Baby Vision Guide: When Do Babies See Color?


when do babies see color?

There are so many different things going on throughout a baby's early development. They see new things, hear new sounds, and smell new smells, and everything around them that they see, smell, or touch is a unique learning experience.  

While you love to sit in your new baby’s room during the day and enjoy the beautiful decorating job you did, tiny newborns may be more attracted to black and white color patterns.

Strange as it may sound, much is going on in a newborn baby's brain during the first few months of life, and developing the ability to see color is one of them. Therefore, let’s look more at what colors your baby can see, their ability to see colors, and what signs there may be for issues such as color blindness. 

Let’s dive deeper below!

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When Do Babies Start Looking at You?

As you initially bond with your baby, your face becomes their favorite thing to see. But when does that connection appear when your baby looks at your face? When you hold your baby, you will notice your baby continually looks at you and is drawn to your face.

Between one and three months, they start absorbing more about your face and not just your eyes. They will start looking at more of your facial expressions and how you move your mouth. Your nose, ears, and cheeks become of more interest as well.

Do Babies Only See Black And White?

Before we start discussing colors, let’s talk about black and white colors. Babies can see differences in dark and light when they are in their mother’s stomachs, and this might explain why babies like contrasting colors in black and white when it comes to books and other trinkets. In light of this, some people believe newborns can only see black and white when this isn’t the case.

Babies will continue to see mostly in black and white up to about one month of age. At this point, your newborn will start detecting more brightness in colors and continue down this path until they start seeing all of the primary colors.

Babies can see colors, but their brains are still developing, and they can’t see them as clearly or brightly as adults can. Interestingly enough, the first color your baby can see is red. High-contrasting colors and prints are fantastic for your baby when you are looking for visual toys and books.

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Do Babies See Color?

As we mentioned above, newborns see color, but it can take up to five months old to see the full range. As newborns, they will experience the world primarily black and white, but as they develop, they will start telling the different colors apart from one another.  

Newborn pupils are sensitive to light, but as the pupils enlarge at about week two, they can experience a broader range of dark and light color shades.

When Do Babies Start Seeing Differences In Color?

do babies see color?


As mentioned above, babies will start seeing the full range of primary colors by month five. Many parts of your baby’s vision are still developing, including depth perception, eye-body coordination, and the ability for their eyes to work together.  

Even though research shows that your baby is able to see colors at five months old, it’s still hard to tell if it’s true with your child because they can’t communicate at this point. It is a special time when your child starts talking and can point at colors and then pronounce the name that goes with the specific color. This is when you know if your child’s ability to see color has developed properly. 

When Do Babies Start Seeing Patterns?

As your baby develops in the first few months, so are their eyes. The retina is the portion of the eye that senses light. As your baby’s retina develops, your baby will quickly start recognizing patterns, even as early as its first month.

In the beginning, babies will be drawn to simple black and white drawings and designs or drawings with contrasting colors. As their eyes develop, they may start understanding patterns and objects on the page.

Your baby will love the higher-contrasting patterns and stare at those much longer than a page with one or two colors. Checkers and stripes, for example, are patterns that your baby may be attracted to because of their unique design.

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Signs Of Vision Development Problems

Newborns typically don’t have vision problems when they are first born. Most healthy babies start their life with healthy eyes, but vision problems can occur as they develop. Color blindness is a common problem but not as challenging as others can be. 

Here is a quick list of signs to look for in your baby that indicates they could have vision issues:

  • Blocked tear ducts - your child will start showing signs of above-average tearing in their eyes. 
  • Eye Infections - if your child starts showing red or crusted eyelids, it could indicate an eye infection.
  • Eye muscle control issues - if you notice your baby is continually turning their eyes, there may be something wrong with the eye muscle.  
  • Elevated Eye pressure
  • Eye cancer - If you see any white in the pupil, it may indicate the presence of eye cancer.

If you start noticing any of these issues with your baby’s eyes, contact your doctor immediately to do a thorough eye exam and determine if further action is needed.

Keep an Eye on their Eyes

As your newborn grows and develops, the ability to see colors and patterns grows too. Now that you know babies can see colors at five months old have fun choosing bright and fun objects and books for them to develop even further. 

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