A wonder of nature
Your baby’s eyesight develops dramatically during their first year. From being able to see just a few inches away to having sight that’s almost as good yours, it’s an incredible journey and a delight to watch as your baby’s view of the world unfolds. Knowing the different stages your baby’s vision goes through is helpful for giving them the best view of everything!
Learning through seeing
In the early days, your baby can see just about as far as your face from a breastfeeding position. Its nature’s way of helping you bond with each other and fall in love. Faces continue to be a fascination during the first few months, as well as moving objects. As your baby learns to follow objects and people with their eyes, their eye muscles become stronger and they soon start to move their head and neck, helping those muscles develop too.
Everything your baby sees helps them understand and learn about what’s going on around them. Their vision also contributes to their physical development, giving them the confidence and curiosity to try new movements – first rolling, then crawling and eventually pulling themselves up before taking their first steps.
Your baby's eyesight milestones during their first year
Newborn: At birth, most things appear blurry to your baby. They can only focus up to about 20 or 25cm away, the perfect distance for gazing at your face as you hold them. Anything further away appears as vague shapes and shades of light. They can sense movement, and bright lights tend to make them blink.
1 month: Your baby can track a moving object. They still can’t see very far and they prefer looking at black and white patterns and pictures because they can’t yet distinguish well between colours.
2 months: Your baby's colour perception is improving, but bright colours are easiest for them to see. They love looking at detailed shapes and designs at this stage. By now they can recognise your face!
4 months: Their sight has now developed enough for them to see how far away something is, and they love grabbing for toys and anything else within reach, including earrings and noses! Strong colours are still firm favourites, so bright picture books are a great addition to the toy box.
5 months: Your baby can see smaller objects more clearly and a game of peekaboo is likely to bring on lots of wide eyed smiles and giggles. They love looking at faces and copying different expressions.
6 months: Your baby's eyesight is now an amazing 8,000 times better than it was at birth!
8 months: Their improved vision means they can see things clearly close up and as far away as the other side of a room. If they drop something, they’ll probably look for it.
1 year old: By this time your baby's sight is almost as good as an adult. They can see much further, although they may stay slightly short-sighted until they’re around 9 or 10 years old. They’re experts at recognising faces now and they can often remember where they last saw something, showing that their visual memory is well developed. It may even be better than yours!
Nutritious foods for healthy eyes
A healthy diet contributes to healthy eyesight development. So whenever your baby’s ready for weaning, including foods that are rich in beta-carotene is a great idea. Carrots and sweet potatoes are great sources of this important nutrient, and they’re both perfect for making into first stage purées, or as more chunky finger foods if your baby is ready for more texture.
If you ever need more inspiration for including foods rich in beta carotene/vitamin A in your baby’s diet, our expert team has got plenty of ideas to share. You can always check out our delicious baby recipes too.