How Well Can Newborn Babies See?

Babies are born with a full visual capacity to see objects and colors. However, newborns cannot see very far -- only objects that are 8-15 inches away. 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 04, 2016

Sources

SOURCES: 
Augustyn M, Zuckerman B, Caronna, E. Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics: A Handbook for Primary Care. Third Edition. Lippincott Williams and Wilkins: 2010.

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