3 Interesting Facts about Newborn Eyes

3 Interesting Facts about Newborn EyesLooking into your newborn’s eyes for the first time is a magical moment. As you soak in your baby’s preciousness you may not realize some interesting facts about newborn eyes. From their color and functionality, to forming tears, newborn eyes are pretty fascinating.

Newborn Eye Color

The color of your baby’s eyes will not be fully determined until about one year of age. That’s when the melanin, a protein that colors our skin, hair and eyes, will have completed its transformation. At birth your baby will have grey or blue eyes. Because he has spent all his days in darkness until his birth day, the melanocytes that require light to secrete melanin weren’t able to start their job. Slowly eye color will change throughout your baby’s first year and by the end the surprise will be revealed. Remember, eye color is genetic so you may be able to predict your baby’s eye color based on yours and your partners.

Newborn Eyesight

At birth your baby has very limited vision and cannot fully focus or track objects. Newborn eyes can see 8 to 10 inches away, which is about the distance from your baby to your face while breastfeeding. Nature’s beauty at work! Babies gradually develop coordination between their two eyes in order to focus and see further distances. Newborns like highly contrasting colors like black and white because they can most easily distinguish between the two. Other colors do not appear as vivid until later in the first year.

Newborn Tears

While your baby may be fussy from birth, he won’t shed tears until around one month of age. This is because newborn eyes do not have fully formed tear ducts. Once the ducts have developed, you’ll start seeing those tears stream down your baby’s sweet face. Yet still, sometimes babies cry without tears, even after their tear ducts are fully functioning. This may simply indicate they are not truly in distress. Tears usually mean your baby is in pain or very upset about something. In some cases tearlessness can mean your baby has a clogged tear duct or is dehydrated.

Newborn eyes are truly fascinating and seeing the world through them can be an awe-inspiring experience for babies and parents alike.

Sources: Healthy Children and American Optometric Association and Parenting