When a newborn baby opens his/her eyes for the first time and makes eye contact with his/her parents, it is one of the greatest moments in the life of any parent. But don’t stress too much if it does not happen straight away. Baby’s vision takes some time to develop. They cannot see right by their birth. They learn to see over time. Similarly, as they learn to talk and walk.
When a baby opens his/her eyes for the first time, the world that he/she sees is probably in grey shades. Babies are not born with all the visual abilities that they will need in their life. However, they gradually learn to use the visual information that eyes send to the brain. They learn to understand the outer world and how to interact with it appropriately.
The development of a baby’s mind and body dramatically depends upon how a mother takes care of herself and her diet during pregnancy. So it is imperative to follow the instructions your doctor gives you regarding medicines, nutrition, and supplements. Only take those medicines that your doctor approves. Rest properly, and do not tire yourself during pregnancy. Avoid smoking, alcohol, and other drug activities as it can damage your baby’s growth and development. Moreover, it can also cause premature birth and various problems for your baby, including vision problems.
Vison development week by week:
The complete development of a child’s vision takes several months. Parents must know the milestones and how they can help along with vision development. It helps in making sure that the child sees without any problem. Let’s have a look at how a baby’s vision development week by week.
A baby’s vision development begins right after birth. He/she can see around 8 to 10 inches away when he is born. And when you hold your baby, this is the same distance between baby’s and your face. The first few months are the most crucial for a baby’s vision development.
During the first week, the baby can only see an object that is 8-12 inches away from his face. Babies cannot hold their gaze for more than a few seconds. Mothers should keep switching sides while breastfeeding. As it helps in equal visual stimulation for both eyes.
A baby only sees in black and white color during the first week. A baby’s vision develops in around four months. Parents must go for things and toys having a grey (black and white) base with the combination of primary colors as they are much more stimulating.
By the second week, the baby starts recognizing the faces of his/her parents or caregivers. Babies start focusing on faces but cannot do this for more than a few seconds. When you play with your baby, he/she will focus on your face and respond a little bit. Still, their vision limit is 8-12 inches. So, make sure to stay close and have an excellent personal time with your baby.
During the third week. Your baby starts recognizing faces. Though his vision limit is still 8-12 inches. Baby’s attention span grows, and he/she starts staring at you more. At this time, he/she can hold a gaze for more than 10 seconds. At this point, the baby’s eyes change at a swift pace. Talk more and use bold pattern toys to play with your baby. As it helps in stimulating his/her vision.
By week 4. Baby will start looking at things moving side to side, or moving to and fro transversely his/her midline. But baby can see at moving things with more focus only if he/she can move his/her head. And by the fourth-week baby is unable to move his neck.
Vision development month by month:
In the first month, babies are not sensitive to lights. The amount of light needed for a one-month-old baby is 50 times higher than that of an adult. The lights are known as light detection threshold. Leave some views on in your baby’s room, and don’t worry. It will not affect your baby’s sleep. However, it will help you to be careful not stub your toe while checking on your little one.
Babies can see some colors as their ability to see colors develop within a week. They can identify red, yellow, green, and orange colors but cannot differentiate between violet and blue. It is because blue lights have shorter wavelengths. Decorating your infant’s room with bright colors and bold shapes can help in stimulating your little one’s vision.
Two to three months:
The second and third months are the crucial ones regarding vision development. Most of the vision advances happen in these months. Now babies can move their eyes better as a team. Their eyes start moving along with the objects, shifting their gaze from one thing to another without moving their head. Their eyes’ sensitivity increases. Now their light detection threshold has become only ten times an adult. By the end of the second month, you should set some dim lights in your infant’s room. It will help your child is sleeping.
Adding new toys and things near your baby’s bed helps in visual stimulation. Put your baby on his0her stomach when he is awake. It helps in getting different side visuals. Talking to your baby while moving in his room helps him to move his eyes along with your movements. These things greatly aid in your infant’s vision development.
Four to six month:
By the age of 6 months, your infant can see the moving objects more easily and can move his/her eyes more quickly. Most of the vision advances have already taken place at the brain center at this time. Colour vision of a six months old baby is as clear as an adult. They can differentiate among all the rainbow colors.
During four to six months of age, infants develop their eye-hand coordination. They can locate things more accurately and can pick and throw things more precisely. Six months is also the age when your child has his/her first eye check-up. The doctor will do a complete examination of your baby’s eyes health. He might perform a non-verbal test to detect any kind of eyesight problems such as near-sightedness, far-sightedness, and astigmatism. Always visit a doctor who specializes in an infant’s vision and vision development for your child’s thorough eye exam.
Seven to 12 months:
A seven months old crawls, moves from place to place, grabs, and throws things more accurately. He now judges distances more correctly. It is a critical growth period for your child. As your child is learning how to coordinate his vision with his body movements more precisely. It is also the time when your baby gets the bumps, falls, and injuries the most. Because now he is physically moving around all the time. Keep him away from the staircases. Keep a keen eye on your baby to save him from any kind of mishap as babies are more curious at the age of 10-12 months to explore everything around them.
Some infants also change their eye colors at this age. As the darker pigments are not entirely developed in the iris by the time of birth. These pigments develop gradually and hence can cause a change in eye color by the age of 12 months.
How can you help in stimulating your baby’s vision?
A baby’s vision development takes months to develop ultimately. You cannot do anything significant in it. Still, atleast you can help in stimulating his/her vision through different activities. Decorate your baby’s room with bright colors. Change his position frequently while breastfeeding as it helps him/her see from different angles. Take to your baby with 10 inches of distance between your baby’s and your face. It helps them recognize your face as their vision limit is from 8-12 inches during the first three months.
As the months’ pass, start playing small games such as peek-a-boo and catch the ball. It helps them move their eyes more quickly, along with the moving objects. When they begin to crawl, give them objects with bold patterns and bright colors. By this age, they are learning to coordinate between their eyes’ vision and body movements. Take them out for a walk, to the park or zoo. Let them explore the places with colors and make frequent stays, so they get a chance to inspect around. These few activities can help in stimulating your baby’s vision during earlier months.