Baby Eyesight

When your baby is born, her eyes are actually developed enough to see almost as clearly as you do. Her brain, on the other hand, isn’t so developed yet. Consequently, newborn babies can only see clearly out to around 14 inches. One of the amazing things about this limited vision is that it is just enough for your baby to study your face while you are cuddling her or breastfeeding her.

Your baby will start to show an interest in your face almost immediately, especially as she begins to recognize you as one of the people who takes care of her. Some babies will enjoy looking directly into your eyes, while other babies may show more interest in your mouth. One way you can help your baby’s visual stimulation at this age is by looking her in the eye and moving your face back and forth. This will help her develop focus and depth perception.

Newborns can see in color, but they aren’t able to distinguish between colors very well. Because of this, newborns often enjoy looking at things which have a high color contrast, such as black, white and red. The more you can expose your baby to contrasting colors, the more she will develop an interest in seeing the world around her.

At some point during baby’s second month, she will start to track objects with her eyes, following them as they move. Of course, this ability will develop slowly, and at first baby might be a bit clumsy when following things with her eyes. During this time, you should play with baby by showing her books or toys with brightly contrasting colors. Be careful about overdoing it, though. Go slowly to avoid over stimulating baby, and stop if she becomes upset.

During her third month, your baby will master the art of following an object with her eyes. She will also be able to see clearly out to as far as fifteen or sixteen feet, so she will be able to watch you from across the room. Mobiles and other toys with moving objects are especially appropriate for babies at this age.

As baby practices following things with her eyes, she will learn to separate colors. By her fourth month, she will be able to distinguish color nearly as well as you can. She will also begin to develop her depth perception and by five months, she will be able to pick out small objects and may start to reach for them.

Over the next few months, baby will begin to distinguish shapes and to differentiate between one object and another. At around 8 months, her vision will be fully developed, and she will be able to see nearly as well as you do.