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What Your Baby Sees: December 5, 2011

“This is Evelyn Harvey, we call her Evie,” says mom Kelli Harvey.

At six months old, baby Evie is the apple of her parent’s eye. Their hearts swooned when she focused her eyes on them at about two months old.

“You’d kind of get close to her and she could recognize you and just give you that look with her eyes that she kind of knew who you were,” says Kelli.

For all the oogling parents do, their babies aren’t seeing much of it. A newborn’s vision is approximately 20/400, the equivalent of seeing only the big letter ‘E’ on an eye chart.

“First of all their distance is not great at the beginning, at the beginning they only really get a foot. So if you kind of think about nature, it’s about the same distance from a crooked elbow to the face while the baby’s feeding,” says Dr. Eric Jones, a pediatrician on the medical staff with The Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida.

For all the time and effort, along with money spent on giving babies something stimulating to look at, turn out there’s science behind what captures their attention.

By eight weeks, your baby will likely see bold images and contrasts.

“They start to see contrasts, so dark and light together. Babies will seek out those and stripes, bold colors. Then they’ll start to develop facial preference. So they start looking at faces over everything else because they’re constantly changing,” says Dr. Jones.

As for all the musical mobiles, tiny babies aren’t captivated by the tunes.

“I don’t find that sound is as attractive to babies as color and contrasts are. As they get older they look toward it, but most of the time the mobiles that make music are geared towards bigger babies,” says Dr. Jones.

By six months, babies are pretty much seeing the world in the same way we do. Meaning baby Evie is getting an eyeful.

“Great, it’s so fun it’s the best job in the world to be a parent,” says Kelli.