Baby vision: development by months, features
Table of Contents
Sometimes the baby directs his gaze towards the light source, not paying much attention to those around him. This is due to the immaturity of the organs of vision at this age.
Like any direction in development, the formation of the visual abilities of the baby largely depends on the tactics that his parents choose. Here are the key rules that should be followed from the first days of a child’s life:
good lighting in the room where the newborn is kept;
systematic exercises that will take parents no more than a few minutes 3-4 times a day.
Baby’s first glance
In the first days after birth, the child’s vision is characterized by the manifestation of unconditioned reflexes: the reaction of the pupils to light and the aspiration of the gaze to the light source. The baby begins to react to bright light even before birth – at the 28th week of the mother’s pregnancy. But, although light sensitivity is already present in the first days of life, so far it is not sufficiently developed and only by 6 months by 2/3 corresponds to the “adult” level.
The formation of central vision, which is responsible for recognizing the shape of objects, begins at 2 or 3 months. The degree of formation of this visual function is the visual acuity, which is normally equal to one, that is, 100%. The child reaches this indicator by the age of 6 or 7, and sometimes even by 10 – 11.
Interestingly, a newborn baby best perceives objects located at a distance of 20-25 cm from the eyes – the very distance that separates him from his mother’s face during breastfeeding. At the same time, toys in the crib and stroller are recommended to be placed a little further – about 40 cm from the child’s eyes. The image will be more blurry, but in this way the baby will avoid the development of strabismus.
The baby begins to distinguish colors already at the age of 2-4 months, reacting first to the red color, then green, yellow and blue colors are added to it. Given the exciting effect that red objects can have on a child, up to 6 months it is recommended to give preference to toys in yellow-green tones. At an older age, multicolor is only welcome – the brighter and more varied the toys are, the better.
The formation of a child’s color perception occurs by the age of 6, but continues to improve even in adulthood. Thus, the more attention you pay to the activities and developmental games of the baby with color, the wider and more diverse will be his perception of the world around him.
Have you noticed how the eyes of a newborn baby look each in their own direction, not wanting to act together? The reason for this behavior is the immaturity of binocular vision, which is formed later than other functions. Its essence lies in the ability to focus both eyes on an object. Thanks to binocular vision, we can feel and evaluate the volume and depth of surrounding objects.
The beginning of the formation of this function is the ability of the child to 2 – 5 weeks to keep his eyes on the source of light or a brightly lit surface, and the formation continues until the school bench.
Development of vision in stages (from 1 to 8 months)
In the first year of a baby’s life, every month brings new surprises, and the formation of the organs of vision is no exception. Parents can only have time to adapt to the growing needs of their little one, giving the green light to his desire to get to know the world around him.
Already after a week after birth, the child is able to hold his eyes on light sources. The field of view at this age remains extremely narrow, and the baby sees, as they say, no further than his nose. Deviation of an object by more than 30° from the center of visibility deprives it of any chance of being seen.
However, by the end of the first month, progress becomes noticeable: the baby can stare intently at the face of an adult leaning over him and follow the smooth movement of a bright object at a distance of 25 cm.
For the development of visual functions at this age, the following exercise is perfect:
Rocking the toy
Place a colorful toy at a distance of 60 – 70 cm and, when the baby pays attention to it, swing it evenly with an approximate amplitude of 6 cm.
During this period, the central and binocular vision of the baby is actively formed. He more confidently focuses his eyes on bright toys for several seconds and with pleasure examines the face of a loved one approaching him.
In the first six months of a baby’s life, the most attractive objects for him are oval-shaped objects that repeat the outlines of a human face.
In colors, a clear preference is given to contrasting colors. For example, a child may be interested in a large black and white geometric pattern on mom’s clothes.
Rocking the toy – 2
Exercise with a moving toy remains relevant in the second month of life. The baby has become a little older, and now you can complicate the task somewhat by moving the object more randomly, bringing it closer to a distance of 20-30 cm and removing it again. A great way to get the attention of a small student is to engage the auditory receptors. Accompany the game with him with affectionate speech, interesting soft sounds and singing. Toys that make a quiet noise are also welcome.
