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Your baby can see from birth, but his vision is quite blurry. He can make out light, shapes, and movement but he can only focus about 20 cm to 30 cm away. That's just far enough to clearly make out the face of the person holding him. If you hold him close, he'll find your face and expressions fascinating. He'll like high contrast, black and white patterns too.
By the time your baby is two months old, he'll have learned to focus his eyes. Color differences are also becoming clearer. He may now prefer bright primary colors, and more complicated shapes. Take advantage of this by showing him bright pictures and toys.
Your baby learns a lot about communication and social skills from what he sees. He'll watch your facial expressions and try to copy them. By four months, he'll learn to read your face and connect it to the tone of your voice.
As your baby's eyesight improves he's able to tell how far something is from him. He's also getting better at controlling his arms. This allows him to reach out for things and hold onto them, opening up a whole new world of exploration. By the time he's eight months old he's still focused on what's nearest to him but he's able to see a person or object on the other side of the room.
By the time he reaches his first birthday, he'll see the world almost as well as you do. He can tell the difference between near and far and he'll be able to recognize people he knows approaching from a distance.
Lots of activities help stimulate your toddler's eyesight and improve his hand-eye coordination: jigsaw puzzles, building blocks and stringing beads will all boost your toddler's development while he's also having fun.