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.


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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