The World of Pregnancy

When Do Babies Open Their Eyes in the Womb?

Have you ever wondered when do babies open their eyes in the womb? Well, if you are as eager to become a mother as most future mothers are, you probably asked yourself this many times.

When Do Babies Open Their Eyes in the Womb

What Is the Visual Sense?

The visual sense is the ability of the eyes to detect and focus images in visible light with the photoreceptors in the retina of each eye, which generates nerve electric pulses in different colors, sizes and luminosities. The photoreceptors are of 2 kinds, namely: canes and cones (cells with canes and cone cells), after their shape. Nerve cells are the ones connecting these cells with the brain.

The canes are sensitive to light, but they aren`t able to distinguish light. On the other bands, the cones receive radiation of different wavelengths of the light spectrum and transmit them to the cerebral cortex, therefore distinguishing the colors, especially blue, green and red. All the other colors are obtained by mixing these first 3 colors. – More info!

There`s a dilemma on this matter, which is a present medical debate where no consensus has been reached. Some doctors claim that 1, 2 or even 3 chromatic sensations are at the receptor level. Neuro-anatomic doctors claim that there are 2 chromatic sensations, given that the receptors are responsible for the perception of color and light.

The most accepted assumption is that they eye perceives these 3 fundamental colors separately, and the different chromatic sensations are the result of the concomitant and unequal stimulation of the 3 types of cone cells; their equal stimulation would offer the feeling of white light.

When Do Babies Open Their Eyes in the Womb?

It`s considered that vision is the very last sense that your baby will develop, explaining why his eyesight becomes so fuzzy at birth.

Today, it`s known that the fetus is able to perceive light from the 3rd month of pregnancy, and from the 7th month is considered that the baby is already able to see. Therefore, it can be said that the baby sight isn`t perfect from the start, but it improves during pregnancy and represents an inexhaustible source of exploration that is unfolding in front of his eyes.

Your baby`s eyelids stay closed until you are around 28 weeks pregnant, allowing the retinas to develop completely. After that, his eyes start to open and even start to blink at some point. Here is an interesting fact – after opening their eyes in their mother`s belly, twins are able to see each other and even touch the one another`s face and hold hands.

Can a Baby in the Womb See Light?

Exactly like the fact that it isn`t exactly quiet in the mother`s tummy, as the baby is usually able to hear various sounds like belly growling, the voices of people around or heartbeat, it`s not completely dark either. In 1983, it was clearly demonstrated by ultrasound that an unborn baby can open his eyes in the amniotic liquid even from the week 16 of pregnancy. Moreover, by exposing the mother`s belly to light variations, the fetus reacts and it`s noticed an acceleration of the heart rhythm and a stirring of the limbs.

At birth, the newborn has the ability of distinguishing contrasting and distant images pretty well. He is able to distinguish 2 things of up to 5% of light intensity, while an adult perceives the different between 1% and 2%. At 7 months from conception, the fetus is already able to see.

New studies have reached to the conclusion that babies show a special preference for new things. A researcher has proven that newborns that show no interest for new objects are disadvantaged by pathological antecedents, meaning obstetric or postnatal complications. – Click here!

What Does the Baby See at Birth?

A long time it was thought that babies are blind at birth. Now we know that this isn`t so; they are just in a state of confusion. – Click this web page!

Your baby only sees blurry spots, without shape or color. We can actually say that the sight of a newborn is a shadow or a game of colors.

He can only see images up to at about 7 – 8 cm (30 cm at most), which is enough for his “age.” At this distance, he can only distinguish the face of his mother. In fact, the mother`s face doesn`t appear as a face, but rather as an unclear image, a dark spot in the light, and he`s trying to understand that his mother is in fact “his mother.” The fact that his mother speaks to him helps him understand that she is a human being. – More details!

This is an age of miracles for him. Everything around him is new, and his sight is one of the first connections with the new environment.

When Does the Baby Actually Starts to See?

After only 2 days from birth, the baby will be able to distinguish his mother`s face from the one of another person. The fact that you are smiling to him, talk to him warmly and look at him will make for the bond between the 2 to become unimaginable. The baby, after only a couple of hours from birth, will start to distinguish the colors yellow, green and red from the gray color, which he has actually being seeing until now.

Image courtesy of Peekabooiseeu Ultrasound
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