When Can Babies See?

When Can Babies See?

Seeing your baby for the first time is a breathtaking moment that you’ll never forget, but can they see you? They might be able to see you in some way - but it depends. Babies are not born with the ability to focus their eyes or move them accurately. Additionally, from about birth to four months of age babies primarily focus on objects about 8-10 inches from their face. While healthy babies are born with all five senses, some, such as eyesight, need some time to fully develop. One sense that’s developed in newborns is hearing - which makes sense. Your baby might not know what you’re saying, but they can hear you, so speak up. 

Infant Vision Explained

As you closely monitor your baby for proper development, you may be wondering how their vision should develop. In doing so, you can identify potential vision issues sooner and take action to help your baby develop faster (or at an appropriate pace). Keep reading as we give you the full vision on when babies can see and how their sight develops. 

What does a 2-week-old baby see?

To make this great big world even scarier, your baby probably only sees objects that are about 8-10 inches from their face from birth to four months. They may start to recognize their caregiver, and if not by vision, they may recognize their voice. Remember, a baby is born with a fully developed sense of hearing. Within the first few weeks of life, babies can start to distinguish shades of color, but it will take a few months before they can truly notice shades of color. They lack the ability to differentiate targets and move their eyes between objects or images, which is why it may seem your baby just stares at you and other objects. Not to burst your bubble that they just didn’t want to take their eyes off you. Around three months of age, a baby can start following moving objects with their eyes which can inspire curiosity. Babies may start reaching for surrounding objects around this same time. 

At what age do babies see clearly?

Around 5 months of age, the world starts to make a little more sense to your baby. At this age, babies can start to see in 3-D as they develop depth perception. As their senses begin to develop, they can become more curious. You may notice your baby start to see things and reach for them around five months of age. They may also become more interested in toys or books. While your baby’s vision is not fully developed at five months of age, they are definitely starting to see life more clearly. 

What can babies see at 1 month?

Newborns don’t see much and likely don’t see anything clearly. As they adjust to life outside the womb, newborns can be sensitive to bright light. Notice how small their pupils are, a sign that demonstrates their eyes limiting light exposure. Within a few weeks, the retina should develop, which can widen the pupils. By one month, your baby might start to focus on you for short periods, but brightly colored and nearby objects (about 3 feet away) may be more interesting. 

How long do babies see black and white?

A newborn baby sees in black and white, complemented with shades of gray. Around four months old, they start to develop color vision. 

What is the first color a newborn can see?

Newborns first see in black and white, with shades of gray. Within a few weeks, they can start to distinguish the color red. Around 3-4 months, they can start to recognize more shades of color, such as green, and around 5 months, color recognition will mature more. However, their vision will not be as vivid as an adult’s vision as it’s still developing. 

What colors do babies see best?

Newborn babies see in black and white, but with time, their eyesight matures. Around 8 weeks of age, babies should be able to differentiate reds and greens as well as light blue and some greens. 

Can a 3-month-old watch TV?

While some may advocate against screen time for babies, the literal question here is if they can watch TV at 3 months old. While a 3-month-old may be interested in the TV, it’s probably not because they can fully see and follow the action. Curiosity is more than likely sparked by the noise and bright light coming from the TV. 

Can babies see in the dark?

Can you see in the dark? Depends how dark it is, right? Just like adults, babies need light to be able to actually see things. They may be able to make out some objects, but it depends on what stage of development they are in. Most babies develop depth perception around five to eight months as well as hand-eye-coordination, which can all help them see better in the dark. 

Conclusion - The Importance of  Visual Stimulation

Development of eyesight and hand-eye coordination go hand-in-hand. The eyes, muscles, and brain need to learn to work together. Understanding how senses and motor skills develop in babies can help you aid their development. Visual stimulation can help babies develop, including promoting better eyesight and hand-eye coordination. For example, newborn babies can benefit from bold black-and-white images to stimulate the optic nerves. As your baby gets older, visual stimuli can help them learn to see, think, and react. During the first few months it’s important to keep objects close (8-10 inches away) so your baby can try to focus on the objects. Visual stimulation should work to help your baby focus on objects and later on develop motor skills. Visual stimulation can be used to distract your baby during tummy time or when they are bored and fussy. Remember, babies can get bored, too. 

To help your baby develop at a healthy pace, you’ll want to ensure they get adequate sleep. You, too, will need adequate sleep to reserve energy for your baby. At Dreamland, we specialize in products that help babies fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. From our best-selling Dream Weighted Swaddle to our Dream Sound Machine, our products work to deliver an unmatched sense of calm to promote a good night’s sleep. 


Help your baby close those tired eyes. . . shop Dreamland today!

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