Your Premature Baby's Sense of Vision
Babies born preterm (before 37 weeks) are still developing their sense of vision. Babies born before the age of 32 weeks are unable to limit the amount of light entering their eyes even when their eyes are closed. It is therefore important to protect premature babies from bright lights.
Effects of Vision on your Baby
- Babies born at term have a preference for looking at faces. Older premature babies too can fixate on your face briefly if you are holding them closely (approximately 25-30cm or 10-12 inches from your face), as they are very near sighted at this stage.
- Your baby is likely to have an incubator cover over their incubator whilst in intensive care. This reduces their exposure to bright light and aims to recreate the conditions of the womb. As your baby matures these incubator covers are pulled back.
- It is important that you enjoy your baby. Talk to them, smile, be expressive; your baby learns from watching your facial expressions.