When do newborns begin to see? Learn Baby Vision Development Week by Week

One of the happiest moments in life is the first time your newborn baby/ Child opens her eyes and make eye contact with you.

But don’t be concerned if that doesn’t happen right away. The visual system of a newborn infant takes some time to develop, as your baby leaves the dark, quiet comfort of your womb and enters the bright, noisy world around her, she just can’t see much, their first view of the world is indistinct and only in shades of gray but baby eyes development changes very fast week by week


In the few months of life, baby’s eyesight develops very fast, since vision is closely linked to the development of brain. So as your baby’s brain matures rapidly, so does your baby’s eyesight. While it does, enjoy seeing baby take it all in as she reaches some key milestones in visual development. Let’s see the process of infant vision development timeline


Vision Development starts during Pregnancy:

Your baby's vision development begins much before birth. How you take care for your own body during your pregnancy is very important for the development of your baby's body and mind, including her eyes and the vision centers in her brain.

Make sure you follow the instructions given by your physician regarding proper nutrition, including supplements, and the proper amount of rest and sleep you need during your pregnancy.

Avoid smoking and consuming alcohol or drugs during pregnancy, as these toxins can increase the risk of low birth weight and problems during delivery. Low birth weight has been associated with an increased risk of vision problems in infants.

Birth to few Weeks Old:

At first, the farthest your baby will be able to see is the distance from your arms to your face (about 8 to 10 inches).

Child’s eyes don't have the ability to focus on nearby objects. So, don't worry if your baby doesn't seem to be "focusing" on objects, including your face, right away. Week by week visual skill to develops.

Newborn prefers looking at an image of their mother's face than the face of a stranger. Therefore, in order to encourage baby’s visual interaction , keep your hair style the same, and avoid changing your appearance during your baby’s first few weeks of life

Baby Vision Development in the first month:

In the first month, baby’s eyes will, for the most part, be closed as she sleeps for long stretches of time. But when her eyes do open, she’s can’t track the moving objects.

Generally babies of this age do love looking at faces, so make sure to give your little one lot of up-close-and-personal time with you and other caretakers.

In the first month of life, your baby's eyes are not very sensitive to light. In fact, the amount of light a 1-month-old infant needs to be aware is 50 times higher than that of an adult.


It's OK to leave some lights on in the nursery, make sure this typically won't affect your baby’s ability to sleep.


Babies start to develop the ability to see in colors very quickly. Within a month after birth, they can see red, orange, yellow and green. But takes a little longer for them to be able to see blue and violet. This is because blue light has shorter wavelengths.

To help stimulate your newborn baby's vision, decorate their room with bright and cheerful colors. Include some artwork and furnishings with contrasting colours and shapes.


Baby Vision development: Months 2 and 3

At this age, some babies may start to recognize different faces and treat you with first smile but their sight is still fairly blurry.

Babies who are born prematurely may take a bit longer to focus on your face, but don’t panic. They will catch up developmentally. Most of the babies at this stage of development are learning how to shift their gaze from one object to another without having to move their head.

At this time babies’ eyes are becoming more sensitive to light and light detection threshold starts decreasing. So you may start to dim the lights a bit more for naps and bedtime. Keep on adding new objects to her room or frequently change the location of his crib so he sees new things.


Baby Vision development - 4 to 6 Months:

Has your baby begun watching you closely from her bouncy seat as you cook dinner on the far side of the room? That’s because around this age, babies can see anywhere from several feet in front of them to all the way across the room.

After 4 months, your baby can also track faster movements with her eyes, perceive depth and even grab at moving objects .

The most exciting part of this age is that babies have better eye-hand coordination at 4 to 6 months of age, which allow them to quickly locate and pick up objects and accurately direct a bottle (and many other things!) to their mouths

By now, your baby’s colour vision has nearly fully developed. It should be similar to that of an adult as well, enabling your child to see all the colors of the rainbow.


Baby Vision development - 7 to 12 Months:

At this stage, your newborn baby is now mobile, crawling about and covering more distance than you could ever have imagined. She is better at judging distances more accurately.

