When Babies Start Seeing

babies start seeing

Oh, what a feeling when your bundle of joy is delivered and in your arms! It is a feeling that only a parent can try to explain.

And from that moment you can’t help but just wonder what it will be like when your baby starts to talk, sit up, and walk.

So, when do babies start seeing?

While healthy babies are born their eyes do not open immediately after birth. It takes a while for them to open and them and start adjusting to the light. Actually, babies are born near-sighted and cannot really focus (their gaze) until after a while.

Babies start seeing and learn to recognize the world around them when they pry their eyes open to take in faces and the environment.

When a baby is born, they peer up and the world around them through fuzzy eyes. They can focus best at objects between 8 and 10 inches away from their face.

That’s just the right distance for your baby to see your face as you snuggle and rock them in your arms. After the darkness in the womb, the world is a bright, visually stimulating place.  At first, it’s difficult for your baby to tell things apart. But this won’t last that long.

In your baby’s first couple of months, their eyes will start to work together much more effectively.
Learn to observe the movement of the baby’s eyes whether they move together or independently. It is worth reporting to the paediatrician if they move independently or have unusual colouration.
Also, your baby starts developing hand-eye coordination.

Especially when you watch their eyes tracking a moving object and then their hands reaching out for it. Colour vision is likely not fully developed at this stage, and your baby will benefit from bright colours on their toys and blankets.

By around 8 weeks of age, most babies start seeing and can easily focus on their parents’ faces.  About when they are 3 months old, your baby’s eyes should be following things around. If you waggle a brightly coloured toy near your baby, you should be able to see their eyes tracking its movements and their hands reaching to grab it.

Talk to your baby and point things you see to them whether they also follow.
In the coming months, your baby’s eyesight will continue to improve dramatically.

They’ll begin to develop new skills, including depth perception. This ability to determine an object’s distance is based on objects around like the toys and people close to it.

Usually, a baby’s eyes work better when they are about 5 months. At that age, their eyes can form the 3-dimensional view of the world they’ll need to begin seeing things in depth.

Improved hand-eye coordination helps your baby spot something interesting, pick it up, turn it around, and explore it in many different ways. Your baby will love to look at your face, but they may also be interested in looking at other familiar objects and people.

Many babies begin to crawl or move around 8 months or so. Being mobile will help your baby further improve its hand-eye-body coordination.
Take your baby to new, interesting places, and continue to point out and label the things you see together. Make sure they have plenty of time to play safely on the floor. During this time, your baby’s colour vision will also improve.

Symptoms of eye and vision problems in babies

Most babies are born with healthy eyes that’ll develop appropriately as they grow. But eye and vision problems can occur.

Some symptoms may indicate that there is something wrong with the baby’s eyes or vision. Look out for these symptoms among others:

  • Red Eyes
  • Wandering eyes
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Excessive tearing

Take the baby to a doctor if you notice anything unusual with your baby’s eyes.


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