Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Why high contrast images and tummy time is essential to early learning!!

I thought I would start today's post with the absolute basics to early learning DEVELOPING GREAT VISION!

VISION = Making sense of what is seen

A baby must be able to track you with their eyes before you can begin to start any reading, maths or signing programmes, and what does black and white images and tummy time have to do with developing vision?

First I will address the importance of tummy time. A baby its on its back is like an upside down turtle. Tummy time is to encourage movement so that brain pathway are stimulated. Lying a baby on its back prevents movement and inhibits the use of both sides of the body. Near point vision (close vision) is also developed. Development and learning occur when the nerve endings in the muscle and ligamnets of the body are stimulated. So put your baby on their tummy as soon as they are awake and well fed of course : )
Why Black and White? High Contrast Colors are STILL the best. Newborns can see from birth, just not as clearly as an older child or adult. Until your child is about six months of age, he/she will respond best to bold, contrasting colors and graphics. That’s why it’s important to provide your baby with images that feature the visual extremes of black, white and red.

I have done this with both my children. While Anneliese's vision is still developing, I remember clearly watching Sophia track me from the other side of the room at around 8 weeks and really started focusing on other things like the mural in her bedroom and anything that was hanging on the wall. Even though I did do the black and white images I was highly skeptical. I didn't think it would work, but I also thought no harm in trying. As soon as I put down the first black and white board book around Sophia's cot her little head turned straight away and just stared at the images. From then on in I was a convert. Tummy time took me a little longer to get used to. Sophia used to cry when I put her on her tummy and I felt really, really bad for her because it seemed like such a struggle, but as time went on she rolled early tummy to back at three months and commando crawled at six months creeping at 8 months and walking by 11 1/2 months. Now I know that the crying is just a small price to pay for the benefits of tummy time.

I only do tummy time when Anneliese is awake. I NEVER put her on her tummy to sleep. I always follow the safe sleeping rules. As you can see tummy time when they are awake still benefits the child greatly.

Thanks for taking the time to read this blog.

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