Know about sight and vision in infants, what
babies can see and understand and sight development in a baby.
Sight and Vision in Infants
Babies are curious about everything around them,
right from their very birth. They love to look at bright colors in the
crib and their mom's smiling face again and again. Amongst the first few
things that babies learn to recognize is their mother's face, as she
feeds and nurses them. In fact, the most preferred sight for a baby
comprises of his/her mother's face, as he/she feels the safest with her.
This serves as the first step in the bonding process between a mother
and her child. As a baby's vision sharpens, he/she learns to recognize
his/her dad, sibling (if any), grandparents and other caregivers and
family members, eventually even the pets and frequent visitors to the
house. Let us know more about what babies can see & understand.
Sight Development In A Baby
- In the initial days that follow their birth, babies see
everything in mainly black and white. It is only after they become
two weeks old that they start acquiring the ability to distinguish
colors. Still, their color vision is not as rich and sensitive as
adult and improves over time.
- Babies seem to find people's faces most interesting and tend to
read and observe them for a long time. It has also been seen that
familiar faces and surroundings make a baby feel secure and
- Within a few months of their birth, babies start recognizing face
expressions and even attribute them to certain feelings. They
understand facial expressions much better than words and may try to
imitate them too.
- It has been observed that infants also love to see pictures of
other babies. They will even be fascinated when they look at
themselves, either in a mirror or in pictures.
- Babies are much smarter than most people believe them to be and
they tend to notice changes in the scenery as well as any changes
that you make in the home décor. It might be the reason why
some babies resist a change in their surroundings, such as moving
the crib to another position or repainting a wall or shifting
houses. In such a case, you may have to soothe them until they start
feeling comfortable in the new setting.
- Like adults, babies are also able to see everything around them.
However, in the first few weeks after their birth, they do not have
very good control of their ciliary muscles and thus, are not able to
focus correctly. It is only after about 2 months of age that infants
are able to see clear images.
- In the initial stage of their life, babies are not able to see
images as clearly as adults. The reason for this is that their
retina as well as their brain area that is responsible for vision is
not fully developed. It by eight months that they have a vision
almost as good as adults.
- In the first month, babies are able to distinguish between two
shades of gray that have 5% contrast, or differ by only 5% in gray
level. However, by the time they are 2 months old, they can perceive
almost all the subtle shadings that make this world so rich and