Infant Vision Development
(Birth to 2 months)
Have you ever wondered what your baby sees in his or her first few blinks on this earth? Though infant vision development happens overtime in stages after birth, your baby certainly sees you, just maybe not as you'd imagine.
In their first week of life, babies don't see in much detail, more so in fuzzy shades of gray. Nerve cells in the eye aren't fully developed yet, so babies also aren't able to focus in on objects. So don't worry if it doesn't seem as if your baby is zoning in on you. But all of this doesn't mean they aren't able to recognise their mother or father in their first few days of life! In fact, studies show that after the first few days, infants begin to show signs of positive recognition to their mother and father's face (with the help of the sense of smell, to be sure). Scientists say the mother's face in relation to her hair is an important factor in recognition, so it helps to keep your hairstyle consistent to aid your baby in recognising you.
At about 2 months, infants become much better at focusing on objects, and begin to start reaching out to touch objects around them. Babies also begin to learn to move their eyes as they look at new objects, moving their head less and less as they focus in on the things around them.
Infant eyes also aren't sensitive to light, so there's no need to have them sleep in complete darkness! Leaving on a light in the nursery won't bother your child, and may keep you from stubbing your toes when you go to check on them. Sensitivity to light begins to increase at about 2 months though, so dimming the lights after this time may your baby associate dim lighting or darkness with nap time.
It's also important to stimulate your child's vision by exposing them to bright, cheerful colours. Decorating their nursery with bright colors like orange, green, red, and blue in a variety of different shapes helps introduce new sights into their world. Placing a colorful mobile above or near their bed is also a great way to do this.
The American Optometric Association (AOA) recommends that you frequently change the bedding in your infants crib with different colorful patterned fabrics and add or remove different objects from their room so that your baby doesn't become accustomed to the same environment around them. The AOA also recommends that after about 2 months, you begin to walk around the room while talking to your baby. This helps your baby pair both sound and sight senses as they follow you and your voice around the room.