Eye contact is very important for a child’s brain, social, and emotional development. It’s one of the key ways we make connections with other human beings.
Babies can make eye contact almost immediately after birth. Newborns will be especially attracted to a few specific things, like the color red and heavy contrast.
Around four months, babies start to develop more sophisticated visual perception and communication. They should be able to see colors and smile back at you when you make eye contact.
If your baby still cannot make eye contact after one year, it may be time to talk to a doctor.
This article was reviewed by Rhonia Gordon, MD, who is a clinical assistant professor with the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at NYU Langone.
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For many new parents, watching their baby become aware of his or her surroundings is an exciting, beautiful process. As the baby begins to pay more attention to faces and interact socially, it’s clear that the once pea-sized embryo is finally becoming a tiny little person of their own.
When babies make eye contact within the first few months
“Babies can actually make eye contact right from birth,” says Dr. Dipesh Navsaria, MD, an associate professor of pediatrics at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health and a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Council on Early Childhood.
Eye contact is one way that parents can tell that their baby is starting to take a greater interest in the people around them.
Early on, in the first few months, newborns will be especially attracted to a few specific things, like the color red and heavy contrast — like black and white, Navsaria says. They’re also attuned to the human face, or at least its general outline, even as their eyesight is still developing.
When babies start to make more conscious, deliberate eye contact
As babies grow, they begin to make conscious efforts to engage socially, which goes beyond just a natural propensity for human faces.
Compared to their first month, when they could only focus on objects about a foot away, babies three or four months of age have better color perception and can start to make out other objects besides faces, like toys.
By four months, they should also start to exhibit more conscious behavior like reaching for their toys and smiling deliberately at you when you make eye contact.
Babies might show a reflexive smile, grinning for no apparent reason, from birth, but between four weeks to four months, they’ll develop a social smile, either responding to another person or trying to get someone else to smile at them, Navsaria says.
If your baby isn’t making eye contact by one year of age
By age one, if a child doesn’t seem to be able to lock onto objects or make conscious eye contact, it’s crucial to speak with your pediatrician, Navsaria says. Going to the doctor can also help parents understand if their …read more
Source:: Business Insider