Can you see what I see?: What you need to know about your baby’s developing vision

By Justine Lorelle LoMonaco

From the moment your tiny human was born, you probably couldn’t take your eyes off of him. But you may have wondered: Just what can he see?

In truth, not as much as you might think. Newborn’s have the visual acuity of 20/400 (meaning they can only see a few inches from their face) and only in black and white with shades of gray. If that sounds boring, don’t worry—your baby is still getting acclimated to this new world outside, and too much would overwhelm them. Plus, in the first few weeks and months, their vision rapidly develops to include seeing greater distances, longer focus, and, eventually, a whole array of colors.

To make the most of your newborn’s limited vision, don’t be shy about getting up close and personal when talking and singing (like we had to tell you twice!). It’s also a good idea to alternate sides while nursing or bottle feeding so both eyes get equal stimulation throughout the day.

By the second and third weeks, you’ll probably notice that your baby starts to recognize caregivers (that’s you, parents!) and her attention span will start to increase (though she can still only see 8-12 inches from her cute little face). You can encourage stronger eyes by talking to your baby as you walk around the room and keeping favorite toys within a foot of her face during tummy time.

At two to three months, your baby should start tracking objects with their eyes. You’ll notice them watching your mouth intently as you talk and sing—and it can also be a great time to hang a mobile above their crib to hold their attention and encourage them to reach for the stars! (Or at least the toy they want.) Color vision also starts to develop after four months, so that’s a great time to start pointing out and naming colors of toys, flowers, and clothes around you. And at five months, their depth perception will be greatly improved—just in time for them to start experimenting with crawling!

From seven to ten months, you’ll notice an increased interest in details, especially when looking at pictures or even playing with food at their high chair. Try steaming your Raised Real meal and letting your little one play with small, bite-size pieces to encourage them to track and chase.

What you put on their plate matters too! Leafy greens like kale and spinach are bursting with carotenoids like lutein and zeaxanthin that help to prevent eye issues in the future, while beta-carotene in carrots strengthen eyes for increasing vision. (Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered there!)

During playtime, play “hide and seek” with toys to help encourage a stronger visual memory, and don’t be shy about narrating your day—the more objects you can name for baby, the greater the benefit on their future vocabulary.

If you ever suspect a vision issue, bring it up to your pediatrician. Many experts recommend getting your child their first eye exam around six months. After all, there’s a whole world out there to see with your tiny human—and you don’t want to miss a thing.

Looking for functional foods to feed your baby for healthy vision? Raised Real meals support healthy vision development.