Caring for Your Baby

Can Newborns See At Birth?

“Can my baby see me?”

This is one of the most common questions us Pediatricians get from new parents. Babies are born without a perfect 20/20 vision. Instead, their vision gradually improves as they grow older. The eyes of newborn babies are very sensitive to light hence they are more likely to open their eyes in low light. At birth, although they can see something next to them with their peripheral vision, their central vision is still improving. They may be able to see something across the room but they primarily focus their eyes on something closer to them – about 8 to 10 inches away from their face. This is about the distance from the breast to the mother’s face. So yes, your baby best sees you during breastfeeding! ☺ As their retinas develop within a couple of weeks, they begin to appreciate light and dark ranges and patterns and they start to get attracted to faces, large shapes and bright colors.

Parenting Tip: Expose your newborn to high-contrast images and patterns to visually stimulate him/her and promote brain development. Images in black and white are the easiest for babies to perceive. You can freely download and print these black and white infant stimulation cards from BrillBaby.

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