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What Your Baby Sees: The Development of Vision

Baby 3 MonthsIf your baby is about 8 weeks old, you may have noticed that he is intrigued by his own image. He probably enjoys flirting with himself in the mirror. This is perfectly normal (not vain) behavior for a two-month-old, and you may want to provide him with an unbreakable mirror that's specially made to attach inside cribs and playpens, so he can entertain himself when you're not around.

Babies love the look and shape of faces-especially the eyes. You'll notice that your infant is starting to become increasingly aware of his surroundings, a telltale sign that his vision is strengthening. Here's a month-by-month breakdown of what you'll see through your child's eyes.

One Month

Eyes haven't yet focused, which means your baby will have trouble seeing anything beyond 12 inches or so. Still, he'll study intently anything within this range, especially your face. In terms of color vision, your baby will prefer bold patterns in sharply contrasting colors, much like a black-and-white chessboard design. Contrary to popular belief, newborns are not stimulated or soothed by the soft pastels adorning most nurseries. In fact, they cannot see the full spectrum of colors and their many shades until about four months.

Two Months

Eyes work together to move and focus at the same time. This allows your little one to track the movement of objects, like a swinging hand toy or swaying mobile. He'll also begin to develop depth perception.

Three Months

Distance vision begins to develop. You may notice your baby staring at you from halfway across the room or examining objects several feet away.

Four Months:

Distance vision develops fully. Your baby will test his newfound gift by staring at a distant television screen or looking out the window. His response to color is greater, too, as he begins to decipher a full range of colors and shades.

Further Reading

Your Child's Vision: What You Need to KnowVision Screening for Babies and Young Kids

20/20 is Not Enough

 

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