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What Does Your Newborn Baby See?


What Does Your Newborn Baby See?

The following information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.

You stare at your baby several times a day and look at every part of her with wonder. But do you ever wonder how the world looks like through her eyes? Here are some answers to common questions about a baby’s eyesight. 

1. Faces and Eye Contact

One of the first things most babies fixate on and learn to recognize is your face. But how soon after birth should your baby be staring intently at faces? As Circle of Moms member Megan R. says, it's hard to put an exact timeline on it: "Not all babies will reach milestones at the same time. My 7-month-old didn't stare at people until she was almost 4 months."

Similarly, Jennifer H. has concerns about trying to establish eye contact with her 2-month-old baby. Moms unanimously reassure her that steady eye contact can take months, as your baby's ability to see and focus develops. Abbey G. also points out that in the first weeks and months, light will often draw their attention more than anything else, even toys and faces.

 

2. Colors

When will your baby begin to see and distinguish color? It's more of a process than a flip of a switch. Babies are born predominantly color-blind. If they do see colors in the early days and weeks, the similar colors will often blend together and appear blurry. That's why newborn toys are often black and white and feature bold patterns and/or colors.

Circle of Moms member Mandy was able to notice her daughter's vision change slowly over the first four months by introducing her to different colors: "I just kept showing Caley things that were black and white and things that were color and she'd look at some things and not others. Now, at four months she's all about bright colours..."

(For a great example of the view from your baby's perspective, check out the website Making Sense Of Baby, from the makers of Mylicon, which shows the world from baby's eyes from birth to 12 months.)

3. Focus

Don't expect your baby to have 20/20 vision for several months. As Rachel B. shares, "It's not until about nine months that [they] truly see you clear!" 

Melissa W. sums up well the nearsighted view that babies experience during the first few months: "...they don't begin to see like we do until they are three months old. Until then everything far away will be a blur, and color distorted." For this reason, it's best to put toys and other objects about eight inches from your baby's face, and use the same distance for positioning your face when you want to capture her attention.

 

4. Following Objects

As ability to focus and distinguish color gets better and better, you will notice your child's ability to track objects with his eyes. Don't worry if this doesn't happen for a few months; Amber H. had concerns when her baby was slow to focus on and follow objects and her doctor reassured her that it can take "up to four months before they start following objects."

5. Crossed Eyes

As your baby develops her eyesight, she may look cross-eyed sometimes. This is a normal part of her eyesight's development. As Lindsay M. shares, "My son will only sometimes follow a light. and sometimes look at my face, but also goes cross-eyed a lot too." If the eye-crossing persists, see your pediatrician to rule out any medical conditions.

The preceding information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.

Image Source: Michale Rys via Flickr/Creative Commons

The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, and should not be attributed to, POPSUGAR.

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