What does a newborn baby see?

In your womb, around the 29th week of your pregnancy, your child opens his eyes for the first time. Of course there is not much to see, because it is pretty dark there. Only when you sit in the bright sun can a light glow appear in your womb. He could not see much more than that, because in the beginning your baby hardly sees anything. Even after birth, your newborn baby can hardly distinguish colors and no details at all. He can see your face, while feeding and with your face close to him. If you are a little further away, then you are out of the picture.

If he can not see you (well), then how does he recognize you? He mainly does this with your scent, voice and warmth.

2 months

After two months he can see some more details. This comes along with the first 'smile moment' of your baby. He is now beginning to recognize you with his sight! How nice is that!

3 months

Only after three months does your baby see some colors. First the colors are red and green and later blue and yellow. It was not until the sixth month that the rods were developed in his eyes. These rods are responsible for seeing dark. Babies prefer contrast, such as black and white. The greater the contrast, the better they can see it.

3 - 4 months

With about three to four months, your baby can look at one point with both eyes. He can now distinguish the details of objects. How interesting can all of a sudden be his hands and feet!

6 months

The development of his eyes is now about two-thirds. He can now observe with both eyes at the same time and for the first time he can now see depth. Now that he has mastered this, he can also follow faster moving objects. His eye-hand coordination will now improve.

12 months

Only after one year does your child have the same perception as an adult!


You can stimulate your baby a little bit. A baby of less than three months old, for example, finds it very nice to look at objects or people who move. He also likes strongly contrasting colors, large shapes and simple patterns.
After three months your child will get more interest in moving things and three-dimensional (instead of flat) objects.
From 6 to 9 months he will like to look at you, what you are doing. He can now hold his attention a little longer. Especially on things that are new to him.


Some babies still look a bit squinty during the first few months. You do not have to worry about that, chances are that this is going to improve. If your child's vision does not develop sufficiently, contact your doctor. From 6 months, your child may be old enough for an eye test.

When do you engage an ophthalmologist?

- When he has trembling eyes or when his eyes continually shoot back and forth.
- If he constantly looks cross-eyed (up to 3 months he is allowed to do this occasionally)
- If his pupils have a different shape (not nicely rounded), not beautiful black but have white dots or even a whole white glow.

Vision Direct

Vision Direct has made a nice video about what a baby sees.

Video: How Babies See The World

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