How Well Can Newborn Babies See?

How Well Can Newborn Babies See

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Are you pregnant and getting ready to deliver soon? Or have you just given birth and are excited to know about your newborn’s visual milestones? Do you find yourself wondering whether your little bundle of joy is already able to see? Are you curious to know when your little prince will finally see you?

If you can’t wait to know all about your newborn’s visual progress, read our post. Here we look at when can newborns see.

How Well Can Newborn Babies See?

When do babies see colors? At the time of birth, your newborn baby’s vision has not developed fully. He can see various objects and also understand colors. Even though he can see them, he will not be able to distinguish between different colors yet, and he will be extremely near-sighted. It means that even though he can see objects that are close, spotting things a little far will still take some time.

  • Your newborn will be able to see things that are within a distance of 8 to 15 inches.
  • He will try to look at faces inst
    ead of objects more. Also, anything that is round and has a light or dark border will be fascinating for him. For example, he will constantly try to look into your eyes during feed time (1).

[ Read: How To Monitor Infant Vision Development ]

Here is a quick look at what age can babies see and how your newborn’s vision will progress over the next few months after birth:

1. Right At Birth:

At the time of birth, your newborn will have fuzzy vision.

  • He will be able to spot differences in light, movement and even shapes.
  • If there is a source of light in the room, or if there is a big window where your newborn is, you may notice him looking towards it.
  • In case there is a sudden bright light in front of him, your newborn may even blink in response.
  • Sometimes, you will notice that instead of focusing on something, your newborn just seems to look here and there. His eyes may be wandering, even though there are things he can see. Do not worry yet, as your newborn will still take some time to fix his gaze on objects.
  • Your newborn will be able to focus his gaze only to a distance of about 20 to 30 cm. It will be enough for him to focus clearly on your face if you are holding him in your arms.
  • If you take your face very close to his, you will notice that he is fascinated with your eyeballs. He may also get interested if you keep changing your facial expressions.

[ Read: Watery Eyes In Babies ]

2. One Month Old:

Once your newborn reaches the first month, he will be able to see farther away than before. Even now, your face will remain his most favorite object to look at, so be happy about it!

  • At one month of age, your baby will have a lot of time to connect with you and look at your face. Each time you breastfeed him put him to sleep, rock him in your arms, sing to him or just look at him, he will get more practice at focusing on your face and features.
  • Throughout this month, your newborn will have ample practice to learn how to focus his gaze. He will be able to follow a bright toy or object if you move it close to her. You can also play a simple focusing game with him by holding out your finger and moving it in front of him. Make sure you do it slowly so that he has enough time to adjust his gaze and focus on the finger and the movement.
  • You can try out the same thing by using a bright rattle that is easy for him to look at and focus. Another fun way to do this is to make yourself the center of his attention. Bring your face very close to his and give him time to focus on your eyes. Your newborn will soon fix his gaze on your eyes. Once you are sure that he can see you properly, move your head slowly from one side to the other. You will be amazed at how your newborn will try to keep looking at your eyes and will move his eyes to do so.
  • Let your newborn focus more by giving him colorful toys and objects. At such a young age, he will not be able to differentiate between different shades of color, like red, orange or dark yellow. Instead, let him focus on objects that are primarily black or white in color, or have high contrasting shades.

[ Read: Tips To Keep Eye Infections At Bay In Infants ]

3. At Two Months Of Age:

By two months of age, your newborn will be able to differentiate better between shades of color.

  • You may see your newborn show a preference for toys or objects that have a primary color base. If you notice a special interest in a particular color, let him look more at similar colored toys.
  • Your newborn may also start looking better at objects that have different patterns and shapes. Show him books that have bright and big pictures, lots of colors, and more toys (2).

When Should You Be Concerned About Your Newborn’s Vision?

Your newborn may be able to see, or could be trying to focus. If you are concerned that there is something wrong and feel that you need to schedule a visit with the doctor, watch out for the following signs:

  • Is your newborn unable to fixate on your face or other objects that are within a distance of 12 inches away?
  • By the time your newborn reaches the third or fourth month, the eyes should not look cross-eyed anymore. If you notice that your newborn’s left and right eyeball still seem to be looking in two different directions, schedule a checkup. It could be a case of some visual or muscle problem.

[ Read: Common Eye Problems in Infants ]

With each passing month, your newborn will be able to see better and focus more. Speak to your pediatrician if you have any concerns.

Now you know when do babies start seeing. When did your baby first focus on your face? Does your little angel suffer from any vision problems? Tell us your story below.

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