When do babies see?

The sense of sight is the one that takes the longest to develop in babies, for this reason, many parents have doubts about whether the child can see them or recognize them. This is why it is worth analyzing this topic in depth in order to avoid unnecessary worries. 

If you want to know at what age babies begin to see, we have good news, since the scientific community has carried out different studies on the development of sight during the first months of children’s lives . In this sense, we can say that there is a consensus that newborn babies can really see very little, usually lumps and contrasts between light and dark. In addition, during the first hours after birth, it is possible that the child decides not to open his eyes, since the light is excessive compared to the darkness he had in the womb, however, it is a normal behavior that it can last several days.

baby’s first pictures

Many of us have wondered what babies see in the first days of life. As you may know, different health institutions worldwide recommend that the mother place the baby on her lap for the first few minutes and, if possible, start breastfeeding, a first contact capable of creating a very special bond that lasts a lifetime. According to experts, at that first moment the newborn’s vision will be very poor even if she has her eyes open, but she will recognize her mother’s voice and smell, as well as her blurred image.

Over the days, the baby’s sight develops progressively , so that he will be able to see quite well at a distance of about 30 cm, so when sucking on the mother’s breast the child will be close enough to recognize his face. and associate it with the voice and the smell. Usually, the first thing a baby sees is the faces of the people who hold them, especially parents and other family members. Also, she can probably see rattles and other toys pretty well if you get them close enough.

It is possible that during the first weeks the vision of babies is especially stimulated by objects with an elongated shape and well differentiated from the background in terms of brightness and color, which is why they are especially interested in the eyes and mouths of the faces that surround them closely.

It is believed that in this first stage the baby sees in grayscale and one of the first colors that he can differentiate is red. It is possible that when observing an object of this tonality, the baby presents a squint look that disappears immediately. However, this is considered normal, as she is not yet able to coordinate both eyes at the same time to focus an image, so there is nothing to worry about.

How much can a baby see?

If we take into account the opinion of pediatric ophthalmologists, the question is not when a baby sees, but how much, since in a broad sense, the child can see from the moment of birth. In fact, when he is one month old, he may begin to be interested in the environment and during the second month he will be able to follow an object with his eyes if you move it slowly at a distance of 30 to 60 cm from his eyes. To get an idea of ​​how babies see at this age, we can say that the background remains blurred, giving priority to the edges of things, in other words, it is as if they are programmed to see people and avoid all distraction of an environment that could be overwhelming. 

About 2 1/2 months is when babies start to see their own hands. This is a curious and interesting discovery for the baby, but it can also give information to the parents, since it means a remarkable advance in the child’s ability to perceive small details. This coincides with the ability to open and close his hands, so he begins to practice hand-eye coordination , for example, he can look at a colorful object, direct his hands towards it and finally touch or hit it. 

At what age is sight fully developed? 

Between 3 and 4 months of age, the baby’s visual acuity increases considerably, so he no longer needs much contrast, he is able to differentiate an object from the background even if it is the same color. During the fifth and sixth months, color vision develops more and the child begins to see objects that are further away.

But if you wonder when babies see well, the answer is from 9 months, since they can stare at small objects and have greater depth perception, in addition, they are able to follow objects that move at greater speeds with their eyes. speed. It is through the gaze that an exchange is established between the baby and the world around him . In this way, at this stage and around the first year, the child learns to ask for the foods he sees and finds attractive, such as fruits, baby food, baby bottles, etc., but the vision is still not complete, since the sense of vision will continue to develop until approximately 6 years of age.

As an interesting fact, we can add that the color of the baby’s eyes is not completely accurate until the first year of life, which is why many parents say that their children were born with gray or bluish eyes and then their color changed. This is because the production of melanin is progressive, so it is not correct to say that the color of the baby’s eyes changes over the months, but that it is defined.

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