And then there was light! Have you ever wondered when your baby can see light and distinguish between different colours? Or do you want to know at what age your baby will fully recognise your face? Then read on, because we’re going to explain everything in this blog. We’ve also included some tips on how to stimulate your baby’s eyesight.
Light and dark
Your baby's eyes open before birth. At around week 21 of your pregnancy, they will already be able to distinguish light from dark in your belly. As the pregnancy progresses, the abdominal wall becomes thinner and thinner. Your baby will then start to see a pink shimmer through the skin when you stand with your belly towards the light or sun.
Blurry and sharp
A newborn baby can already see the difference between light and dark, but everything will remain blurred to them. Is your baby awake and alert? Then show them objects that have a big difference in contrast (e.g. black and white) – they will find this super interesting!
When your baby is a week old, they will be able to recognise items at a distance of 20 cm. If you keep your face at this distance, your child will be able to properly see it. It is often second nature for parents to keep this distance.
Is your baby squinting? You don't have to worry about that yet. It might be the case that coordination between both their eyes is still a little off track. It is only after the age of three months that their left and right eye begin to cooperate fully with each other. Normally, squinting should improve after that.
Between three and six months old, your baby's vision will continue to sharpen one step at a time. And then after six months, your child's blurry world will become completely sharp!
From a black and white movie to a world full of colour
Have you noticed that your baby looks at your eyebrows and hair rather than the rest of your face? Early on in life, your baby only sees contrasts. This is why they often find eyebrows interesting.
Your child is looking forward to learning about new colours. They do this after about four weeks. Red is the first colour your baby learns. About a week later blue, green and yellow also become part of their colour palette.
Primary colours (red, blue, green, yellow) appeal to them the most. Pastel shades and other colours do not interest them as much, but they do have a calming effect. That’s what makes them ideal for the nursery!
Your little one's eye muscles still need to be trained after birth. In the first few months of life, your baby will turn his entire head with his eyes to look at something. Large conspicuous objects that move slowly are great for your baby to look at. They can already follow these with their eyes, but it will still be jerky.
After only three to four months, everything will go much smoother. Your baby will be able to follow people with their eyes. They will also turn their head to someone or something to see them better. Then between three and six months of age, your child learns to register rapid movements. Test it out and walk by them!
Tips to stimulate your baby's sight:
Your newborn baby is curious about the whole world: smells, tastes, sounds, materials and colours! And you can help them. Here are a few tips on how to encourage your baby to look.
The first activities you can do with your child are discovering colours, shapes and contrasts. But first and foremost, build a visual bond by always keeping your little one 20–30 cm away from you when you play with them or hold them, so they can see you clearly.
Discovering colours together has never been so much fun! In the first weeks of your child's life, contrasts are more interesting than colours. So it's best to look for a mobile with light and dark colours. The first colours your child will see are the primary colours – red, blue, yellow and green. Soon, they will be their four favourite colours! To help them learn to distinguish between colours, give your baby books and toys in bright colours, not pastel shades. The books and lights from Yumi Yay are perfect for this!
3– 6 months
For babies of this age, moving things are already much more interesting than stationary ones. Flat objects are quickly exchanged for objects with nicer shapes. This is the perfect time to buy a (musical) mobile with fun figures!
Your baby is fascinated by everything you do, such as drawing, dancing, talking on the phone and cleaning. As curious as he was at the beginning of his life, he looks forward to seeing new things and activities for the first time!
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