At what age can babies see? And how much?

What can newborns actually see? When is their eyesight is fully developed? We asked Dr Philippa Kaye to give us a glimpse of the world through a baby's eyes...

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When your baby is a newborn, their vision isn’t totally developed: they can see, but don’t see the world in quite the same way we do. So, how exactly does the world look to them?

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Our expert GP Dr Philippa Kaye says: “Babies can see at birth; it is just a question of what can they see!

“Newborn babies can see light, motion and faces and, by 1 month, can focus on faces about 30cm away (about the distance between their face and your face looking down at them when you’re feeding them) and can make eye contact with you.

“Within the first few months, as their vision improves, they will be able to pick out smaller objects and see colours. Over time, they develop depth perception and their vision continues to improve.”

If your newborn is cross-eyed, don’t panic: that’s actually normal.

However, Dr Philippa says, if your baby makes no eye contact by approximately 8 weeks old or has a squint after 3 months, you should ask your GP about it.

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About our expert, Dr Philippa Kaye

Dr Philippa Kaye works as a GP in both NHS and private practice. She attended Downing College, Cambridge, then took medical studies at Guy’s, King’s and St Thomas’s medical schools in London, training in paediatrics, gynaecology, care of the elderly, acute medicine, psychiatry and general practice. Dr Philippa has also written a number of books, including ones on child health, diabetes in childhood and adolescence. She is a mum of 3.

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