What can my Baby see?

What can my Baby see?

By Desiree Frigenti – Senior Paediatric Physiotherapist & Director of Ocean Kids Health.

A question I often get asked as a Paediatric Physiotherapist is: ‘What can my Baby see’

Infant vision undergoes significant development during the first few months and years of their life.

Here is an overview of the key stages in the development of your infant’s vision:

  1. Newborn Vision:
    • Newborns have limited visual acuity, typically ranging from 20/200 to 20/400.
    • They can see high-contrast patterns and are attracted to faces and bright colours.
    • Infants are more responsive to bold, simple patterns than to detailed ones.
  2. Visual Preferences:
    • Infants often prefer to look at faces and are drawn to high-contrast patterns, such as black and white.
    • They may show a preference for the human face shortly after birth, demonstrating an early social connection.
  3. Tracking Movements:
    • By 2 to 3 months, infants can start tracking moving objects with their eyes.
    • Smooth pursuit movements, where the eyes can follow a moving object, develop gradually.
  4. Colour Vision:
    • Newborns have limited colour vision, with a preference for high-contrast colours.
    • By 2 to 3 months, colour vision improves, and infants can start perceiving a wider range of colours.
  5. Depth Perception:
    • Depth perception, the ability to perceive the distance between objects, begins to develop around 2 to 3 months.
    • Binocular vision, the ability to use both eyes together to perceive depth, continues to improve over the first few months
  6. Visual Acuity:
    • Infants’ visual acuity improves gradually over the first year.
    • By 6 months, many infants have a visual acuity of around 20/20.
  7. Hand-Eye Coordination:
    • Around 4 to 6 months, infants start developing hand-eye coordination, allowing them to reach for and grab objects.
    • This coordination is crucial for exploring the environment and manipulating objects.
  8. Object Permanence:
    • Object permanence, the understanding that objects continue to exist even when not visible, begins to emerge around 4 to 7 months.
  9. Visual Exploration:
    • As infants become more mobile, their ability to visually explore their surroundings improves.
    • Crawling and later walking contribute to a richer visual experience for your baby.

It is important to note that individual variations in development exist, and the timeline for these milestones can vary among infants.  A child’s eyes are their most important organs of sense, as up to 80% of all sensory impressions are registered through their sight.
Eye check-ups are recommended if you have any concerns to ensure that any potential vision issues that your baby might have are detected and addressed early on.

Desiree Frigenti
Senior Paediatric Physiotherapist

Our Ocean Kids Health team are here to help you and your child thrive!