In the first weeks of life, your newborn’s vision is limited but developing. Babies are born color-blind and near-sighted. Your little one is best able to see simple, high contrast images located within 6 to 18 inches from their face. The coolest part is that this is the same distance from mommy's chest to her face - biology is awesome! But in case you can't hold your baby all day long and stare into those new peepers every waking moment (who can?!), here's a play activity that makes an activity gym a better fit for a newborn's visual skills and interests:
Activity gyms offer valuable playtime out of “baby holding devices” (swings, infant seats, car seat carriers, etc.) for baby to stretch, strengthen and learn about his body and how it relates to his new surroundings. But many activity gyms are crowded with hang-down toys and covered with busy patterned fabric. They seem visually cluttered and may overwhelm your infant in the critical first weeks of visual development.
Learn more about baby holding devices and how they affect infant development.
Reduce the distractions by removing toys from your baby’s gym and taping simple black and white picture cards in various positions to encourage visual exploration and head turning. It's easy to forget how simple "play" is for a newborn. One of the earliest "self regulation" skills that your little one will learn is the ability to stay awake when he's not crying. Maintaining what's referred to as quiet, alert state is a skill and one you can help your little one develop through simple play activities such as this one.