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Q&A: Can My Newborn See Me?

Q&A: Can My Newborn See Me?

We have the pleasure of speaking with one of the experts on the Mommy’s Bliss team, Dr. Smita Malhotra. Dr. Smita is a pediatrician and mom who talks to a lot of newborn parents. We asked her to share some of the common questions she gets and how she responds.

Can my newborn see me?

The short answer is, yes! The longer answer is a little more complex. As a rule, newborns can only see about 8-to-12 inches in front of them. That's why breastfeeding is such a bonding experience. When your newborn is breastfeeding, your faces are the perfect distance from each other so he can stay fixated on you. Anything beyond 12 inches is a big blur. Newborns mostly see in black, white, and shades of gray; color vision doesn’t develop until a bit later in babyhood (along with their ability to see farther and farther away). Something else that’s interesting about newborns is that they have a very keen and distinct sense of smell, and they can always smell their mom (or whoever carried them), even if she’s on the other side of the room. A lot of dads have a hard time feeding their newborn a bottle if the birth mom is nearby; the baby knows there’s breast milk right there! And when moms are trying to wean from breast to bottle, I tell them to leave the room or leave the house so the baby can’t tell they’re around.” For more Q&As with our experts, follow us on instagram or facebook.

This site is intended for informational purposes only and does not provide medical advice. Please consult your physician or other health-care professional.

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