If you are leaning over a cot and smiling at your newborn, you might want to lean closer so the baby can see your face and comprehend your emotions.
And when we say “closer,” we’re not kidding. We literally mean maintaining a distance of merely 12 inches.
Or else, your baby wouldn’t be able to distinguish your face anyway. This is a fact that has been officially verified by a scientific research.
A scientific research revealed that infants only perceive emotions at a 12-inch range.
According to a Telegraph article by Sarah Knapton:
“Researchers at the University of Oslo have used technology, mathematics and previous studies on the visual awareness of infants to show for the first time what newborns can distinguish.
The results show us that a baby of two to three days old can perceive faces, and perhaps also emotional facial expressions, at around distance of 12 inches – which corresponds to the distance between a mother and her nursing baby.
But if the distance is increases to 24 inches (60 cms) and beyond, the visual image gets too blurred for the baby to perceive faces and expressions.”
This graph shows us how babies see our faces, depending on the distance.
In the research, they combined “modern simulation techniques with previous insight into how infants’ vision works.” Video recordings were made to capture different emotional expressions and filtered out information that the newborn infants couldn’t process. Afterwards, the researchers allowed adult participants to view the footages.
Telegraph went on to elaborate:
“The idea was that if the adults were unable to identify a facial expression, then we can certainly assume that a newborn would also be unable to do so.
The adult participants correctly identified facial expressions in three out of four cases when viewing the video at a distance of 12 inches.”
So yes, the general idea here is that babies can only distinguish your facial expressions at a distance of about 12 inches. This actually explains why babies meet you with blank stares when you sometimes try to capture his or her attention from afar. If you’re beyond the prescribed distance, the infant really couldn’t see anything.
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