5 Interesting Facts About Babies' Eyes

I am an optometrist, and I truly love what I do; having a profession in which I help people with their eyesight is rewarding and fulfilling.  Nevertheless, before having Bennett, I had begun to get a little burnt out on office politics and health care changes influencing patient care standards, and needed a reprieve.  Luckily, an extended maternity leave and starting this blog came at the most amazing time.   I love being home with my baby, and my blog has become my time and place to escape into side interests.  For these reasons, I really hadn't planned on crossing my blog with my day job.  But I can suppress my love of eyeballs for only so long.  Therefore, I have decided to integrate a fun eye fact post into Northern Magnolia every month or two..

For my first eye post, I want to start with a topic that is all too familiar to me right now... babies.  Babies' visual systems are so fascinating because they learn how to see just like they learn to crawl and eat solid foods.  Here are just a few fun facts to provide perspective on how babies learn to see:

1.  Newborns can only focus on objects about 8-12 inches from their face, and they are only able to see in black, white and gray.

2.  Although we do not know for sure, babies' color vision is believed to develop by 5 months of age.  Babies see the color red first (the longest wavelength of visual light).

3.  Babies' eyes don't know how to properly work as a team right away.  This coordinated effort is learned and should sort itself out by 2-3 months of age.  If your baby's eye drift is constant, your baby should see an eye care professional.

4.  Your baby's eye color is dependent on how much melanin is within their iris, which is based on genetics.   Babies may be born with blue or lighter eyes because there is not much melanin produced when a baby is in the womb.  After birth, light stimulates the production of more melanin and the eyes will darken.  So blue colored eyes don't contain blue pigment, they just have less melanin than green and brown eyes.

5.  Babies should be able to follow moving targets and begin to reach for objects at 4 months as their eye-hand coordination develops.

I hope you guys enjoyed this nerdy little segment.  If you ever have any eye or vision questions feel free to comment on my posts or message me directly.


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