During the first months of baby’s life their vision is still blurry. Newborns cannot see colors, but only high contrasts (like black and white). They are nearsighted: they see only 8-15 inches away. Babies can make out the faces of people close to them, but they do not see details or small features.
According to the research conducted at the University of Oslo newborn can see facial expressions. However, it is only the case when the face is approximately 10 inches away from the baby. That’s more or less the distance between you and your baby when you are nursing it. The study proved that newborns are not only able to identify the person’s face but also see whether their parent is surprised or happy.
Stanford researchers went even further stating that infants process faces long before they recognize objects. The research suggests that infant brains respond to faces in similar ways to adult brains, even though the rest of their visual system is not yet fully developed.
Around 3 months
Over the period of time babies start differentiating other colors, starting from red. By the time they reach 3 months, they will see the full spectrum of colors. This is the time when they also start following the moving objects and recognizing more faces, even from a distance.
Around 6 months
At the age of 6 months baby’s control of eye movements and eye-body coordination skills continue to improve. Toddlers also begin to see in depth: they are able to form a 3-dimensional view of the world. Their sight is still not as good as adult’s, but they are able to perceive most of the details and colors.
Stimulating your baby’s vision
Can you support your baby’s visual development? First of all you should forget about colorful, detailed pictures and books as well as avoid pastel colors in their room like light blue or pink – they are too sophisticated for your baby to perceive. However, you are still able to stimulate your baby’s sight with proper activities and products. Choose contrasting pictures and toys with contrasting colors and place them in your baby’s line of sight.