What can babies see and hear after birth?
Hearing and sight are both crucial for Your Child’s development. Will the little one be able to see and hear you right away?
Your Child will need to see well to explore the environment and move from one place to another, to develop everyday speech and language skills, your baby will need to be able to hear spoken words.
What will my baby see?
Just like the way babies learn to walk and talk, it takes time for Your Child to develop a clear vision. As the little one gets older, Your Child will learn how to focus the eyes, visually track objects, and use both eyes together in a coordinated fashion.
In the first week of life, Your Child can only see objects that are 20 – 30 cm away. Interestingly, this is about the distance between a mom and her baby’s face during feeding, so the mother and the child can get to know each other early enough. A baby’s eyes are susceptible to bright light. So Your Child is more likely to open the eyes in a low-light environment. And it’s normal for the eyes to drift outward since the eye muscles are still weak. Babies can see bright colors right from the start, so give Your Child lots of cute things to observe.
By 4 to 6 weeks, Your Child should be able to gaze intently at your face, so both of you can have some personal time, and Your Child may try to mimic your facial expression.
At 3 months, Your Child can visually track a moving object.
By 6 months, both eyes should be working in a coordinated fashion, and your little one can recognize familiar faces even at a far distance.
What can I do to help Your Child’s vision?
Your Child’s vision will develop naturally, and we can support the child by providing interesting things to see. Babies love seeing human faces, contrasting shapes and patterns, and bright-colored objects. You can place pictures and toys in Your Child’s line of sight.
Install a baby mobile on top of the crib, which moves with the wind so Your Child gets to practice eye movements.
What will my baby hear?
Your Child can hear since the little one was in the womb. So at birth, your baby can hear any sound and even recognize the mother’s voice. The little one may be startled by a sudden loud sound or seem soothed by any familiar voice.
However, newborns can’t yet locate the source of sounds. It is not until about 3-4 months that Your Child will turn towards the direction of a sound. Babies love to hear human voices, so talk or sing to the little one often.
Dr. Prapasri Nuntnarumit (Developmental psychologist) (1 August 2022)