Your baby’s eye sight

Your baby can see from birth, but their vision is quite blurry at first. Their sight will develop gradually over their first year- by one they will see the world almost as well as you do.

As your baby grows, their eyes will take in huge amounts of information about everything around them. Their developing eyesight will help them learn to grasp, sit, roll over, crawl, and walk.

How will my baby’s sight develop?

Newborn

At birth, your baby’s vision is pretty fuzzy, although they can make out light, shapes and movement. During your baby’s first month, they can only focus about 20cm to 30cm away. That’s just far enough to clearly make out the face of the person holding them. If you hold them close, they’ll find your face and expressions fascinating.

One month old

Your baby can’t see far, but that doesn’t matter as your face is the most interesting thing to them anyway. When you cuddle your little one make eye contact and give them time to study your features. They’ve also learned to focus and see colour, but she can’t tell the difference between similar tones such as red and orange.

Two months old

Colour differences are becoming clearer to your baby, and they start to distinguish between similar shades. Your baby may now prefer bright primary colours, and more detailed and complicated designs and shapes. Take advantage of this by showing her bright pictures, photos, books, and toys.

Four months old

Around now your baby will begin to tell how far away something is from them, also known as depth perception.

Five months old

Your baby will be getting better at examining objects closely and spotting small things. You can try playing hide-and-seek or making funny faces to see if they’ll copy you!

Eight months old

Your baby’s vision is much clearer now, almost like an adult’s, and they can see longer distances. Their short-range sight is still better than long-range sight, but their vision is good enough to recognise people and objects across a room.

Nine months old

Your baby’s eyes will also probably be close to their final colour, though you may see subtle changes in the coming months. Your baby will probably be able to point at and demand objects nearby.

12 months old

At 12 months your baby can tell the difference between near and far. They will be able to recognise people who they know approaching from a distance.

 

Will my baby’s sight need testing?

Your baby’s sight is fully developed when they are still very young. It’s important to have their sight checked regularly, so any possible problems can be resolved.

If you have worries about your baby’s sight at any time, ask your GP or public health nurse.