Can you see me? The Development of your baby's vision over the first year

What your baby can see, develops over time. Their ability to focus, see colours and even managing their hand-eye coordination develop as they grow. 

Your Baby's Visual Development Over Time

At birth, babies primary focus is on objects 20-30cm from their face. They see distant objects as blurry, due to their nearsightedness. During their first few months, the eyes start to work together and their vision quickly improves. Hand-eye coordination begins developing as the infant starts being able to 'track' moving objects with his or her eyes. By eight weeks, babies begin to more easily focus their eyes on the faces of a parent or other person near them and by about 3 months old, they can spot familiar faces, even at a distance.

From five months old, your baby's eye movement control and their coordination skills continue to improve. It is not until around this time that the eyes are capable of working together to form a three-dimensional view of the world and begin to see in depth. Although baby's ability to see colour is not as sensitive as adults', it is generally believed that babies have good colour vision by about five months of age as well.

As your baby grows, it is important to encourage crawling rather than early walking to help them develop better hand-eye coordination. By two years of age, a child's hand-eye coordination and depth perception should be well developed. 

Baby looking outside

What you can do to help your Baby's Visual Development

  • Human faces are one of baby's favourite things to look at, especially their own or a parent's face. Use a baby-safe mirror at your baby's eye level, perhaps during nappy changes or tummy time so they can look at themselves.
  • Keep toys within your baby's focus, about 20cm to 30cm inches.
  • Sing songs, nursery rhymes and  and other finger games, moving the baby's hands through the motions while singing.Talk to your baby as you walk around the room.
  • Give the baby plenty of time to play and explore on the floor.
  • Play hide and seek games with toys or your face to help the baby develop visual memory.
  • Encourage crawling and creeping rather than rushing them to walk as this helps to develop their hand-eye coordination.

Baby looking into distance

If you want more information on different areas of your baby's development, check our our blogs on Helping your baby learn to crawl, On your mark, get set, go baby go! and Stop Mummy, It's Too Loud.

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