Have you ever heard the expression “out of sight, out of mind”? As adults, when we see an object is moved out of our sight, we know the object still exists, even though we can’t see, touch, or hear it. However, this is not the case for babies. During the first few months of their lives, when an object is removed from their sight, the object ceases to exist according to them!
Nevertheless, around 4-7 months, your baby will begin to understand the concept of object permanence (which is a fancy way of saying that he is starting to understand that when objects are out of sight, they still exist). This is due to the fact that his hearing and vision are almost completely developed!
Why is object permanence such an important milestone?
Understanding the concept of object permanence is a major developmental milestone for your baby because it will help him understand the world and know what to expect next. This means that your baby will learn not to be frightened when he gives something up, like a toy, because he can get it back. Another critical thing is that he will realize that other people exist, even when they leave! Until this point, your baby did not have the ability to keep this in his mind. He thought that when you left, you had disappeared. However, when he reaches this milestone, even though he might not be happy when you leave, he can think about you when you’re gone, and realize you will return. Over time, when you leave, it will not cause your little one as much distress.