Baby Vision: What Your Little One Sees

At first, your newborn's sight is fuzzy and abstract. Learn how your baby learns to see -- and bring her life into focus.

What Do Babies See?

When uncle Fred makes funny faces at your newborn from across the room, the only person he's entertaining is himself. That's because at first, a baby's eyes aren't quite ready to handle all the colors, shapes, and 3-d objects of her brand-new world. "people think that babies see well at birth, but they don't," says Stanley A. Appelbaum, OD, an optometrist in Bethesda and Annapolis, Maryland.

All of your child's other senses -- touch, taste, smell, and hearing -- are ready to go at almost full power at birth. But vision takes some time to develop. For instance, months will pass by before your baby can see in color. For now, she sees in only black, white, and gray. And eye movements are pretty uncoordinated at the beginning, which means a newborn's eyes might move independently of each other. As your baby grows, her eyes will get stronger. Read on to find out when and what she sees, plus how to keep those baby blues healthy.

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