Why Do Babies Stare? 5 Cute Reasons & What It Means For You

So, why do babies stare?

Yes… babies stare a lot. Sometimes at you, sometimes at others and sometimes at nothing at all. But… why?

Why Do Babies Stare At You?

What Does It Mean If A Baby Stares At You?

As well as being fascinating, there are many reasons why your baby stares at you:

1. You Are Fascinating

Babies love to stare, especially their primary caregivers. After all, they find faces and facial expressions fascinating and mesmerizing.

They are drawn to your eyes and are hard-wired to want to look longingly at their mother (this is also called the baby gaze). When your baby is staring at you and you are staring at them you are both bonding in a special and unique way.

2. Baby Likes The Sound Of Your Voice

Your baby will also be drawn to the sound of your voice even before their vision fully develops. And once their eyesight gets better, your baby will be fascinated by your conversation and the amazing coincidence that when you move your mouth, sounds tumble out towards them!

3. They Are Drawn To Your Features

As your baby adapts to the new life around them and their vision improves, they will be drawn to contrasting colours and sparkly objects.

So, if you are wearing bright or sparkly jewellery, have colorful hair or are wearing bright colors, for example, they will be drawn to them and stare intently (almost as if they’re engaged in a staring contest!)

4. You Are Wearing Glasses

Newborn babies will also be drawn to people that wear glasses or have distinctive features. It gives them a focal point and as they may not have seen people wearing them before… their brains are learning what they are which is an important part of infant development.

5. Baby Thinks You Are Attractive

A university study showed that babies often stare at people because they think they are attractive. So if you attract a baby’s awareness it may be because they think you are good to look at and have outstanding features.

Why Do Babies Stare Featured

What You Need To Know About Baby’s Vision

Babies are born with a 20/200 vision. Meaning they can focus on objects within 8-12 inches of their eyes. Which is the average distance between the mother’s face and baby when being fed and the average distance family play and hold toys up to them.

Beyond those 12 inches, however, and everything is all a big blur in their eyes.

And much like cognitive and motor skills, baby’s visual abilities develop gradually over time as well.

Here are some other interesting facts about the milestone of baby’s vision:

Frequently Asked Questions About Why Babies Stare

Looking for more information about why do babies stare? Find the answers to the most common question here.

Why Do Babies Stare At Ceiling Fans?

Put simply: babies are drawn to moving objects and a ceiling fan is a very obvious moving item when you spend most of your day on your back.

There is a fear that if your baby is staring at ceiling fans for extended periods of time it may be an indication of autism. However, the truth is…

If your baby is under 4 months of age, staring at a ceiling fan may just be part of their visual development as they find it visually stimulating. So there’s nothing to worry about.

Why Do Babies Stare At Lights?

Babies love to look at high-contrast images, colours and patterns. Therefore, you might find your baby staring at lights, sparkly objects or newborn baby books.

Also, they may have never seen a light like that before. And when a baby sees something that they have never seen before they will naturally find it intriguing as they try to learn as much about it as they can.

Why Do Babies Stare At Corners And Open Space?

As newborns adjust to life around them outside the womb, what they are gradually able to see as they experience a burst of brain development (about 1% every day for the first 3 months!) is wondrous and new.

Mundane inanimate objects that we take for granted take on a whole new dimension for your little one. And for some babies, a corner (or a change in angle) provides enough wonder to stare at for hours.

Some newborns also need a bit of time to chill out and staring at a corner gives them the space to relax and zone out whilst their brain processes everything they’ve learnt that day.

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When Should You Worry About Your Baby’s Staring Habit?

While staring is a normal newborn baby behaviour… Babies over 4 months old will usually stop staring.

If you notice your child is staring into the cold for 20 to 30 seconds over 5 months of age, (especially if you cannot get their attention by speaking to them or waving in front of their face) ask your doctor or a medical professional to if it might be a sign of an underlying health condition.

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Author Image Bio
Paula McLaren is the founder of Teething to Tantrums and a highly qualified childcare expert with over 40 years of experience as a Norland Nanny. She holds a BA (Hons) in Early Years Development & Learning (0-6 Years) and the prestigious Norland Diploma. Paula has worked as a night nanny, run a successful daycare center in London, and helped raise countless children using her tried and tested developmental and guidance methods.

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