Newborn- 2 months
*Info from zerotothree.org, endorsed by the AAP
VISION: A newborn’s vision is the least mature of the senses. Her eyes can track or follow movement about 9-12 inches from her face. Objects and people look a bit fuzzy. Before 3 months, infants see best “out of the corner of their eyes” (peripheral vision). They most easily notice movement and high-contrast patterns. At about 1 month, they may get “visually stuck” and cry because they can’t stop staring at one thing! Soon they learn to detach their gaze to look at something else.
FEEDING: Breastfeeding seems to contribute to rapid growth of brain weight which is mostly the myelin that covers brain neurons. Once myelin is present, neurons are able to send and receive messages much faster and more clearly.
TOUCH: An infant’s skin is so responsive to the stimulation of touch that the brain registers touch at the slightest pressure.
CRYING: A baby’s developing brain is significantly influence by his interactions with the world around him and especially by his relationships with the adults who care for him. Crying may be nature’s way of helping to ensure that babies receive enough back-and-forth interaction – holding, snuggling, talking, and singing – that helps the brain develop. Children grow up more secure and competent when their parents responded to their cries with loving attention.
HEARING: The newborn can hear a variety of sounds. They can even hear rhythms and tones of a mother’s voice before they are born. The infant is especially sensitive to the sound of human speech and are amazingly interested in the basic speech sounds of language. They also can turn their head and eyes in the direction of your voice.
What you can do: Hold or place the infant about 9-12 inches from your face. By 2 months the infant especially likes to look at your face when you exaggerate your facial expressions. Encourage an infant to follow an object with her eyes by slowly moving an object 10-15 inches from the infant’s face. Remember when looking at infants that they need to take breaks. They may tell you this by looking away. Breastfeed if possible. Just do all those natural parental instincts – hold, cuddle, hug, rock, bathe, massage etc! Have fun talking to your baby, reading and singing to him, and imitating his sounds. Notice how you speak to an infant. At this point, the baby is most attracted to the sound, pitch (can hear higher pitches better), and rhythm of your voice.