When your baby starts crawling, play with her on the floor to help develop his eye-hand coordination and motor skills. This will help baby grow much better.

It's also a time which requires greater diligence on your part to keep your baby safe from any harm. Bumps, bruises, eye injuries and other serious injuries can occur as she begins to physically explore his environment.


Don't be concerned if your new born baby’s eyes are beginning to change colour. Most of the babies are born with blue eyes and as a result darker pigments in the iris aren't completely developed at birth.

To stimulate the development of your child's eye-hand-body coordination, get down on the floor with her and encourage her to crawl to objects, like placing her favourite toy and encourage her to crawl to objects.

As you light the candles on her first birthday cake, your baby is finally able to see as much as the singing adults around her.


Stimulating your baby’s sight:

Mirror her: Visual hit with babies: mirrors. While they can’t recognize themselves until about month 15, they do love seeing the changing image reflected back at them as they move.

Bring baby along for the ride: Bring baby in a forward-facing carrier as you go about your day, whether you’re taking a walk around your neighbourhood, shopping for groceries or just brushing your teeth.

Hang a mobile: Babies love images with contrasting colors and patterns, you should securely hang a colourful, patterned mobile high above her crib or bouncy seat. Please make sure to remove it as soon as she can sit to prevent her from becoming entangled.

Eye alignment problem:

Be very sure that you pay close attention to how well your baby's eyes work together as a team. Strabismus is the term used for a misalignment of the eyes, and it is important that it is detected and treated at an early stage, so the vision in both eyes develops properly. Though it might take a few months for an infant's eyes to develop eye teaming skills, but if you feel one of your baby's eyes is misaligned constantly or does not move in synch with the other eye, consult an eye doctor as soon as possible.

Steps to check baby's Eyes and Vision Development Properly:

As you baby keep on growing but because of eye or vision problems there can be a delay in baby's development. So it is important to find these problems as early as possible so you can get them the help they need to grow and learn properly.

Parents should take these important steps:

Watch for various problems like inward or outward turning eyes or major delay in tracking moving objects. Bring it to your paediatrician’s attention if you feel it persists.

Get your baby eye screenings as recommended to catch any vision problems early.

Ask your paediatrician for age-appropriate activities you can do with your baby to help develop their vision.


All these steps will help to check your newborn baby eyes development week by week.

Vision Problem of Premature Babies: Premature babies are at greater risk of eye problems than full-term babies, and the odds increase the earlier the child is born.


Vision Problem of Premature baby includes the following:

Retinopathy of prematurity (ROP): This is the abnormal replacement of normal tissue in the retina with fibrous tissue and blood vessels. It can cause poor vision, scarring of the retina, and retinal detachment.


All premature babies are at risk of Retinopathy of prematurity

Low birth weight can be an additional risk factor, especially when it is necessary to place the infant in a high-oxygen environment immediately after birth.

If your baby is born prematurely, then ask your obstetrician to refer you to a paediatric ophthalmologist so that he or she can examine your child’s eyes to rule out ROP.


Nystagmus. This is an involuntary, back-and-forth movement of both eyes. In most cases, nystagmus causes the eyes to drift slowly in one direction and then "jump" back in the other direction. The eye movement can be diagonal or rotational but generally it is horizontal.

Nystagmus can be present at the time of birth, or it may develop weeks to months later.

There can be various risk factors such as incomplete development of the optic nerve albinism and congenital cataracts. Baby’s vision and development affect can be measured with the magnitude of the eye movements.

If any sign of Nystagmus is shown by your baby, please contact an eye doctor immediately.


Baby’s Regular Eye Exam: After the birth you should visiting eye doctor to catch any early issues, pediatricians regularly screen baby for vision problems at checkups. If your doctor does notice any potential issues, he may refer you to a pediatric ophthalmologist.

Parents with a family history of eye issue should take their babies to an ophthalmologist in the first few months. Otherwise, if your child has no risk factors, her first vision screening should be at age 3 and a half or 4 years old.


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