Tuesday, April 23, 2013

New Light at Birth: Infant Visual Development

 Recently, a Help Me Grow mom expressed a concern about how her young infant daughter cries every time she go outside, because of the bright sunlight!  Today, I want to highlight a few things on visual development, as well as share an activity from Welcome Baby that helps stimulate an infant's visual capacity! 

An infant’s vision at birth is very limited. In the womb, they are exposed to very little light, and after birth, their visual ability to capture light is only about 2%.  The visual part of their brain at birth is about 20/400 and approximately 20/25 by 6 months of age.  As infants are still adjusting to this bright world, they may express discomfort until they have gained enough exposure.  
Photo Credit

Click here for a few tips from healthychildren.orgOther ideas include:

 To help stimulate your infant's vision, decorate their room with bright, cheerful colors. Include artwork and furnishings with contrasting colors and shapes. Also hang a brightly colored mobile above or near their crib. Make sure it has a variety of colors and shapes. 
*See Visual Board for Baby below.

Month 2 and 3:
While infants should be placed on their backs for sleep to decrease the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), put them on their stomachs when they are awake and you can supervise them. This provides important visual and motor experiences

Month 6:
Six months of age is an important milestone because this is when your child should have his first children's eye exam.

Month 7-12:
To stimulate the development of your child's eye-hand-body coordination, get down on the floor with him and encourage him to crawl to objects. Place a favorite toy on the floor just out of his reach and encourage him to get it. Also provide plenty of objects and toys that he can take apart and put together.

Website Source 

Vision Board for Baby

 What you will need:
-1 white poster board
- enough red paper to be able to cut out 8 squares that are each about 4 1/4 inches wide and 5 1/2 inches tall
-black and white images

1. Cut a piece of white poster board into horizontal strips. Each strip will create one vision board and should be about 7 inches wide.

2. Divide your strip of poster board into four equal sections, folding the board on each division accordion style (fold towards the back, then towards the front, then towards the back again). If your strip is about 22 inches long, your divisions should be around 5 1/2 inches apart from one another.

3. Cut 8 squares out of red paper for each board. The squares should measure to be about 4 1/4 inches wide and 5 1/2 inches tall. Glue the squares on the front and back of the board in each of the sections that you created in step #2.

4. Cut out some black and white pictures to glue on the red squares. Babies especially love pictures of faces. 

5. Laminate the board, if you can.

What's your baby's reaction to your visual board?

Visual Board Source: Welcome Baby

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