The possibilities of crumbs at this stage of development increase significantly. He can already hold a light rattle in his hand for a short time and examines it with interest. Familiar toys, as well as the appearance of loved ones, cause him genuine joy, accompanied by a wide smile.
Not yet able to correctly assess the distance, the baby pulls the handle to take an object that is in the distance.
At this age, you can further complicate the movement of the toy during the game, changing not only the location, but the speed of movement.
Now the baby can closely follow a moving object and partially remember the trajectory of its movement. Having lost the toy with his eyes, he peers at the point where he saw it for the last time.
Depth perception skills (binocular vision) continue to develop rapidly, and staring games may become a new favorite pastime. Try to catch the baby’s eyes with your eyes and slowly tilt your head to the right and then to the left. Without looking up, he will do the same, not wanting to lose sight of his beloved face.
During this period, interest in bright colors also increases. If earlier preference was given to black and white, now the little one is attracted by juicy, rich shades.
The main achievement of this period is the mastery of the art of grasping objects with one hand. Having looked at the target, the baby confidently reaches for it. It seems that he is completely delighted with the fact that he can do whatever he wants with the thing that has fallen into his hands – inspect, bite, shift to another fist. Now mom and dad should be more careful and not leave next to the little explorer what he is not supposed to take yet. And for the game at this age, it’s time to get the cubes.
Another discovery at this age: the baby notices his own and his mother’s reflection in the mirror and examines them with rapture.
By this age, the baby is able to distinguish the fine details of the object – the retina is already sufficiently formed for this. He can look from one object to another, located further, and then return to the first again without losing sight of it. The baby reacts to the approach of an object by blinking, which indicates progress in the formation of binocular vision.
Now the child manages to choose his favorite from several toys with a glance and focus on an object that is close to his face at a distance of 7-8 cm.
The main feature of this period is the manifestation of the ability to notice the smallest furnishings and details of surrounding objects. The baby can spend several minutes in a row trying to pick up with his fingers a tiny thread stuck to his clothes, or a small flower depicted on his mother’s dress.
It’s time to start playing with loose materials and beads that develop fine motor skills and visual acuity at the same time.
Be vigilant and do not leave the child to play with small objects unattended to avoid swallowing or entering the respiratory tract and ear canals. Even pieces of food can sometimes be dangerous if they are in the wrong place.
Edible “toys” are also excellent for these purposes – breakfast cereals (balls, stars, rings), green peas and spaghetti.
By eight months, the baby masters the ability to perceive the object not only as a whole, but also in parts. He is already able to follow a moving object for quite a long time and begins to actively look for it when it disappears from the field of view.
The kid carefully observes the facial expression of an adult and copies it. It was at this time that the ability to distinguish “own” people from “strangers” is especially clearly manifested.
Visual acuity continues to develop, and a wonderful activity during this period will be to look at colorful pictures and illustrations in children’s books and photographs with mom.
Vision health monitoring
The first examination of the child by an ophthalmologist falls on the period from birth to 3 months. Contacting a specialist at this time makes it possible to diagnose congenital pathologies early and increases the chances of successful treatment.
If no deviations are found, the next visit to the ophthalmologist is planned closer to 6 months and then every six months.
Calmness, only calmness!
Many new parents tend to be overdramatic when it comes to their baby’s health. Being on the alert does not mean sounding the alarm at the slightest provocation. Systematic monitoring of the behavior of the crumbs will help to notice deviations in time and take action in time. And the following features in the development and well-being of the baby may be a cause for concern:
- lack or slowing down of tracking a moving object;
- redness of the white of the eye;
- discharge accumulated on the eyelids and in the corners of the eyes;
- profuse lacrimation and signs of anxiety on the part of the child – rubbing the eyes with fists, capriciousness.
And even the presence of these signs should not be taken as a sentence: visual impairments are perfectly treatable. Just seek help from a doctor and do not create unnecessary panic – this will only make your baby nervous. Remember that only happy parents have happy children.