Baby Vision

Your babys vision rapidly develops in the first year after birth. Learn how the world would look through your babys eyes and the important milestones in baby vision development.

Last Updated: 22 October 2020

Baby Vision
Baby Vision

If you fantasized during your pregnancy that soon after your baby bundle is out, he or she is going to look at your face fondly to give a cute little smile, you might be in for a disappointment when that day arrives (Well, some babies do surprise us!).

Children generally take 4 to 6 years to acquire the vision development in par to an adult. Yes, you read it right! There’s much to know about a baby’s vision. Let us take you through a month-by-month baby vision development guide.

During pregnancy and at birth

The development of a baby’s vision begins at 4 weeks pregnancy. By 26 weeks, the eyes open inside the womb though there isn’t much to see unless there is a twin at the side.

At birth, most babies open their eyes while some may prefer to keep their eyes shut most of the day, for the first couple of days. It is normal.

Month 1

You might have decorated a beautiful nursery in pink for your tiny tot, but know that babies do not see colors in their first month after birth. All they can see is shades of black, white and grey. The farthest your baby can see is 8 to 10 inches. It is always a good idea to show your face close to your baby. Well, not too close, because our vision needs an optimum focal length to focus at an object.

In the first few days, it may seem that your baby is looking at your face but not making eye-contact with you or is looking around randomly without a focus. It is normal too. Their nerve cells behind their eyes are still developing and their vision is 40 times less accurate than adults.

In a few days, however, your baby will be able to respond every time when she looks at your face. It is believed that babies first begin to identify the outline of the face, head or hair of a person before they can focus on the facial features; a good reason not to go for a haircut in the first month of your baby!

High contrast is the key at this stage. Dark-colored buttons, bold stripes on the clothes or black and white books can be good stimuli for baby vision now.

Months 2 and 3

In the second month your baby begins to see some color hues like red, orange, yellow and green. It will take a little while to see shades of blue because of their shorter wavelengths. The good news is that she is now eyeing on the nursery you had meticulously built. It is a period to expose her to colorful toys, books and clothes.

Her vision acuity has become sharper now. She can see things much farther and across the room though hasn’t developed depth perception yet, that is, assessing which objects are closer than the others.

Another important development of vision at this stage is tracking of moving objects. If you were to cross the room from one end to the other, you can see her eye balls tracking you without moving her head. Tracking moving objects by 3 months of age is an important milestone in vision development. It is a good idea to keep talking to her as you move across the room.

An interesting baby vision development is the recognition of an object that has been previously seen. Your baby is beginning to form memories of objects so that when she sees the same object the subsequent time, she recognizes that it is not new. Placing a colorful mobile near her crib can be exciting to her eyes. You will be surprised that your baby begins to reach out to moving and stationary objects by now.

Months 4 to 6

By 6 months, rapid changes in vision development happen in your baby. Here are the most prominent ones, listed below:

·         Tracking of moving objects continues

·         Development of colors is fairly complete

·         Focusing is sharper; there are no blurred visions

·         Depth perception is improved; your baby will begin to assess which objects are closer or farther

·         Hand-eye coordination is greatly improved by now and reaching towards an object becomes sharper

·         6 months is an important milestone for an eye-check up with your doctor. Your doctor may assess your baby’s vision for long-sight, short-sight and astigmatism.

Months 6 to 12

Baby vision continues to develop after 6 months. As your baby begins to crawl, you can see how she focuses on moving towards an object, and grabs it using her hands and later, with her thumb and fingers. The coordination between her eyes and her hands must be appropriate by now which marks another important milestone in baby vision development.

 

By 12 months, your baby sees very close to what an adult can see. However, baby vision continues to develop until 4 to 6 years of age. By 3 to 4 years of age, your baby can take a real eye test when she begins to recognize and read alphabets. Remember that periodic eye-testing can help detect any vision abnormalities in your baby in the early stages. 

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