Babies may enter the world with their eyes shut tight against the suddenly bright lights of a hospital room, but before long, they are looking around and exploring their visual world. Here’s what you can expect your baby to see in the first few months.
• At birth: A baby is born with the ability to see, but most of the world looks pretty fuzzy. At birth, a baby can see things that are between 8 and 15 inches away, but her brain has not learned how to take the images her eyes receive and make sense out of the pictures. A newborn’s eyes are not able to focus on objects right away. But within a few days, her ability to focus will improve and many babies will begin to react to their mother’s face. Researchers believe what the baby actually sees at this point is the division between mom’s face and her hairline rather than her actual facial features.
• 1 month: Babies’ eyes are not as sensitive to light during the first month as adults are, so having light on while they are sleeping is not likely to bother them. Within the first weeks of life, babies are able to see some colors including red, orange, yellow, and green. Blue and purple will be more visible later. Because colors are difficult to tell apart, many babies prefer high-contrasts, like black and white. At this age, a baby’s eyes may sometime seem to be looking in different directions. This is usually normal. But if your baby’s eyes never look the same direction, schedule an appointment with an eye doctor to have your baby’s eyes checked.
• 2- 4 months: During this time, your baby’s eyes will start tracking together and working as a team. This will make it easier for her to focus and follow moving objects, and help her follow movement by moving her eyes without moving her head. As her eyes work together better, she will develop better depth perception and will start reaching for things she sees.
• 5 months: At this age, babies can see the difference between bold colors and are starting to see the differences in pale or pastel colors.