Your child goes through an amazing development during the first years of life. All children are different in their development, even within the same sibling group. Some children are quicker to be motor stable and other children are quicker to learn language. A newborn uses all its senses from the start. They can see, hear, feel and are equipped with a fine sense of smell. Although the child uses all its senses from the start, the sense of sight develops continuously as the child grows.
We give you an insight into how children see in their first years of life until the sense of sight is properly developed. It is based on how a newborn, a baby and a toddler see. Read below if you want to know more about the development of a child's sense of sight.
Table of contents
The first eye contact - How a newborn sees
In the first hours after birth, when the first strong bonds are being formed, a newborn can see far, deep and clear. When the newborn wakes up after the first sleep period, the first clear vision will be gone and the newborn will only be able to see about 20-40 cm ahead. This is the distance that will be between the mother and the baby when the baby is breastfed. Here the first time is very important and the baby depends on the creation of the deep contact with the mother, through the first eye contact. The most natural thing for the baby is to distinguish contrasts, as a newborn can only see black and white at first. This also means that the baby's vision is very blurred and sensitive to light. The first weeks pass with the pupils dilating and it becomes clearer for the baby to see shades of light and dark. The ability to focus on something in particular gradually develops. When the baby is about a month old, it will be possible to focus briefly on objects up to a metre away. After the first few months, the child will begin to see colours and shapes, usually yellow and red first, as these are colours that contrast with black and white. Likewise, the child will be able to follow different objects as they move.
The many colors - How a baby sees
When the baby is about 4 months old, colour vision is developed and it is possible for the baby to distinguish between the whole colour spectrum. The understanding of colours will come little by little, as for the baby it is about being able to see and perceive different colour shades. Then comes the ability to sort, match and put words to the different colours. This takes time and will happen during the child's different developmental stages.
Help colour comprehension on its way - How a toddler sees
When your child turns 2, their eyes, hands and body work together to find things that have the same colour and shape. A toddler learns nouns before adjectives, which is why it can be difficult for your child to pick out the favourite colour of a particular toy. You can help colour comprehension by talking about and showing that colours are different. Or you can make it all a game and get out the colouring book and paint different things. Even pre-school children may have difficulty expressing themselves in colour, as the concept of colour is very abstract. The child can easily pick up all the red balls, but may find themselves saying yellow about them instead. This is simply a matter of the child's language development, which parents can of course help to correct quietly. In fact, a child's vision develops right up to the age of about 7. It is about the ability to focus, to follow objects and to perceive depth.