Seeing Eye-to-Eye with Baby
Updated: May 26, 2022
The Importance of Eye Contact for little Ones
Just how important is eye contact with babies?
“Truly, the developmental importance of eye contact cannot be understated – it impacts both emotional and intellectual intelligence.”
Why You Should Lock Eyes With Your Little Today
The first time you looked down into your sweet little baby’s eyes, it's likely your heart swelled to ten times its normal size, just about exploded like a rocket ship out of your chest and melted in a big wet puddle on the floor. Locking eyes with your baby is special and brings a heartwarming feeling to most parents. It’s also something that is vitally important for baby’s development.
Truly, the developmental importance of eye contact cannot be understated – it impacts both emotional and intellectual intelligence. It also has special significance in early attachment and bonding. In fact, studies have shown that eye contact between mothers and babies is so powerful, that brain activity and heart rate of mom and baby actually sync when eye contact is made. Pretty amazing, right?
It seems infants are wired for eye contact. In fact, the first thing an infant learns to focus on is a human face – and a newborn can recognize its own mother's face as young as four days old. By 3-4 months, babies will begin focusing on other faces and objects that are nearby. By about 7 months old, baby’s vision is fully mature, and this is when baby becomes more comfortable using their eyes to explore their surroundings.
This is why many parents make the choice to turn their baby to the forward-facing position around the 8-month mark. This can be exciting for baby, but it also means giving up direct face-to-face time that was easy to come by when baby was turned around in the backwards position. However, facing forward in the stroller with the Looky Lou stroller mirror can bring a whole new level of interaction between parent and child.
Around 9-11 months, most babies start to develop the skill of following the eye gaze of an adult and also directing adults nonverbally through their eye movement. This social sharing of a moment between parent and baby is known as joint attention and studies have shown that early joint attention skills can predict a larger early vocabulary and is a critical skill to the development of language. While our favorite thing about the stroller mirror is that it lets us (the parents) see bubba, it also allows baby to see us – and see what we’re looking at and responding to on walks. This helps bring personal interaction and engagement back to walks and errands with our littles.
The shared glances the Looky Lou stroller mirror allows also make it easier to talk to your baby while on walks or while out running errands. Pointing out and naming objects you come across is another great way to help baby learn the names of things in their environment. All of this added interaction can be hugely beneficial to baby's development.
Personal interaction and engagement is proven to be much more effective than video or audio in helping children learn. Indeed, babies depend on responses and interactions from parents and caregivers to shape their behavior. Locking eyes with baby and taking the time to engage with them is one of the best ways to help baby learn. So next time you head out for a walk with baby, instead of staring at the back of your child's head, we encourage you to glam up your pram – and enjoy the added connectivity the Looky Lou stroller mirror will bring you both.