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What do babies see?  Part 1.  | Long Island Eye Doctor

What do babies see?  Part 1. 
Suchi Matalia, OD
As a new mother,  I’ve watched my son’s behavior and reactions change throughout his first few months of life.  It’s fascinating to observe how much they change in such a short period of time.
At birth, babies can only see clearly at 8-10 inches.  Though they may be able to appreciate high contrast at some distance, they can’t appreciate objects or people’s faces clearly unless it is very close to them.  I easily noticed the differences in my son’s reactions when I was very close to his face while talking or singing to him, versus things happening far from him.  I also observed that he preferred staring at the black and white images on his crib mobile, rather than the colorful images.  My son was also very sensitive to light during his first few weeks of life.  He would immediately close his eyes when the lights would suddenly turn on, or the bright sun peaked through the window.
By two months, babies eyes start working better together and develop tracking skills.  At this point, my son would follow the moving objects on the mobile.  He still prefered the high contract images, but I noticed him looking at all the images more than before.  All the family members had a lot shaking rattles and moving musical toys around him, as he would track and follow the toys very well.
By the time he was close to 3 months, he started moving his hands and arms towards close objects.  And a little after 4 months, he was grabbing objects very well.  He was also appreciating things at the distance more.  He would make eye contact with people who walked into the room and smiled at them.  He would also track them as they are walking back and forth around the room.  He still closes his eyes, or looks down when the sun is brightly shinning through the window, or when we are outside on a sunny day, but not as much as before.  And of course, he’s always wearing sunglasses when he’s outside!
Again, it’s a lot of fun and interesting to see how much he changes.  Stay tuned to see how he and his eyes develop over the next few months!

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