0 – 2

How a baby sees colour

Top tip

How a baby sees colour

What to do with this activity?

When a baby is born, at first they can't focus with their eyes, and only see shades of grey. Over the first few weeks their eyes develop the ability to see colour - first red, then yellow and green, and lastly blue. New born babies see things best when there is a strong contrast, for example black and white contrasts. They especially love looking at your face. As time goes on, babies respond to strong primary colours. Put a coloured mobile over their cot, or a colourful poster near where you change their nappy. Show them books with brightly coloured pictures and shapes.  

A new born baby's eyes are 50 times less sensitive to light than an adult's, which helps them sleep in broad daylight. As they grow, it's a good idea for them to sleep the night in total darkness - no night lights, especially blue ones that have an affect on the brain. 

You may be interested to read more on your baby's eye development on the IrishHealth.com website.


  • Why am I doing this?

    Sharing stories play an important role in a child’s development. They not only help children learn language and reading skills but they also have an emotional quality which can help children make sense of their feelings. Reading to babies and young children, and giving them time to respond, will help make the most of this opportunity. Recognising shapes will help your child to learn to read later on.

  • How can I do more?

    The most important thing is that reading is fun and enjoyable for both of you – five minutes can be enough. Just turn off the TV and find a quiet place so there are no distractions. And remember stories are not just found in books, it’s just as good to tell your child short, simple stories you know.

    Remember, you’re not teaching your child to read. You learn to talk a long time before you learn to read, and sharing stories and giving your child time to respond is a wonderful way to help your child’s language development.

Rate this activity

Based on 28 reviews
How would you rate it?
1 = Poor, 5 = Great.

Keep in touch
Sign up for more tips