What Can My Baby See?

Closeup portrait of African American newborn babyAt this age, your baby is wide eyed and taking in the world around her. But, have you ever wondered exactly what your baby can see? Infant vision develops very quickly, but it’s not until around 7 months of age that babies’ vision is fully matured.

How Far Can Baby See?

Right now, your baby can see objects well when they’re about eight to 12 inches away, which happens to be about the distance between your face and hers when you’re holding her.

What Can Baby See?

She loves faces, as she has since birth, especially familiar faces. She probably likes to focus on your eyes, and maybe your mouth when you talk to her. She can’t see all the colors of the rainbow just yet, so her favorite colors are black, white and red. She’s probably able to move her focus from one object to another without moving her head, and she may be able to follow an object with both eyes.

Stimulating Vision Development

To help stimulate your baby’s vision development, the American Optometric Association recommends the following tips:

  • Change baby’s room around, whether that means adding new items to the room or moving existing items, like the crib, to different places.
  • Sing or talk to your baby as your move around the room. This helps her track your movement.
  • Leave a nightlight on all the time, so she has something to look at when she wakes up at night.
  • When she’s awake, provide plenty of “tummy time” for your baby to see the world in a whole new way.
  • Hang a mobile above her crib (but remember to take it down once she’s able to stand and reach it).
  • Keep a variety of toys within that range of eight to 12 inches. Not only will they be visually interesting, but they’ll also teach her about depth as she reaches for them.

Vision Protection

Make sure you remember to protect baby’s eyes from harmful UV rays, just like you would your own. If she can’t keep a pair of sunglasses on, try a wide-brimmed hat when venturing outdoors. Also, you should ask your pediatrician at what age your baby should have her first eye exam. If you have concerns about your baby’s eyes—for example, if she seems to have one “lazy” eye or her eyes cross regularly—be sure and bring these up with her doctor as soon as possible.