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When Do Babies Make Eye Contact?

You’re adoringly looking at your baby, hoping their cute eyes will meet yours. As someone who works with children, I understand how you might start to worry when they seem more interested in staring at something else. So, when do babies make eye contact? In this blog, I’ll provide key insights into the typical timeline for baby eye contact, what you can expect, and some useful tips to help your baby’s eyes grow strong.

When Do Babies Begin Making Eye Contact?

A baby’s first months are full of exciting changes, from short glances to deep connections with parents. Here’s a quick guide:

  • Birth to 1 month: Newborns can only see about 8-12 inches away (just right for seeing mom or dad during feedings). Expect some brief eye contact.
  • 1-3 months: Things get more fun now! Your little one starts following things with their eyes and making longer eye contact.
  • 4-6 months+: Get ready for heartwarming moments as your baby begins recognizing familiar faces and making real eye contact.

In these early stages, it’s essential not to compare your child too closely with others; every baby develops differently. Be patient as your little one learns how to focus on objects (and people) around them!

How Much Eye Contact Is Normal for Babies? A baby smiles up at the camera. when do babies make eye contact
Read more: 5 Emotional Attachment Signs in Kids

So, How Much Eye Contact Is Normal for Babies?

The truth is there isn’t a simple answer because every child grows differently. However, these general rules should help calm any worries:

  • Quality over quantity – A few seconds of good connection several times a day might be enough.
  • Context matters – Some situations naturally lead to more interaction (like playtime), while others don’t need constant attention (like diaper changes).
  • Trust your instincts – If something feels strange about your child’s ability or desire to make eye contact, talk with a pediatrician.

Remember that these are just guidelines, and it’s crucial to pay attention to your baby’s unique behaviors. As they grow, you’ll become an expert in understanding their cues and communication styles!

Goally tablet showing Mood Tuner, the emotional regulation app for kids to help them manage big emotions.

What About Kids With Thinking and Learning Differences?

As parents, you might wonder, “How much eye contact is normal for babies?” This is especially true for neurodivergent children, like those with autism, who may avoid eye contact due to sensory overload or social anxiety. Don’t worry; they aren’t ignoring you—they’re just processing information differently.

To support your neurodivergent child and strengthen your bond, try the following:

  • Adapt your expectations and embrace their unique ways of connecting with others.
  • Encourage your child while respecting their boundaries.
  • Focus on building a relationship based on understanding and acceptance.

Remember, every child is unique and their eye contact may differ. Appreciating and supporting their distinct ways of communication is key for their overall development and well-being.

How Much Eye Contact Is Normal for Babies? A baby lays on his stomach and smiles up at the camera. when do babies make eye contact
Read more: 5 Early Signs of Autism in Babies

Tips for Helping Babies Make Eye Contact

Want some fun activities to boost your baby’s eye contact? Try these easy but helpful ideas:

  • Get up close – Be within your baby’s line of sight during feedings, playtime, or diaper changes.
  • Follow their lead – Notice what catches your baby’s interest and explore those things together.
  • Play peekaboo – This classic game helps babies practice making eye contact and tracking things visually.
  • Use bright colors and high-contrast toys – These can catch your little one’s attention more easily than dull colors.

Besides these tips, be patient! Some days will be better than others. Try not to worry too much about daily fluctuations in how much time they spend gazing into your eyes.

When Should You Worry?

Keep in mind that all kids develop at their own pace. However, there are a couple of warning signs to look out for:

  • No eye contact at all by 3 months.
  • Unable to follow moving objects by 4 months.

If you notice any of these signs in your little one, it’s time to have a chat with your pediatrician. They will guide you and offer support in addressing any potential developmental concerns. As parents, it’s always better to be proactive and keep track of these milestones to ensure your child is growing and developing just right!

Read More: Types of Developmental Delays in Babies

Goally | Apps To Support Child Development

Looking for fun ways to help your child learn life skills? Try Goally! The Goally tablet comes with award-winning learning apps and video classes to help kids develop the skills they need to become independent with FUN & evidence-based practices.

An assortment of interactive video class thumbnails, including dental care and cooking, on the best tablet for kids by Goally.

Our apps teach executive function, language, emotional regulation, finger dexterity skills, and more.

As your child develops new skills, you can increase the difficulty level of the tasks in the app to challenge and motivate them even further. This helps your child grow and progress at their own pace, while also keeping them engaged and excited about their development.

Goally kids tablet makes bedtime easy with bedtime routines completely controlled by the parent.

In conclusion, when babies make eye contact, it signifies more than just a visual connection; it is a crucial aspect of their social and cognitive development. This simple yet profound interaction helps build the foundation for emotional bonding, language acquisition, and social understanding. By engaging in frequent eye contact with their caregivers, babies learn to communicate, recognize emotions, and form secure attachments. Understanding and nurturing this developmental milestone can have long-lasting positive effects on a child’s growth and well-being.

FAQs About How Much Eye Contact is Normal for Babies

How much eye contact is normal for a newborn baby?
Newborn babies typically start making eye contact around 2-3 weeks of age but may not focus well until 6-8 weeks old.

Why is eye contact important for babies?
Eye contact helps babies develop social, emotional, and cognitive skills, as well as strengthening the bond between the parent and the child.

When should I be concerned about my baby's eye contact?
If there is no eye contact by 3 months or they can't follow moving objects by 4 months, consult your pediatrician for further evaluation.

Can using visual schedules and emotional regulation apps improve eye contact in children?
Yes, visual schedules and emotional regulation apps can help improve attention, communication skills, and emotional understanding, contributing to better eye contact.

How can I encourage my child to make more eye contact?
Use fun and engaging activities like peekaboo, singing, and puppet play to capture your child's attention and encourage eye contact.

This post was originally published on 04/11/2023. It was updated on 07/05/2024.

Article by

Emily is a seasoned blog writer for Goally, leveraging her extensive background in child psychology and special education to provide valuable insights and resources for parents. Her commitment to understanding and addressing the unique needs of these children, combined with her expertise in educational strategies, makes her a credible and empathetic voice for families.