One of the greatest moments as a parent is when their baby eyes see you! Face to face, for the first time! Although somewhat blurry and abuzz, it still counts, right?
From birth, baby begins exploring the wonders of the world through their eyes.
Even before they learn to reach and grab with their hands or crawl and sit-up, their eyes are providing information and stimulation important for development.
Healthy eyes and good vision play a critical role on how infants and children learn to see.
There are many things parents can do to assure their baby's vision is developed properly. The following are some examples of age-appropriate activities from the American Optometric Association (AOA):
Birth to four months
- Use a nightlight or other dim lamp in your baby's room.
- Change the crib's position frequently and change your child's position in it.
- Keep reach-and-touch toys within your baby's focus, about eight to twelve inches.
- Talk to your baby as you walk around the room.
- Alternate right and left sides with each feeding.
Five to eight months
- Hang a mobile, crib gym or various objects across the crib for the baby to grab, pull and kick.
- Give the baby plenty of time to play and explore on the floor.
- Provide plastic or wooden blocks that can be held in the hands.
- Play patty cake and other games, moving the baby's hands through the motions while saying the words aloud.
Nine to twelve months
- Play hide and seek games with toys or your face to help the baby develop visual memory.
- Name objects when talking to encourage the baby's word association and vocabulary development skills.
- Encourage crawling and creeping.
One to two years
- Roll a ball back and forth to help the child track objects with the eyes visually.
- Give the child building blocks and balls of all shapes and sizes to play with to boost fine motor skills and small muscle development.
- Read or tell stories to stimulate the child's ability to visualize and pave the way for learning and reading skills. As your child grows, so does his eye care needs. Sometimes we tend to overlook this things especially during early childhood years. But even if no eye or vision problems are apparent, at about age 6 months, you should take your baby to your Optometrist for his first thorough eye examination.