Preemie Milestones - a quick look

quick look preemiehelp

Preemie Milestones are important to know and understand. Keeping an eye on your preemies development and checking when they reach certain milestones can help you determine when a little help might be necessary.


Preemie milestones can keep you both on track

When understanding preemie milestones is important to learn a little bit of information on the typical development of various skills, as well as some information about signs that may indicate problems with development. If your preemie is not meeting the milestones mentioned you may want to talk to your paediatrician about your preemie's development.

Select from the menu items for related information...

Visual Development

Keeping an eye on your preemie's development can help you determine when a little help might be necessary

It’s amazing how quickly babies grow and develop! The tables below highlight some important milestones. Although these tables give an average age at which milestones are achieved it is important to realise that even babies born at term achieve these milestones at varying ages. For preemies, you should always correct for their prematurity.

Visual Development in Infancy

Have a look at the following information for typical development of these visual functions. You should talk to your paediatrician if you have any concerns about your preemie's development.

preterm infants and visual development

Age Acuity, Colour Perception, Focusing, and Exploration Depth Perception
Pattern Perception Object Perception
Birth – 1 month
  • Visual acuity is 20/600
  • Scans the visual field and tracks moving objects
  • Responds to motion depth cues
  • Prefers large & bold patterns
  • Displays size and shape constancy
2- 3 months
  • Has adult like focusing ability
  • Perceives colours across the entire spectrum
  • Responds to binocular depth cues
  • Prefers patterns with fine details
  • Scans internal pattern features
  • Begins to perceive overall pattern structure
  • Perceives human facial pattern
  • Recognises mothers’ face in a photo
  • Uses motion and spatial layout to identify objects
4 – 5 months
  • Organises colours into categories like those of adults
  • Sensitivity to binocular depth cues improve
  • Detects subjective boundaries in patterns
  • Uses motion cues to perceive objects as three-dimensional
  • Uses cues like shape, texture, colour to identify objects
6 – 8 months
  • Visual acuity improves to 20/100
  • Tracks moving objects with smooth, efficient eye movements
  • Responds to pictorial depth cues
  • Avoids the deep side of the visual cliff (experimental task)
9 – 12 months
  • Visual acuity continues to improve
  • Can make out a pattern formation without a full image
  • Perceives patterns (such as human walking movements and facial expressions of emotion) as meaningful wholes
These milestones represent overall age trends. There are individual differences in the exact age at which each milestone is attained.(Berk, 2008)


Want More Information?


AlbertEinstein_iconOne of the greatest minds in history, Albert Einstein was born preterm.

Help us help you!

help us help you! is here to provide preemie information, community and solutions to the people that need it most... you!
Preemie Help is also looking to provide a resource for any professionals that have contact with preterm babies and children in order to help them best understand the challenges that face a preemie. Get in contact to help us impact preemies.

Preemie, Premmie, or Prem?

Most babies spend between 38 and 42 weeks in their mother’s uterus. So, technically a preterm birth, preemie, premmie, or prem, is an infant who is born less than 37 completed gestational weeks. 

Read More: Defining Preterm birth



New Release - Preemie Development

All in one easy to read eguide

‘The complete preemie guide to: ‘Preemie development’ is the must have guide to the NICU for new preemie parents.

With an easy-to-read layout this comprehensive guide is over 130 pages of important information about the NICU and your preemie.

Using Adobe’s .pdf format makes the guide usable across a wide range of platforms from ipad to PC, smartphone to macbook.

Packed with extra features like progress charts, NICU checklists and plenty of others. ‘The preemie guide’ is a must for any new parents.