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Importance of Eye Contact

Importance of Eye Contact

A baby’s vision development starts at birth. Even the youngest infant benefits from lots of eye contact. Although a baby’s vision has a limited focus for the first few months, it’s certainly good enough to see faces around 8 to 15 inches away. That means little ones can make eye contact with you, although they won’t hold it for long at first. Holding eye contact starts to get established at around a month old.

Baby’s eyes can only focus on objects that are about 8 to 15 inches away – just far enough to see the face of the person holding them – and they typically begin holding eye contact around 1 month old.1 In the beginning, baby needs to be calm and alert to hold eye contact, so don’t try to check this milestone while your little one is hungry, distressed, or tired. It is normal for a baby’s eyes to wander or move randomly during the first couple months of life because they are learning how to use their eyes together.

By 3 months old, your baby will start focusing on close objects and faces. They’ll begin tracking moving objects with their eyes and may reach out for those enticing moving things. This is an indicator that baby has begun to develop hand-eye coordination. Integration between hand movement and visual tracking develops rapidly over the next few months. By baby’s fourth month, color vision has developed.

Around 7 months old, a baby’s vision is mature. From this point on, baby’s vision and hand-eye coordination will continue to improve and refine itself. A baby’s attention will target complex patterns and fast or erratically moving objects. Pointing out each object then saying its name helps a little one to start matching words with physical objects. This is called concrete visual association.

Be sure to discuss any questions or concerns you have about your baby’s vision with your pediatrician or other healthcare provider. Vision lasts a lifetime, and it’s never too soon to start caring for it. Visit us at the Pinnacle Eye Group of Lambertville, MI 481344 for all your baby’s vision needs.

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