Making eye contact is among the important milestones for a baby. They make their first direct eye contact during the first six to eight weeks of age.
Eye contact is not just about your baby recognising you. Through the act, your baby gathers information, relates to voices and people and begins to gradually comprehend things. According to researchers at University of Cambridge, eye contact syncs your brainwaves with the baby and helps in developing learning and communication skills.
Looking into the eyes releases oxytocin, which strengthens the bond between you and your little one. It also makes your baby feel more secure. Parents should continue making eye contact while communicating with their child even as they grow older, something that celeb mom Anne Hathaway picked up from Kate Middleton.
Here are some tips for parents to help their baby make eye contact:
1. Hold your baby about 10-20 inches away from your face and encourage him or her to look at you.
2. If your baby is already looking at your direction, make gestures, sing or talk to your baby.
3. Touch or voice along with mutual eye contact helps in developing better bonding with the baby.
4. Keep attractive toys at a distance within the baby’s reach and encourage them to look at it.
5. Keep talking to your baby while feeding. The sound of your voice can trigger the attempt at eye contact.
6. If your baby is looking at an adult or object, pointing to the object and naming it helps in language development.
Babies have a short span of eye gaze. So, don’t be upset if they don’t give you a focussed look or look away quickly. Don’t force the little one to look at you. Let your baby calm down and rest his or her eyes.