Babies can see from birth – things are just a little fuzzy at first and in black and white. For newborns, the optimal distance for their vision is between 20 and 38cm (around 8-15in). It’s no surprise that this is about the distance between you and your baby’s face when you’re holding and feeding her!
For the next few months, this is the ideal distance to also hold toys from your baby’s face when playing with her. Moving a toy back and forth within her line of vision also allows your baby to practise visual tracking – watching an object at it moves – which allows her to learn about her world.
Your little one’s vision quickly develops from birth. Between four and six weeks old, just before she starts smiling, she’ll generally start making eye contact with you. If this hasn’t happened by three months, you’ll need to discuss it with your health visitor or GP, who’ll be able to check there’s no underlying problem.
By three months, your baby will also see several colours, and by four months her colour vision is fully mature. Come her first birthday, she’ll be able to spot you from six metres (20ft) away or more. That’s a lot of progress in one year!