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Our Baby's First Two Years
by Robert M. Selig, M.D., FAAP & Joann C. Cozza, D.O., FAAP

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Parents frequently ask what their baby is able to see at a particular age. Your baby's visual abilities develop as he/she grows and develops. You will be surprised how much your baby is able to see. Below is a list of visual developments during your baby's first year.


Newborn: • He can blink his eyes if a light is shined in his eyes.
  • He will stare at walls, windows, and lights.
  • He can see objects best at between 6-8 inches from his eyes.
1 Month: • She likes to look at pictures of faces and will concentrate on the outside of your face - chin, ears, and hair.
  • She will protect herself if something is brought too close to her face. She will open her eyes when you hold her over your shoulder.
2 Months: • He will look at your eyes, mouth, and nose more.
  • He smiles when he catches your eyes.
  • He prefers to look at large patterns such as checkerboards squares, designs with geometric shapes, pictures of animals (butterfly).
  • He prefers dark colors (black, blue, red, green) with light backgrounds.
  • Any moving object will catch his attention.
  • He shows interest in staring at his hands.
3 Months: • She can recognize familar objects and stay interested for longer periods of time.
  • She can recognize her bottle and will lift her arms up.
  • She will get excited when she recognizes familiar objects.
  • She has no depth perception, therefore she will have no fear of heights - Be careful.
4-6 Months: • He enjoys looking in a mirror-he will have a definite reaction on seeing himself in the mirror. He may kiss, touch, or make faces at the mirror. He may even look around the back of the mirror.
  • If you cover an object, he will lose interest in it. When it reappears, he will be surprised. Once out of sight, to him, it is gone forever.
  • He can focus on objects that are brought from several feet away to 6 inches. As objects get closer to him, his eyes will move closer together to focus and it may appear as if he is cross-eyed.
6-9 Months: • She is interested in small objects, like crumbs or small objects on the carpet. Be careful- she will make a good scavenger.
  • She will begin to show a fear of heights - her depth perception is beginning to develop. She is still inconsistent in her fear-she may still crawl over a ledge or fall down steps. Be careful!
  • She can keep an interest in an object even after it is covered over and she will lift a cloth off to find a toy.
9-12 Months: • He will look for objects which have fallen out of his playpen or crib.
  • He will show interest in others that are playing near him.
  • New objects will interrupt his crawling.
  • He likes to look at pictures in books.



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