How To Help Your Baby Develop Strong Vision
Even though your newborn cannot see much, from birth the eyes develop at an astonishing rate. Blurry shapes become real objects, and a flat, dull single dimension turns into full depth perception. Most infants' eyes follow a natural development pattern, but you can aid in strong vision development by providing eye-stimulating activities for your child.
1. Keep things moving.
Even though your baby will not be able to focus directly on your face during the first few months of life, you can still help your baby develop strong eye movement and head movement by altering their physical environment. For example, instead of placing your baby in the same position in the crib, you can try turning her so that their head is in a different end on altering nights. This gives her slightly new surroundings to look at and become acquainted with. The same applies to the swing or bouncy seat in the living room. Don't just leave the swing in the same corner, but alter its position every few days. As you walk around room, talk to your baby to provide motivation from them to turn their head and move their eyes in the direction of your voice.
2. Take advantage of tummy time.
Your family doctor probably stresses tummy time because it helps head, shoulder, neck, and arm muscle development. However, tummy time is also important for eye development as well, including testing new depth perception and using the eyes to coordinate with the rest of the body for balance and motion. Place toys on the floor for your child to look at, and allow for different floor surfaces with different patterns.
3. Help your baby use the eyes to direct motion.
Of the reasons why eyesight is so important is that the body depends on sight to help the brain known what signals to send to the muscles for movement. Babies learn depth perception and coordination as the eyes get stronger. Encourage this connection by giving your baby high fives, by clapping your hands or assisting them in clapping theirs. Roll toys or balls to train the eye muscles to track movement in a continuous stretch. Peek-a-boo and providing finger foods (once the child is able to eat solids) that encourage hand-eye coordination are also great eye-development tools.
Although rare, infants can have eye development problems from birth. If you notice that your infant cannot focus well, has rapid, erratic eye movements, or does not respond to changes in light, contact an eye doctor to set up an infant vision test.
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