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10 things you may not know about your newborn's eyesight

We don’t need to be told how amazing our little ones are when they come into the world. That incredible feeling that comes from watching them become aware of and react to the world around them making up for the sleepless nights and endless nappy changes.

Yet what is going on behind the scenes is just as incredible, their internal connections firing away, setting them up for life.

Read on for 10 facts about how your little one sees the world around them...

1. Vision is one of the least developed functions of a newborn’s sensory system unlike hearing which is fully developed at one month.

2. On birth your little ones’ vision is only about 5% of your own and won’t catch up to the full capability of the average adult until they are at least 4 years old.

3. Babies possess the skill of distinguishing between dark and light while snug in mum's tum, standing them in good stead to detect colour contrasts later on. On opening their eyes newborns start distinguishing shape and form by following the lines where dark and light meet which enables them to start making sense of the new world around them.

4. Light has to be 50 times brighter for a 1-month old baby to be aware of its presence compared to the average adult. This decreases to 10 times brighter by the time they reach 3 months.

5. For the first 3 months newborns will only see around 12 inches from their face, primarily in shades of black, grey and white.

6. A newborns ability to distinguish the full clarity of colour only emerges at around 6 months, red the first colour they can distinguish at around 3 months.

7. By 6 months your baby’s vision is 20/100, compared to our own 20/20 vision.

8. Stimulation of all the senses is vital in the early days, causing the nerve cells in your little one’s brain to multiply and start connecting, and an incredible 80% of stimulation newborns absorb coming from what they see.

9. Visual stimulation engages nerve cells that have a direct pathway to a newborns brain. The more they are stimulated the quicker their brain grows and the faster a baby's visual development.  In fact, research repeatedly showing that babies surrounded by the right stimulation reach developmental milestones faster!

10. Since the 1940’s research has concluded that the best thing to stimulate little eyes are high contrast black & white shapes, at odds with a market saturated with brightly coloured plastic toys and cute pastels.

The greater the definition of these black and white shapes the longer the image holds a little one’s attention, the complexity of the pattern that they engage with growing as they do.

 Find out more about the science behind black & white stimulation for newborns at 


About the author:

Following a 10 year career in brand marketing & strategy it was while off on maternity leave that I read about the benefits of black & white while scrolling though Facebook in a desperate bid to keep myself awake during another 3am feed.

Armed with this new found knowledge I struggled to find a range of good quality black & white toys & accessories for my daughter, and the one pram toy I did find resulted in me being stopped every time I left the house by other parents to ask me where I'd found it.

And so the idea for Panda Bear Baby was formed.

We're now on a mission to help other new parents discover the best monochrome toys and accessories available to support their own newborn baby's sensory development in style.

All our products are from the finest independent UK & European brands, many of which were set up by other parents on their own maternity & paternity leave journey.

Find out more at and shop the collection HERE.



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