Stimulating babies' vision: Why and how?
It has long been thought that newborns, like some animals, were blind. On the contrary, we now know that from the seventh month of pregnancy, a child is sensitive to light . Stimulating the vision of babies is therefore beneficial, and you are given some tips to convey to your clients who may be interested in the issue.
The vision of babies: a sense that develops over time
Vision is certainly the last direction to develop, but it is growing fast , about seven months after conception. Studies have shown that exposure of the belly to a bright, flashing light causes the child to be agitated and an increase in heart rate.
What the newborn does not distinguish are the colors. It will take about five months for this ( see our article on color perception .)
The visual acuity of a newly born child is about 1/20 th . He therefore distinguishes things that are not very far apart and very contrasting.
At birth, the retina does not have enough pigments to be protected from bright light . It is therefore necessary to be extremely vigilant with the latter, which can considerably damage the vision.
As a bonus, the crystalline lens of a newborn is still rigid and the distance seems fixed around 20 cm . It is only from about 3 months that the accommodation is good and allows an optimal focus.
The eyes of newborns become accustomed to recognizing familiar movements, shapes or similar colors over time.
As a result, the more a child looks, the more he learns to see. It is therefore important to stimulate the vision of a baby sparingly.
Some tips to convey
As we have seen above, vision is the only meaning that takes time to develop. It is therefore necessary to adapt to each stage of this visual development.
It's best to play with your newborn on strong contrasts, such as black and white . It's a good way to discover the different forms.
Remember that a baby has poor visual acuity. The elements of the game must stay close to him, without having to force his eyes. Awareness mats with simple patterns, large and therefore preferably in black and white are preferred.
A newborn is sensitive, even fascinated by faces. So think, considering the number of people who lean over him from his first days and for a long month after birth!
Do not hesitate to advise the regular hanging – but not systematically – of a mirror at the side of the cradle, so that the baby gets used to his own face but also to attract and stir curiosity by the look.
Another "job" to do is to stimulate visual tracking, by attracting attention to moving objects . In the manner of a cat, it is advisable to train the baby to follow a rolling ball, the pages of a book that turn, the movements of a pencil on a sheet of paper …
In short, all that will allow him to develop his vision of relief and distance will have the added advantage of developing his coordination and his movements.
Find an infographic detailing the key steps in developing newborn vision.