Babies aren’t born with full vision, so you may be wondering when your baby can see colour, or just see things clearly in general. To give you an idea of what they can see and when, here’s a guide of typical visual development (although please remember all babies grow at their own rate).
How does baby’s vision develop?
Your baby will be able to see, but their vision won’t be focused1.
2 weeks old
Your baby should now be able to focus on a colourful object or your face, if it’s no more than 20cm away1.
For the first three months you’ll notice your baby following moving objects and recognising objects. They will start to see colour too - red at first - so help stimulate and engage them with brightly coloured toys2.
By five months babies begin to see clearly and should be able to differentiate between all the colours. Around this age, depth perception and eye-hand coordination begin to develop, which helps babies see clearly, so you may notice them reaching out to touch things more2.
1 year old
By the time babies reach one year, the connection between eyes, movement and memory is strong and by now you should see a big improvement in your baby’s attempts to do things like roll a ball and pick up small toys2.
Concerns over baby’s eyesight
‘Ivy kept going cross-eyed when she was really little and it scared me,’ says mum, Lucy. ‘But I checked with my health visitor who assured me it was very normal, and sure enough it stopped happening when she was about 8 weeks or so.’
Babies’ eyes are not always well-co-ordinated with each other at first, so if you notice their eyes wandering or becoming crossed in the first two months, it probably isn’t anything to worry about3.
Of course, if you do have any concerns about your baby’s sight, such as a lack of response to visual stimuli, always consult a healthcare professional.
For more information on important milestones in your baby’s development, read our wide range of articles on everything from encouraging your toddler to talk to potty training tips.