When babies are born, their eyesight is not fully developed. They see the world in large, blurry blobs. With time and a little help from you, your little one will start to see the world clearly. Here are a few visual stimulation exercises to try.
Baby’s sight development
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, babies increase their ability to see certain shapes gradually. At around 12 months, they are likely able to see as clearly as adults can.
Here are the stages of your baby’s visual development:
- Newborns: Your baby is able to distinguish bright lights and large shapes, like a face. However, they don’t yet have a developed ability to focus or see details.
- Three to four months: By this age, your child can tell the difference between some colors —especially red and green— and has the ability to focus their gaze on smaller objects.
- Four months on: Your baby develops the so-called binocular vision, that is, the ability to perceive depth.
- Twelve months: Here your baby already has the visual capacity of an adult.
Visual stimulation exercises for babies
Here are some practical tips that you can apply according to each stage of your little one’s visual development:
1. Newborn: Install mobile toys in their crib
These toys are the ones that hang over the crib. By placing them a few centimeters above your baby, they will be able to distinguish the shapes.
Shake the toys and move them in a circle so that your little one can follow the shapes with their eyes. Also, the sound of movement will stimulate your baby’s other senses.
2. Three to four months: Encourage your little one to follow objects with their eyes
For this exercise, you can use a ball or object that —preferably— is bright red. Place it about 8 to 12 inches from your child’s face and begin to move it, turn it, and shake it so that your baby begins to follow the object with their eyes.
We recommend you make slow and marked movements so that you give your baby time to distinguish the object.
3. Six months and older: Provide peg puzzles or toys to can be inserted inside a box
In this case, your baby will need a toy that has geometric shapes and holes to fit them in. With this, they will not only begin to coordinate their sight with the movement of their hand, but it will also help them focus on specific objects. You can try this exercise when your baby is already able to grasp objects, which usually happens after six months of age. However, remember that this can vary.
That’s it! Now you know three visual stimulation exercises for babies that you can apply at different stages of sight development. On the other hand, there are exercises that you can do during the prenatal stage.
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