From the day George was born, the moments I cherish most are when he looks at me. In my opinion I think George started to recognize me from day 2 and explored my face. However, I do remember having heard that newborns have very poor vision. So is George actually able to see me or is it my imagination?

I reviewed some basic eye development and learned:

Babies have immature visual systems at birth and maturation occurs during the first few weeks. Vision continues to develop to the adult level until 3 to 5 years of age. At birth, newborns have blurry vision with a visual acuity of 20/400.  This means what the baby sees at 20 feet is what others would see at 400 feet. Most infants are able to follow an object with their eyes by 3 months of age. 

I also reviewed some literature to see when babies start recognizing faces:

One of the studies I reviewed suggested that babies have a preference for face-like stimuli. Another study I reviewed suggested that from a few days of age infants prefer to look at a familiar face versus an unfamiliar face. Another study suggested that by approximately 6 months of age, infants have different brain activity to familiar faces versus unfamiliar faces.  

Does baby George recognize me?

After reading studies based on the evidence it is unclear whether it takes month or days for an infant to recognize their parent. This being said, I think George started to recognize me when he was 2 days old!

This post was co-authored by Stephanie Liu, MD, MSc, CCFP, BHSc and Erin Manchuk, BScPharm, BCGP.


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