The early years of life are full of developmental milestones including your baby’s first words, first steps, and many more. As a parent, you play a big role in helping them learn, grow, and evolve skills to interact with the world. Supporting your baby’s perception and visual processing is no different. Here’s how.
0 to 6 Months—New Eyes
Did you know a newborn’s eyes are limited to resolving only what is within an 8-15 inch distance? Outside that range, everything is a blur of undefined shapes, light and dark patches. With time and some help from mom and dad, they’ll start to see more of their surroundings with better clarity and definition. Here’s what to do:
- Introduce color: get lots of brightly colored toys and a mobile or two. After their first few weeks, your baby will start to see in color; they’ll be mesmerized by all the vibrant hues they can now perceive.
- Practice focusing their vision with cute games of peek-a-boo!
- Teach them to visually track movement: try getting your baby to follow with their eyes as you trace different paths and shapes with toys or other objects.
6 to 12 Months—Moving On
As they grow, your baby will start to learn other skills and abilities, such as hand-eye coordination. This will really take hold once they begin to crawl, but there’s still plenty you can do to supplement their progress. For starters, make sure there’s always colorful toys and baby-friendly objects around for your baby to grasp, study, and play with.
On another note, don’t be surprised if your baby loses interest and is no longer engaged by peek-a-boo. In fact, this is a great sign! It indicates that they’ve realized object permanence–that when you hide an object, it doesn’t just vanish into thin air. So what can you do instead? Play into their new understanding with hide-and-seek. Try showing them a toy, then placing it out of sight under a blanket and encouraging them to discover where it is.
Dr. Joseph Cohen O.D.
Woodland Hills Optometrist
Receive an Excellent Service and Comprehensive Eye Care
Providing service in English and Farsi
19737 Ventura Blvd., Suite 201, Woodland Hills, CA 91364