Why is visual tracking important for baby and how do we support it?
“Newborns should be able to momentarily hold their gaze on an object for a few seconds, but by 8-12 weeks they should start to follow people or moving objects with their eyes. At first, infants have to move their whole head to move their eyes, but by 2-4 months they should start to move their eyes independently with much less head movement. When infants start to follow moving objects with their eyes they begin to develop tracking and eye teaming skills.” -Children’s Vision Information Network
Here are a few Visual Tracking activities to try with your baby (on their back or during tummy time):
• Move a stuffed animal or toy from side to side and watch him/her follow it
(will also develop neck strength and eventually reaching for objects).
• Move your hand up/down and in circles.
• “Find the Sound” – Shake a rattle off to the side or above your baby’s head. See if baby can find it. (This also helps with sound discrimination)
• Blow bubbles for your baby to watch. (If this seems too messy, try it during bath time)