Can my newborn really see me?

Did you know that at birth your baby can make out most of your facial features right from your arms? The topic of infant vision is always on new parents’ list of questions and is now better understood than ever, as ongoing research has continued to shed light on what infants are able to see from the get-go and how that evolves over the first year of life.

Just recently I came across this fascinating article “What Can My Baby See?” by Dr. Russell D. Hamer from the Smith-Kettlewell Eye Research Institute. Here, Dr. Hamer walks us through the stages of infant eyesight development—from focusing ability to visual acuity—and offers clear-cut answers to these commonly asked questions:

  • How far can my baby see?
  • How blurry is blurry?
  • Are black and white toys important for visual stimulation?
  • When can my baby see colors?
  • My baby’s eyes cross sometimes. Is that normal?
  • When can my baby recognize my face?

Over the first month or two of life, babies become very interested in facial features and begin to spend significant waking moments studying those around them. They start to smile socially and reciprocate simple expressions and movements of the face (like sticking out their tongue when this is done to them!). New infants during this time also begin to make sing-song like noises that we call “cooing” and will use these sounds when spoken to–very satisfying, indeed, to new parents.

These are the beginnings of babies’ socialization and point out the evolution in their vision and other important early brain changes.

Do you have questions concerning your baby’s vision or development? Give us a call at 415.826.1701.

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