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what do newborns see?

my daughter is 2 weeks old and often looks me in the face and smiles. it warms and breaks my heart all at the same time. but once MIL loves to ruin things for me and says that the baby can't see anything yet and she doesn't know emotions or me for that matter...i could understand that she may not be able to see but she knows my smell doesn't she?? ( not meaning that my baby's a dog who can smell me or anything like

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Asked by Anonymous at 6:41 PM on Nov. 6, 2008 in Babies (0-12 months)

Answers (5)
  • It used to be we thought that newborns could see very little during the first few months of life. However, better and more sophisticated testing techniques have proven these assumptions wrong. In fact, newborns are able to see and distinguish objects within the first few weeks. Their eyes are not great at focusing, so optimum distance for seeing an object is between eight to 15 inches.



    Answer by SAHMinIL at 6:47 PM on Nov. 6, 2008

  • Sight: Your newborn can see best at a distance of only 8 to 14 inches, and focus when gazing up from the arms of Mom or Dad. Hearing: Your newborn has been hearing sounds since way back in the womb. Smell: We assume newborns can smell because we know they can taste, and these are the two most closely related of the senses. Research shows that new babies prefer sweet tastes from birth and will choose to suck on bottles of heavily sweetened water but will turn away or cry if given something bitter or sour to taste. Source:


    Answer by SAHMinIL at 6:51 PM on Nov. 6, 2008

  • Infant emotions and emotional communications are far more organized than previously thought. Infants display a variety of discrete affective expressions that are appropriate to the nature of events and their context. They also appreciate the emotional meaning of the affective displays of caretakers. The emotional expressions of the infant and the caretaker function to allow them to mutually regulate their interactions. Source:


    Answer by SAHMinIL at 6:57 PM on Nov. 6, 2008

  • In short, newborns CAN see, CAN smell, CAN hear, CAN taste, CAN feel, and CAN pick up on emotions!!! So don't listen to your MIL!!! Enjoy your baby and building those bonds that will help you as your baby grows older!!!

    Answer by SAHMinIL at 6:57 PM on Nov. 6, 2008

  • A newborn's sight isn't good, but they can see. At about a foot and a half they can see foggy. That means your baby has seen and now knows your face. She knows your smell and taste and sounds from the womb. Tell your MIL to eat a poopy diaper! Your baby knows you and she has emotions! She's happy or sad or angry or in pain or scared. You know your baby Mom, believe in you!!!

    Answer by shmorris56 at 10:31 PM on Nov. 6, 2008

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