Unlike other senses like touch and hearing, your baby’s sense of vision, needs time and practice to get precise and accurate as is the only sense that isn’t stimulated in utero. Maximum vision development happens in the first year of life.
As their visual system develops, the world around them continues to fascinate them.
Birth to 3 months
A new-born only has peripheral vision in the first few days after birth. Less than perfect vision actually serves to protect them from over stimulation.
In the initial 3 months, they are able to focus on the objects less than 12 inches away – that’s how far the face of the person holding them in their lap is.
By the end of 3 months they develop better visual tracking skills and can move their gaze from left to right and vice versa
This is the best time to give them face time and encourage eye contact with them as babies are most fascinated with faces, especially happy faces
3 to 6 months
In next quarter, the world gets clearer and colourful.
By the fourth or fifth month, babies’ brains have learnt how to blend images from both their left and right eyes into a single image, with strong depth perception. They can now differentiate between different colors and can usually focus without going cross eyed.
They still enjoy staring at faces for longer duration, which is now accompanied by a social smile. They can scan the environment with purpose and enjoy following moving objects with their eyes.
Babies also develop better eye hand coordination and may often stare with deep concentration at their own hands, feet, as well as toys. They can now slowly reach for an object or toy placed nearby and can accurately direct it to their mouth.
6 to 9 months
By 6 -7 months, the eyes have reached about two- thirds of their adult size. At this stage they are most likely working together resulting in a good binocular, or two eyed vision.
At around 8 – 9 months a baby’s vision has reached adult clarity. Their improved vision and problem solving skills help arrive at a more nuanced understanding of how the world works. They also understand that an object still exists even if it is not in their vision.
9 to 12 months
Spatial and dimensional awareness increases as your baby learns to aim accurately when reaching for objects. Babies at this age also learn to change focus quickly and accurately between near and far distances.
With vision development there is increasing inquisitiveness, curiosity and purpose. This leads to enhanced cognition and overall development.
Irrespective of age, it’s important to note that babies should not be spending time looking at electronic devices as this hampers visual development.
Play with Purpose !!