New-borns can see from birth, just not as clearly as an older child or adult. Kwon (Kwon 2018) noted that at this age, the neurological pathways of the retina’s rods (cells responsible for detecting black and white) are more developed than the pathways of its cones (cells responsible for detecting colour). Until your child is about six months of age, he or she will respond best to bold, contrasting colours and graphics. That’s why it’s important to provide your baby with toys or stimulation material that are the visual extremes of black, white and red (Doman & Doman 2005:60). These high-contrast colours will captivate and hold baby’s attention, encouraging visual development as well as physical activity – such as grabbing, wiggling, kicking and arm waving. At eight months the number of synapses in the visual cortex of his or her brain peaks, leading to the ability see a full range of colours.
Doman, G. & Doman, J., 2005, How smart is your baby? Develop and nurture your newborn’s full potential, Square One Publishers, New York.
Kwon, D., 2018, “Lab-Grown Human Retinas Illuminate How Eyes Develop Color Vision”, Scientific American, October, 210-243.