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When Do Newborn Babies Start to See?

by Alivia Nyhan
Published: Last Updated on

The human eye is a very complex structure that is already almost fully developed in the embryo. But at that time the eye is still functionally immature, although it reacts to light, color, and movement. Some in utero stimulation methods activate movements of the fetus with changes in luminosity, which would indicate that they are perceived.

After birth, the baby seems to travel the world with his eyes. The truth is that he is seeing but he is not seeing clearly. Babies will not be able to see perfectly until they train a little in this sense, the least developed at birth. If you want to know more about this process, continue reading that in FastlyHealwe answer the question, at what age do babies see?

What do newborns see?

The grandmothers used to comment that the babies of before were born with their eyes closed, facing the amazement that today’s babies are born with their eyes wide open. Perhaps they are just stories of grandmothers, but what is surprising, and surely has not changed over time, is the eagerness with which babies discover the world as their abilities allow it. The development of vision goes hand in hand with the acquisition of other skills.

While they remain in the womb, babies are acquiring some skills even though it may not seem like it. For example, they train sucking by sucking their thumb. They also test how to grasp and have in fact been caught red-handed holding their umbilical cord. In the case of vision, it seems, it is a sense that is little used during the in utero period, although already from week 26 the eye is practically developed.

The newborn’s vision is not clear . It is considered that it is the most immature sense of the babies and that it will need training to get to perfect itself. The retina and optic nerve are still immature , so central vision predominates over peripheral vision .

At first, the newborn will be able to distinguish variations in the intensity of light and contrasting colors . He will be able to focus up to a distance of 8 to 12 inches , just the distance between his eyes and the mother’s face when she is breastfed. As if they were programmed to recognize their mother, which is actually what they need to survive in the first place, to keep their mother close.

Visual development of the baby: reflexes

In babies there are certain reflexes or neurological manifestations. Its presence and good functioning serve as an indicator to evaluate the newborn. Regarding its visual capacity, the following eye reflexes are observed :

  • Eyelid reflex: appears from birth to strong light or loud noise. It is a defense movement that consists of closing the eyes, that is, moving the eyelids.
  • Doll eye: newborns are not yet able to fix their gaze, so at first when the head goes to one side the eyes go in the opposite direction.
  • Photomotor reflex: it is the reaction of the pupils to changes in brightness. When there is little light they expand and when there is a lot of light they contract. Observation of this reflex is done to verify the proper functioning of the optic nerve.

The tonic neck reflex is another of the important reflexes that serve to assess the development of the child.

What do babies see in their first months?

At the end of the first month, the baby will show interest in his surroundings and will be able to hold your attention for small moments. Until the second or third month, it is normal for the baby, in his attempts to focus at greater distances than his capacity allows, to cross his eyes and appear to suffer from strabismus. This should improve over time, when they learn to focus with both eyes on the same point.

It is worth remembering that the development of the baby is integral and that the improvement of vision is linked to the acquisition of other capacities . This is what happens after two months when the baby discovers the use of his own hands, as he can already distinguish small details and focus at different distances. This noticeable change kicks off hand-eye coordination , which will be very important as it allows you to recognize and pick up objects.

By about three months, his muscles are stronger, giving him more head control. In addition, your ability to focus has improved, so you can follow moving objects, at a distance of 30 to 60 centimeters, more easily. It also becomes capable of distinguishing colors with similar hues.

From four to six months, their vision progresses and they can already see at greater distances although they continue to see distant objects blurred. He also already recognizes the faces of his parents or caregivers. From the age of seven months , he can stare at small objects , begins to perceive depth, and becomes able to follow objects that are moving faster or that have even gone out of his visual field.

At what age do babies see?

The baby’s vision will be fully mature around two years of age . Already at that moment they see like an adult: they distinguish objects of any size or color; they focus at any distance and perceive depth; and they also recognize objects from a part of them.

It should be noted that vision develops little by little and will not be exactly the same from one individual to another. It is considered that from the first month babies have 10% visual acuity, at two years, 80% and at five they will have adult vision . At this time, perceptual-visual development is integrated into social and cognitive development.

It is also important to note that it is advisable to monitor the different abilities that the baby is acquiring, because if his visual development is not adequate this can hinder his intellectual development. The sooner problems are addressed, the more likely it is to successfully overcome them, when it comes to vision.

Precisely, as it is a sense that develops during early childhood and that matures from external stimuli, it is important to know what visual abilities the child is expected to have at each stage. For this it is necessary to know in detail, At what age do babies see?

This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.

If you want to read more articles similar to At what age do babies see? , we recommend that you enter our Pregnancy and baby health category .

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