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When your little one is born, the outside world appears hazy to her. Her vision will not be sharp, acute or coordinated. Perception is a process of grasping, organizing and interpreting visual and sensory information – something your baby doesn’t know yet.
For the first few months, your new born will not be able to imbibe depth perception. Depth perception is nothing but a 3 dimensional view of the world which begins to develop between 5 to 8 months. Depth perception helps your baby have a shaper and more appropriate vision of objects like adults.
Vision Development in New Born
Your new born’s vision will be weak at birth and he won’t be able to tell the difference between two images. He can see objects only at around 8 inches from his face. During the coming months of development his eyes become more focussed and he can clearly observe your or your partner’s face. At about 4 months he can start following objects with his eyes and will reach out to them.
Between 5 to 8 months visual perception and depth perception improves and your baby will be able to develop eye-body coordination. He will also be able to start differentiating different colours and contrast with his vision. At around 9 months hand-eye coordination also develops and along with vision your baby can also judge distances.
When Does Depth Perception Occur
Depth perception occurs when your baby begins to crawl and reach out to objects around in your home. At this stage she begins to have a three dimensional view of the world and protects herself from bumping into dangerous objects. This happens so because she is able to visualize edges or sharp objects from a distance and prevents herself from moving towards it.
Activities to Develop Depth Perception in Your Baby
- Hang various toys and colour objects on the crib or baby gym to attract the baby to pull, grab or kick. This will help the baby judge objects at a distance.
- Give your baby plenty of time to crawl and on the floor and explore. She will be able to perceive a 3 dimensional view of the world. She will also learn not to bump into dangerous objects. This will teach her the action consequence reaction mechanism.
- Play hide and seek games with your little one either with your face or his favourite toys to improve visual memory and judgement.
- Place objects at different corners of your house. Encourage your baby to find objects closer to her, and move on to find objects that are far from her. This will help her judge priority and distance between objects.
Most babies develop the sense of depth perception at about 5 months and by 2 years they are completely able to judge colours, objects and distance. However development differs in each baby. Some may delay in development of depth perception. Although each baby is different, watch out for some obvious signs like lack of focus in eyes, no eye contact, white pupils and light sensitivity signs in your baby. If you observe these extreme symptoms consult your doctor right away.