Baby's vision is not fully developed at birth. Baby can see but not as clearly as an adult. His range of vision is only 8 to 12 inches. He cannot clearly identify colour and light. A newborn baby sees only in black and white. The retina which distinguishes colour and light is not well developed in newborns. Brain connections for visual perception are not well developed at birth as well. Only on stimulation, i.e visual input through the eyes to the brain, brain cells form numerous connections among them and cause vision to develop.
Milestones in Vision Development
At birth, the baby is far-sighted. He is not able to focus on near objects. A few days after birth, he begins to focus on mother's face at a close range of 8 to 12 inches. The mother should make herself available to the baby as much as possible because baby is very excited on seeing mother's face. He is able to recognise mother's face by the large, high contrast stimuli of the boundary of mother's hairline to her face. Keep your hairstyle and appearance unchanged to enable this distinction and to stimulate his vision. Make faces to the baby like smile, frown, sticking out tongue and opening mouth wide. As baby tries to imitate these actions visual stimulation takes place.
Next to focusing on a face, he is able to focus on bright coloured objects. He is particularly attracted to high contrast bright coloured stripes. To facilitate this kind of focusing, provide the surrounding of your baby with high contrast coloured stripes.for e.g let the bed cover, blankets, pillow cover, toys, books,pictures on walls, car seat cover etc be of contrasting colour stripes.Higher the contrast, the more visually stimulating is the object to the baby.Allow baby to focus on baby-safe mirrors within 8 to 12 inches.
Eye Teaming or Eye Co-ordination and Tracking
By three months, baby will begin to follow your movements and movement of objects as they move from side to side. Stimulation at this stage can be done as follows:
Jingle a bright coloured rattle in front of your baby and move it from side to side. Let your baby follow it as he listens to the sound.
Hang a brightly coloured mobile over his crib.