Trying to get pregnant? Make sure you know the bottom line on baby-making—what you don't understand can affect your bub-to-be's health.
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Newborns can only see an object clearly if it's very near to them, which is probably why most parents instinctively get close when they talk to their babies.
"Babies see about 20/200 at 3 to 4 months, which is when they also develop precise depth perception," says Jane Kivlin, M.D., a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics Section on Ophthalmology.
They start learning how to focus on objects during this time, but a little "wandering" of the eyes is normal in the first three months, she adds.
According to Kivlin, there is an argument to be made for those black-and-white products aimed at babies. "High-contrast pictures are easy to see at any age," she says. "In research studies, infants noticed colors but did not distinguish between them. At 2 months they could see a difference between red and green, and at 4 months they could recognize similar hues within a color group, such as different blues."
There is really nothing you need to do to stimulate your baby's vision, Kivlin says: "Ordinary interaction—talking to him face-to-face—is plenty." In fact, faces are what a baby likes to look at most. So resist the urge to constantly wave things in front of his face; this often makes babies cry.
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