PLAY BONDING AND CONNECTION IN THE EARLY DAYS
BIRTH TO FOUR WEEKS
A newborn baby’s optimal vision is between 7-12 inches (approximately your nipple / bottle to your eyes).
Babies can recognise their parents faces at around 2 weeks.
Babies will turn their entire head to look at objects as they can’t move their eyes until 2-4 months.
Before 6 weeks baby’s can’t focus on far away objects, so their eyes might go out of alignment (cross-eyed)
Stereoscopic depth perception (perceiving the world in “3D”) doesn’t happen until approximately 16 weeks postpartum.
FOUR TO TWELVE WEEKS
It takes six weeks to gain binocular vision, and for the muscles of the eye to strengthen and co-ordinate.
Babies become more interested in their surroundings.
Babies will start to follow moving objects or people with their eyes, demonstrating improved tracking abilities.
Babies can now differentiate between primary colours and may prefer bright, bold colours.
Faces become more intriguing to them, and they can recognise familiar faces.
THREE TO SIX MONTHS
Babies’ vision continues to develop, and they become more adept at tracking moving objects smoothly.
They start to develop depth perception and can perceive objects in three dimensions.
They become more interested in their own hands and feet, spending more time observing and exploring them.
Their ability to focus on objects improves, and they can follow objects moving across their field of vision.
Stimulate vision through Play
BLACK & WHITE
Toys or pictures that are Black & White, have contrasting colours or contain bold geometric patterns are best for stimulating babies vision because they align with a newborns visual development and capture their attention more effectively
Black & white toys we love at The New Parent Company
Move objects slowly across babies line of vision. This will help strengthen the eye & neck muscles as they turn to track the item. Following objects with their eyes is an essential skill that supports their cognitive and motor development
Tracking with eyes (for eye muscle and neck strength)
Reaching and grabbing (hand eye coordination)
Pulling to mouth (sensory development and teething)
Babies are naturally social beings, and mirror play provides them with a visual partner. They perceive the reflection in the mirror as another person, which can create a sense of companionship and interaction. Babies often smile, laugh, and make facial expressions while looking at themselves in the mirror, as they interpret the reflection as a playmate or someone responding to their actions.
Around the age of 6 to 9 months, babies start to develop a sense of self and become increasingly aware of their own bodies. When they look into a mirror, they perceive the reflection as themselves, leading to a captivating experience of self-recognition. This realisation can be exciting and intriguing for babies as they begin to form a connection between their own actions and the image in the mirror.
Sometimes it might seem like your baby is staring at nothing or just staring at the wall, don’t worry! It’s completely normal, they are very busy developing their minds.
BIRTH TO 1 MONTH
- Tracks objects horizontally across midline (especially faces)
- Moves eyes and head toward light sources
- Makes eye contact and focuses on a caregiver
- Tracks an object both vertically and circularly
- Recognises faces
- Begins to move eyes independently from head
- Exhibits increased light sensitivity
- Studies hands or feet
- Becomes easily distracted by interesting sights
- Holds intense eye contact for longer periods of time
- Observes toys falling and rolling away
- Shifts fixation across midline (moves gaze from left to right)
- Focuses attention almost across the room
- Likes looking at reflection
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