THE IMPORTANCE OF CONTRASTING OBJECTS FOR BABIES
In utero, at birth, in the first months of life, the vision of the toddler changes and evolves. So, what activities, games to offer our child while respecting the pace of development of his vision? Why is it important to offer contrasting objects to your newborn? We asked Lauriane, childminder and mother of two young children to answer her questions!
The different stages of baby's vision
In utero, at the time of the development of the retina and the optic nerve, the eyelids of the fetus are still sealed. It is around the 7th month of pregnancy that the vision begins! At this term, the baby can distinguish shadows and variations of light. But her vision is not stimulated, so she cannot develop yet.
At birth and up to 3 months
At birth, infants move from a world of dim light in utero, to bright lights, which can disturb him. The eyes of infants will learn to function together, so it is common to see them cross-eyed. Toddlers' eyes have trouble focusing on objects, their vision is blurry. It can only identify a gray tone palette. On the other hand, he sees what is about 20 or 30 cm from his eyes.
At this stage, you can position yourself close to your toddler to allow him to observe you. Also, place within 20/30 cm of him contrasting objects like books, cards, a mobile.
We can also notice that the areola of a pregnant woman darkens with hormones. This allows the newborn to stimulate his vision to help him find the breast more easily!
At two months, he acquires the ability to scan an image with his eyes, he can then discern the overall appearance of a thing, patterns, relief and bright colors for example. He can now recognize his parents' faces.
At this point, you can install a mirror in its space Nido, continue to offer him contrasting cards, objects with different textures for example.
At 3 months, the child will perceive several basic colors (red, green, then yellow) he can now follow the movement of an object to try to catch it. He likes to observe his hands attentively, it is moreover the first work of hand/eye coordination which is slowly put in place and which will help him a little later to grasp objects in a voluntary way, to finally work on his gestures and be more precise in its prehension. We will talk about "fine motor skills".
To stimulate his vision, you can mime expressions, make faces while making sounds, talk to him, look at him, interact with him. You can also sing him songs. If you offer him small balls, favor contrasting objects, including red and green.
From 4 months
Most babies begin to perceive 3D depth. It differentiates known people from strangers. You can then offer him light rattles, textured balls.
It will be observed that he distinguishes the reliefs better and better, follows the vertical movements, he observes his environment and turns his head to see better. It also distinguishes facial expressions (joy, fear, etc.). He now sees the same colors as an adult because the cones in the center of the eye have reached the correct length.
At this age, the eyes work together well enough to have 3-dimensional vision. However, he is still attracted to contrasting colors. On the other hand, it is only around 9 or 10 months that he will have the ability to assess whether an object is near or far from him. This notion of distance will need to be refined, because it will only be completed after 7 years. It is very important because it can put the child in danger.
On the road, for example, a 2,3,4 year old child cannot know if a car is 1 or 10 m away from him. The same is true for height. Is it 20 cm, or 1 m from the ground? Quite simply, because the evolution of his vision is not yet complete and the brain is not mature enough to assess danger and distance as it should.
The child's vision is extremely important, it can be stimulated from birth through simple games by placing the child on the ground, on his back with some contrasting black and white toys, the arches/mobiles will preferably be positioned at the level of the feet in order to encourage the child to shift his gaze.
Between 6 and 12 months
This stage is often the moment when the baby will have the anxiety of separation with his parents, his entourage, his landmarks. To accompany your child in this new stage, you can play the "hidden peekaboo" game. You hide behind a cloth and reappear.
Manipulation and exploration are in the spotlight at this stage of baby's development. Around the age of 1, you can then offer your child small glitter panels easy to handle that encourage observation and wonder. They are perfect for a sensory and soothing approach. They can even be used for cool down moments. You can also offer him "Seek and find" games, sort objects by size and color, offer him his first pencils.
Books are also excellent supports for stimulating vision, analyzing images, deciphering them; also drawing, reproducing shapes, discovering several supports and types of pencils, painting and graphic art in general.