Look at My Face

There can be nothing more captivating than a human face for a baby. They are programmed this way, of course, for a good reason: survival. Making eye contact with an adult increases the likelihood of being noticed and receiving attention, contributing to the baby’s ability to survive. Whose heart wouldn’t flutter at the intentional gaze of a newborn baby? This will also be one of your newborn’s first experiences with Volitional Attention. You can enhance and increase their attention by allowing them to repeatedly find your face. The beauty of this activity is the charming way their attention focuses on you!


Volitional Attention


Bring your face close to and directly in front of your child’s face. Babies are a bit nearsighted, so the ideal distance is when the mother places the baby in the cradle by bending her arm and looking at the baby’s smiling face. Fortunately, babies do not know what is in the foreground and what is in the background. Approaching them allows your baby to see and notice you. Research shows that babies concentrate their attention the most when looking at a human face, so attracting their attention won’t be difficult. When you notice their eyes widening and focusing on you, compliment them with words like “Big congratulations, you see me right now!”

Then, move your face next to theirs, gently say their name until they move their eyes and find you again. Continue to say positive words like “You found me, well done!”

Afterwards, slowly turn your head to the other side and repeat the process while continuing to say positive words. Sometimes, instead of turning from side to side, move your head forward and backward (closer and farther) or diagonally. Continue the game until your child gets bored. You can understand when to end the game from the reactions they give. If your baby is still looking at you without moving, know that they are interested and participating in the game. If they turn their head or fidget, it shows they no longer want to play. Don’t worry; they will want to play again later, and in doing so, you will teach them how to use the six muscles that control each eye and coordinate both eyes.

Here are a few ways to effectively exercise your child’s eyes and enhance their participation in the game:

  • Attach wind chimes, scarves, and some moving objects to their crib.
  • Hang a bird feeder outside their window.
  • Reflect lights on the ceiling and walls of their dark room.
  • Hang interesting designs and pictures on a nearby wall.


In addition to focus, one of the fundamental lessons learned is eye control. The ability to control eye muscles, like any other muscle in the body, comes through practice. The control enables babies to scan their surroundings, perceive different details, and thus increase their awareness and intelligence. Furthermore, the small movements of the eyes help the baby’s brain perceive the distance, whether something is far, close, or at the edge. Cognitively, the baby is learning to distinguish between what is the main figure and what is the background.

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