I am sure many new parents are unaware that their baby can hear before they are even born. They can hear their mothers voice and anyone else who talks to them in their mothers belly. They can also hear the blood swooshing through their mothers veins. It is encouraged to new parents to talk to their unborn baby and read/sing to them often. Babies can hear immediately when they are born. 

Newborns are screened for hearing impairment in the hospital before they head home. It is important for your baby to get screened during the first month of their life. It is amazing how this can be tested early on in a newborns life. 

Often times, new parents are also unaware that a newborn baby does not see very well. Many newborns cannot see anything other than the face of someone holding them and even then the face may be blurry to the newborn. 

Up to about 3 months of age, babies eyes cannot focus on objects more than 8-10 inches away. During the first few months of a newborns life, their eyes will start developing and vision quickly improves. Hand-eye coordination also develops during this time and the infants will begin to track objects with their eyes. By 8 weeks of age the baby will start to focus more on their parents face. They may start to recognize them. For the first few months, an infants eyes may appear to be crossed at times and this is completely normal, however if an eye is turned in or out often then this should be checked out. Babies should start to track objects and reach for things by 3 months of age. 

By five to eight months of age a baby should be able to control eye movement. The infant should also be able to see in depth and three dimensional at this age. An infant may only see red, black and white at first but by month five their color vision should be developed. When a baby starts to crawl this will further develop body coordination. 

It is recommended to play soothing music for a newborn baby. White noise is calming for an infant. It is also recommended to read often to your baby and show picture/color books to them. This will help with their eye coordination. 

If you have any concerns about an infants vision or hearing you should consult with a doctor. 

For more information on newborn hearing and eye sight visit www.ncta.online. The Newborn Care Workshop will provide you with more information on this topic.