I have heard conflicting statements regarding what a baby can see when they are first born, so I decided to see what I could find on the web.
The short answer is that they can see, but it’s blurry (they can see the big ‘E’ on the eye chart, or 20/120) and by four months they have 20/60 vision.
This doesn’t mean they can’t see, because “if you hold up your thumb at arms length, it will be about 6 times wider than the big “E”! This means that a newborn infant can easily see many of the things most important to him or her: your eyes, your lips and smile, your nose, and his or her own hands, fingers, feet and toes.”
The summary says that “even at birth, a baby’s acuity is good enough so that in your arms, he or she can see many features of your face –your eyes, your mouth, your nose, even a fly landing on your nose!”
They can distinguish their parents face from others by 4 to 5 months. So, although babies can’t see extremely well, they can see well enough.
Next question: Are his smiles caused by gas or is he just a happy fella?