Peek-a-boo, I see you!

Your baby's developing eyesight

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  • Peek-a-boo, I see you!

    From the moment he enters the world, your baby's sight develops day by day. Read on to see how your baby's eyesight develops in the first eight months of their life...

  • At birth

    Her vision is quite hazy, and she can only make out light, shapes and movement. She can see about 20 to 30cm in front of her, which is just enough to make out the most interesting thing in the world - your face!

    What can I do?
    Lots of eye-to-eye time is great. Studies show that newborn babies prefer human faces to all other patterns or colours. Keep your face close to hers so she can study your features - but avoid bright lights that might damage her delicate retinas, which are still developing.

  • 1 to 3 months

    He'll have learned to focus both eyes together and will be able to track moving objects. He prefers black and white or high-contrast colours at first. But towards the end of this stage, he'll start showing a preference for bright primary colours and more detailed designs and shapes.

    What can I do?
    Whether you choose specially designed developmental toys for him, or adapt everyday household objects, he'll be transfixed by shiny foil or a bright plastic ball. Try moving a rattle from side to side in front of his face and watch him watching it!

  • 3 to 6 months

    She's beginning to distinguish depth of field now, which helps her to see how far away something is. Together with her greater arm control, this means she'll be able to grab for things such as hair and earrings much more accurately. At this point, she'll be getting better at spotting very small objects, and most 5-month-olds will begin to distinguish subtle differences in pastels.

    What can I do?
    Hide-and-seek and other visual games also become lots of fun for her at this stage. She will also love mirrors - an unbreakable, plastic mirror attached to her bed will provide great stimulation for your 3-6-month-old. Now is a good time to let her practise reaching out by putting her under a play gym where she'll be able to grab at all the toys that dangle down.

  • Continue slideshow >

  • 6 to 8 months

    Her vision will be almost as clear as an adult's at this point. Although she is still better at seeing things at short-range, at 8 months her vision will be good enough to recognise people and objects across a room.

    What can I do?
    Encourage her love of colour with bold primary-coloured mobiles, pictures and books. Things that move, such as fish in a tank or fluttering curtains, also provides lots of visual stimulation, as does watching people cycling or children playing in the park - so get her out and about whenever you can.

Last updated on 4 January 2012

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