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Eye contact while feeding helps baby develop new skills

Posted on April 24 2022

Did you know that eye contact is an early predictor of language skills? 

First, a newborn develops the ability to focus their eyes on a face and can start recognising their mothers face from about 4 days old. 

The best way to support this development is by making eye contact with your baby while you feed them. 

Whether breast or bottle fed, babies develop foundational social communication skills by looking at a caregivers face during feedings. 

When your baby locks eyes with you, and shifts their gaze to notice what you are looking at, this shows joint attention (the social sharing of a moment between two people). The ability to pay attention to the same thing as an adult, coordinated joint attention, develops between 8 to 15 months of age. 

Babies rely on the responses and interactions from caregivers to shape their behaviours. Your baby coos. You reward them with a big smile, physical touch and talking to them. Soon they are making happy noises to gain your attention and so begins the joyous dance of bonding with your baby. 

Your response to their movements and sounds encourages more of the same. Taking the time to play and spend time with your baby is one of the best ways to help your baby learn.

 - Brynn D. Rhodes, M.S., CCC-SLP



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