From clarity to objects, what do your baby's eyes see?

For a long time, it was thought that newborns came to the world practically blind and did not begin to acquire vision until well after childbirth. Nowadays, however, it is known that this is not true. In fact, when A baby comes into the world with the developed organ of vision: the child is able to see, but not to stare, because his visual sense is still very primary.

During the first ten days of a newborn's life, babies are able to perceive, mainly, clarity. Therefore, practically all neonates tend to reject excessive luminosity.

Luminous points: the first thing your baby sees

Their visual ability allows them to look at a bright spot, but always capturing more or less blurry images. In addition, its average focal distance is between 20 and 30 centimeters. This is the approximate distance that your mother's face is when you breastfeed.


Oddly enough, this phase usually lasts a few days, since the optic nerve is one of the parts of the brain that develops most rapidly in the child's head. During these first moments, we should not worry if we perceive that our son suffers a little strabismus because this occasional affection usually disappears by itself during the first three months.

An authentic revolution: this is the vision of the baby

Throughout the first month of life, the vision of newborns undergoes numerous changes. Although babies are usually born with a peripheral vision (ability to see the sides) quite developed, this capacity is usually progressing rapidly to allow the child to focus on a single point in the center of their field of vision.


Likewise, with one month the children are able to focus briefly to objects located at 90 cm. Soon they also learn to follow objects in movement. In these cases, one of the best systems to help them practice their newly released skills is to move our own head from side to side while holding our little one facing us.

The contours arrive!

From the three months, the most likely is that our little one is already capable of distinguish the colors. At this age, in addition, children can now fix their gaze for longer on the contours of the objects that surround them. The interior of the forms, on the other hand, still go unnoticed by the little ones.

Also, babies are able to clearly perceive the three-dimensional figures, while their eye-head coordination is much more developed. Precisely for this reason, it will not be strange to observe how our little one turns his head slightly every time he wants to look at something situated on one side or the other of his own body.


After six months, the child will not only be able to distinguish some faces of others and to recognize his family without problems but, in addition, he will begin to make small distinctions between those he knows well and those people that are unknown to him. So, for example, every time you pick up a strange "face" in your arms, it will not be strange for the baby to cry. Undoubtedly, he will prefer to always be close to the well-known and tender faces of his parents.

Visual stimulation for your baby

Parents can do a good number of small and simple exercises at home that will help stimulate the baby's visual capacity.

Thus, for example, during the first months of the child's life it is good to show him big black and white drawings. Both the alternative black and white bars, targets or chess boards will be extremely attractive for our little one.

In the same way, we must put at your reach not only mobile toys but, try to opt for those who have bright colors. And is that, if we show our child three different toys, one red, one blue and one last yellow, probably look longer red.

The vision in color does not usually develop until 4 months so before two colors, one off and one more striking, the child will always opt for the live one.

Keys to understanding what your baby sees

1. When a newborn looks at an object or a face in particular, it is not strange to contemplate a certain strabismus. If this is our case, do not worry because the coordination of the eye muscles is still not perfect and will not start to be more developed until the third month.

2. Most neonates are often farsighted (75% to be more exact), that is, their images are formed beyond the retina so their near vision is quite difficult. This small defect usually corrects itself during early childhood.

3. Neonates are able to appreciate the distance. To prove it, we will only have to bring an object to our little one's face. He will quickly turn his head away in order to defend himself.

4. There are many babies who, when they wake up, wake up with their eyes glued for dry secretions. To clean them, it is best to opt for gauze soaked in sterile water or saline.

5. Do not hesitate to stimulate the vision of your baby from the first day. The high contrast drawings (black and white, fundamentally) are ideal to develop the visual capacity of children.

To clean the eyes of the baby every day, the movement that we must make is always from the internal angle (where the lacrimal gland is), near the nose, towards the outer side. It is also important to use a sterile gauze for each eye so that, in the case of infections, they do not spread from one side to the other.

Cristina Álvarez

It may interest you:

- Baby's eyes and visual stimulation

- The vague eye is a cause of school failure

- Stimulates the vision of your baby

Video: Baby development - sensory colours & shapes


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