Can my baby see before she's born?

Q: Can my baby see before she's born?

A: Vision is the last sense your baby develops, which helps explain why her eyesight is so fuzzy as a newborn (at birth, your baby can only see about 8 to 12 inches in front of her).

Your unborn baby's eyelids remain closed until you're about 28 weeks pregnant, which allows the retinas to fully develop. After that time, her eyes open and even begin to blink. Here's a fun fact: As soon as their eyes open in the womb, twin babies can find each other -- and will touch each other's faces or hold hands!

Just as the womb isn't completely quiet (your baby can hear sounds like your voice, heartbeat, and tummy growling), it isn't totally dark, either. As early as week 18 -- when her eyes are still closed -- your baby's retinas can detect a small amount of light filtering through if you're out basking in the bright sun. By week 33, your baby can start seeing dim shapes because her pupils are able to constrict and dilate. --Karin A. Bilich

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