Understanding your baby’s vision and tips to stimulate eyesight
The development of your baby’s vision begins well before birth when your baby is being nurtured by the nutrients you provide him when he is inside your womb.
When a baby is born he only sees in black, white and shades of grey as is effectively colour blind until the nerve cells in his retina start to develop, cells that control our vision. Not only is it impossible for a newborn baby to see in colour but he will also not have the ability to focus in those first few days, particularly on objects close by.
In fact when your baby does stare into your eyes for the first time it can be considered to be a ‘milestone’ in his development and can be a jubilant time for parents!
This said, it doesn’t take long for a baby to focus on images they find familiar, such as their mother’s face, and according to research, infants prefer to stare at an image of their mother’s face than that of a strangers.
Whilst such studies remain ‘inconclusive’ experts believe that the reason newborn babies prefer to look at the familiar face of their mother when they are just a few days old, is because of large, high-contrast stimuli, such as the boundary of a mother’s hairline to her face.
Similar to how a newborn baby has a seemingly uncanny ability to sleep through a rock concert, infants eyes, during the first few months, are not that sensitive to light. According to All About Vision, an infant’s capacity to be unaware that a light is present is 50 times greater than that of an adult. This is why you can safely leave a light on in a nursery and your baby is likely to still sleep soundly.
How to stimulate baby’s vision
You can help stimulate your baby’s vision from a very young age and visual stimulation can be effectively carried out by decorating the nursery in bright colours with bold patterns and shapes.
Also placing a brightly coloured mobile that comprises of different colours and shapes above your baby’s Moses basket or cot with help your baby focus on the different shapes and stimulate his vision.
It is recommended that parents talk to their baby as they walk around a room to encourage their little one to follow them with their eyes.
Another good tip to help develop vision in infants is to regularly place new objects in a nursery so that baby gets introduced to new shapes, items and colours.