How Well Can Newborns See?

As a parent, you know how memorable it is for you and your baby to look into each other’s eyes. You want to be aware of how well your newborn can see. It is an important thing for the parents to know how the vision develops for infants.

The common question that the parents ask is “What do infants see at birth?” The answer is the first time that you hold your baby, she or he can see you but in black and white. The distance should be between eight and twelve inches away from the face of the baby just like the distance of the face of the mother when she feeds the baby.

The nerve cells in the retina and brain which are responsible to control vision are not fully developed at that age. The physical structure of the eye has what it needs to see normally but it is a learned behavior for the eyes to work together and have binocular vision. It will take a few months to master.

Parents worry if their infant can recognize them at birth. A study suggested that a few days after their birth, infants look at the face of their mother to that of a stranger. The sense of smell and hearing is the sense that newborns rely on more than vision. The infant may not know you by sight but he/ she may recognize you by scent or voice.

how well can newborns see

The Time Babies Can See Clearly

The eyesight of the baby is still blurry during the first month. The required amount of light should be 50 times higher than an adult. The infant will learn how to shift her gaze from one object to another without moving the head during the second and third months. During the fourth month, color vision and hand/eye coordination develop. Red is the first color that an infant can see.

It may take six to eight months for the eyesight of a baby to be similar to an adult. Monocular vision is the ability to focus and perceive using one eye. It is the last milestone of an infant.

how well can newborns see

How Can I Encourage Good Vision for Infants?

Encourage your infant to engage in age-appropriate visual activities. One study showed that breastfeeding can improve eyesight because of the DHA content it has. Make sure that your baby has a regular eye exam to keep their eyes healthy. An eye exam for infants should be done at six months.

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