“Mommy, thank you for giving me life, but I came to this unknown world where everything is blurry and I recognize only black, white and shades of grey colour. Too many strong and colourful colours cause me stress and discomfort.”
In its first weeks of life a newborn sees everything blurry. It sees objects that are 20-30 centimetres from its face and it can only hold look for a couple of seconds. In its second week it starts recognizing mommy and daddy’s face, though it can fully recognize faces in the third week. Its eye focus gets longer in the third week when the baby makes eye contact and focuses its look on a face.
“Mommy, please help me develop my sight in this new environment. We’ll need lots of black and white colours.”
At birth, sight is the least developed of all five senses. When the baby is growing, its brain receive information from all five senses. All the intake of information effects the nerve cells. They multiply and make new connections with other nerve cells. Sufficient and constant input of visual stimuli to baby’s eyes is very important for the gradual development of the retina, the optic nerve and the visual system. If, for example, baby’s eyes were covered all the time, the visual system wouldn’t develop, the optical nerve would shrink and the baby would never develop sight.
“Mommy, I like black and white toys and bed linen that you choose for me. I love all these patterns! I like round shapes and pictures the most, because they remind me of faces.”
Patterns like dots, lines, curves, squares, rectangles, spirals, etc. are the best choice for a newborn. They help it raise interest, develop focus and perceive movement. Mommies will be thrilled about their babies’ discovering the world by observing. You can help your baby with observing by hanging a mobile over its cot or somewhere in its corner. The mobile should be light enough to move with the air.
Carefully chosen patterns are important in the newborn’s environment, since they help develop its activity. Don’t forget about the golden rule: less is more.
“Sight and hearing are the most important senses in child’s development. A child first notices its environment. He has to get to know the world where he will soon start moving. Observation comes before moving. When the child starts moving, he is led by what he saw and sensed before.” (M.Montessori)