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How Well Can Newborn Babies See?

Babies are born with a full visual capacity to see objects and colors. However, newborns are extremely nearsighted (far away objects are blurry):

  • Newborns can see objects about 8-15 inches away quite sharply.
  • Newborns prefer to look at faces over other shapes and objects and at round shapes with light and dark borders (such as your adoring eyes).

So you're not imaging it when you see your baby fixate on your face and eyes, especially during a feeding, when your face is about a foot away.

When to Worry About Your Baby's Vision:

  • If your baby never seems to fixate on objects about a foot away -- especially your face -- in the first weeks or months, tell your pediatrician.
  • At three to four months, if your baby still looks "cross-eyed" (the left and right eyes seem to be looking in different directions), this could be a sign of a visual or eye muscle problem and should be evaluated at your next check-up. Be sure to tell your pediatrician if you're concerned.

 

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Roy Benaroch, MD on August 23, 2014

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