At birth, babies do not have fully developed eyesight and can only distinguish large shapes. However, there are ways to facilitate vision development through visual stimulation exercises for babies.
Today, we explain how your little one’s eyesight is developing and what they can see over the months. We will also share with you some practical visual stimulation exercises for babies so that you can help your baby developing this important sense.
Baby’s sight development
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, as they grow, babies increase their ability to see certain shapes and, around 12 months, they are likely to reach adult visual levels.
If we break it down, these 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.
Did you find these tips interesting? Then download our app and discover the best early stimulation activities for your little one according to their age.