Your baby’s vision in the first year

Updated: Mar 8, 2020



In utero:

At around 4 weeks gestation your baby’s eyes begin to form. During the 16th week they can perceive light, but their eyelids remain closed until 26 weeks.


Birth:

At birth your baby’s nerve cells in their retina and brain that control vision are not fully developed. They have a visual acuity of 20/400, which is very blurry. By the time they are 3-5 years old, they will reach the 20/20 acuity of an adult.


Week 1:

In baby’s first week he can only see shapes, light and movement 8-10 inches away from his face. His vision is in black and white with shades of grey, full colour vision will develop around 4 months of age.


Week 2:

By week two your baby maybe able to recognise your face. His field of vision is still only around 10-12 inches. You’ll notice that he can hold his focus and gaze at you for a few seconds.


Week 3:

During the third week you may notice that your baby can hold focus on you for a bit longer, maybe 10-15 seconds.


Week 4:

Your baby will start to move his head to look at things now, especially light and noise.


3-6 months:

Your little one can hold his attention and stare at objects for a lot longer now, he probably studies his hands and feet. He can hold eye contact for short periods and follow slow-moving objects. He will begin to move his eyes more freely and look around the room.


7-10 months:

He can see and follow failing object, recognise faces and hold his attention on objects across the room. Full colour vision has developed now.


1 year:

He can see at a greater depth now, even small things likes crumbs. He shows visual interest and can recognise people/objects, plays hide and seek and enjoys looking at his reflection in the mirror. He can judge distance and throw things with precision pretty well now.

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