Babies undergo an incredible number of physical changes within the first few months of their life. Perhaps most notably, infants’ senses begin to develop, allowing them to see, hear, touch, taste and smell the world around them. For vision especially, it is critical that parents create an environment that is conducive to their child’s healthy development. The American Optometric Association gives recommendations by age group for parents looking to enhance their child’s visual development.
They suggest, for infants up to 4 months:
- Parents should use a nightlight or dim lamp in the baby’s room;
- Parents should change the position of the baby’s crib frequently, or change the direction the child is facing. This provides variety and extra visual stimulation for the infant.
- Caregivers should keep “reach-and-touch” toys approximately 8 to 12 inches from the baby, within their focus range.
- Parents should make sounds and talk to their baby as they walk around the room. This helps the infant learn to follow their voice and see the parent from new angles.
- Caregivers should alternate left and right sides while feeding to provide differing views and visual cues for the infant.
For infants between 5 and 8 months:
- Caregivers should hang objects across the crib that the baby can use their developing eyes to focus on and grab. Mobiles are great tools for this.
- Parents should give their baby the freedom to explore an open area of the floor.
- Parents should begin playing coordination games like patty cake, using both aural and visual cues.
- Caregivers should introduce the child to blocks and other toys that they can hold in their hands.
For more information about helping your child develop healthy vision, schedule an appointment with an optometrist who specializes in pediatric vision. By using your True Dental Discounts, vision plan you can get significant savings at each visit and work with your doctor to create a visual wellness plan that fits your lifestyle.