthamoligist for evaluation.

Hope that helps put you at ease.

Blessings,

D.

I think that its normal, my daughter began "seeing" at 2 mos, so dont freak out!!!!

This is more for when your baby's a bit older (~6-12 mos), but I thought you might want to know about this service.

http://www.infantsee.org/ (on this website there are good links regarding infant vision development within baby's 1st year)
http://www.aoa.org/infantsee.xml

FREE vision exam (regardless of income) by select optometrists for infants; and you can also vent your concerns to a professional.

Start with pediatrician, then eye specialist. It could be muscular -- weak eyes -- which there are treatments for, but if it is something like Autism, the sooner you get help the better. Some kids who start treatment for Autism by age one are able to be mainstreamed by Kindergarten.

Have his pediatrician check this at his next appt. It wouldn't hurt to have a pediatric eye specialist to take a check just to make sure there isn't anything going on that shouldn't be.

The only reason I bring this up is because I have a retinal eye disease that comes from a recessive gene. I had no clue it even existed until I began losing my sight in my young adulthood. After I finally lost so much vision after I had my 2nd child and went to guide dog school so I could safely travel without putting either of our lives at risk, I met someone with the same eye disease I have though her version was the dominant gene. Not only did she have the retinal blindness, both her children had it as did her granddaughter and they were diagnosed extremely young. Her granddaughter, as a matter of fact, will NEVER be able to get her drivers license, not even for a short time. This disease can literally change the course of one's life & practically ruin it if you live in a rural area without public transportation such as where I live although I try to make the best of a bad situation. It isn't always easy.

It wouldn't hurt to have your son checked out. My oldest had severely crossed eyes at birth that required surgery to prevent blindness. It worked perfectly when she had the surgery at 7 months old and she didn't even need the updated surgery at 14 years old as was thought. But you don't take chances when it comes to your child's sight or to your own. If you suspect something might be wrong, it won't hurt to have a specialist check it out to be certain.

Granted, it could be a stage growth delay but if you're like me and had no idea that blindness from a recessive gene run in the family, you won't know unless someone checks it out who knows what they are seeing if something is wrong. The specialist knew immediately upon my first visit and told me straight out I was already blind by them. I had light perception but I wasn't able to drive and I was night blind so I couldn't see at night or in the evening hours. Over time, it's got to the point where I have to rely on a screen reader for the computer and audio books.

Best of luck.. I hope it is nothing wrong...

We recently had the same experience with our newborn. At 4 weeks, we took her in for an eye exam, and the eye doctor told us she had crossed eyes and we needed to wait until she was three months old. By 8 weeks, I was in a panic that she wasn't developing normally because she wasn't smiling and she wouldn't make eye contact. I was worried about autism, visual impairments, hearing impairments, everything. We went back to the doctor and they told us it was too early to say. But then within a week or two after that, she began smiling. She is now four months old, and her eyes are no longer crossed and she is very responsive. It was so scary, but it has turned out okay. I hope you have a similar happy ending. Hang in there; Cleo didn't make eye contact until she was three months old, but now she is very interactive!

Dear J.,

Well, as always, check with your Dr.if you are concerned. But really, he's probably just fine. I spent the first 6-8 weeks after my son was born, convinced that he was autistic because he didn't make eye contact and all the books I read said they should. Turns out it takes more like 6-8 weeks, and my kid is perfectly healthy. Enjoy your little one while he is still so little!
C.

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