newborn vision development in the womb

When Does Baby’s Eyesight Develop In The Womb?

Your baby’s sensory development inside you is no doubt complex, however  based on in-utero stimuli, the senses like touch, sound, taste, etc. do begin to develop. Your baby’s eyesight development during your pregnancy is one of the most important parts of sensory development. 

When Does Babies’ Eyesight Development Occur In The Womb?

Eye develops in your baby as tiny outgrowths from the forebrain. In fact, by the first 8 weeks of your pregnancy, as your baby’s brain and spine develop in the womb, the structures necessary for the formation of the eyes also develop.

What Are The Stages Of Baby’s Eyesight Development During Pregnancy?

Since the baby’s vision development in the womb is connected through the nerve cells, the various stages of development are:

By the 6th Week

During this week of pregnancy, two optic nerves form on each side of the head as a result of cells derived from the developing brain. These nerves act as a messenger and pass the information from the eyes to the brain. Also, there are other cells that are developing around this time, which further helps in developing the lens of your little one’s eye inside you. As a result, your baby is able to focus.

eye contact baby development
Source: harvardeye.com

By the 8th Week

Since by the 7th week of pregnancy, the cornea, pupil, iris, lens, and retina start forming. However, by the 8th week, the retina, or layer of cells at the back of the eye that sense and process light, has begun to form. The retina is a layered structure, which has many light-sensitive cells known as rods and cones, that helps the baby see in the dim light of the womb.

By the 16th Week

As your baby’s eyesight develops inside you, the little one is starting to see light. In fact, during this time, the baby inside can make small movements in response to the light that he or she’s receiving, even if the eyelids are still not open.

By the 22nd Week

 Although your active little one won’t be able to see a lot inside the womb, however, eye development in this week of pregnancy will be better. He or she would still be able to sense bright lights from the outside. Why not try shining some flashlight on your growing belly, and get a kick or two as your reward.

By the 28th Week

When your baby is awake inside your womb, he can notice light, open his eyes, and blink.

By the 31st Week

By this time, the pupils would be contracting and expanding enabling, the baby’s eyes to let in more or less light. Moreover, around this time, the baby inside is able to focus on the dim outlines of a few shapes and colours from inside.

By the 32nd Week

It is possible for your baby to focus on large objects that aren’t too far away, and this ability to focus will last until birth.

By the 34th Week

The little one inside will be able to see the colour red, as that’s the colour inside the womb.

In fact, by the 36th week of pregnancy, your baby’s vision inside is fully developed.

How Will You Ensure That Your Little One Has Good Eyesight Inside?

Eye development before your baby’s birth depends upon what you eat during your pregnancy. The all-essential nutrients are there to support your baby’s eyesight development during your pregnancy. So, try to have spinach, carrots and sweet potatoes, as much as possible, among other foods along with fish, meat, and other dairy products. In this way, not only will your baby’s vision develop inside but your baby’s vision development after birth.

Well! It will also be quite interesting for you to know, that your newborn’s eyesight at birth  may seem to be a little fuzzy, however, as the brain of your newborn matures, the baby’s vision also develops. In fact, your little one’s ability to focus improves by the first year of his or her life. With time your baby’s eye colour might change too. Now as a new parent, it is your duty to take care of your little one’s eyes.

Also, follow our blog, to get more insight on pregnancy, post-partum, baby care, and cord blood banking.

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