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Babies and Eye contact

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
I am wondering those of you with young babies, at what age do they start making eye contact and looking at you when you try to catch their gaze?

My 4 week old seems like he avoids eye contact, but I have no idea why he would... If I am talking to him/playing kissy face with him, he will smile but when I move to look in his little eyes, he will look away or even turn his head away. Is this a normal baby thing? I don't remember my daughter doing this, but it has been a rough two years with little sleep!
post #2 of 9
I am not at home, so I can't look this up for you. When my son was a couple days old, I had the same concern and read about it in The Baby Book by Sears. If you can get a hold of a copy, I know the answer to what age they start looking in eyes is in there.
post #3 of 9
From the baby book...

"Holding a fix on either a still or moving object does not click in until around four months."

Dr. Sears is saying that a newborn's eyes continue to move most of the time. He suggests trying this gazing game...

move your babe toward and away from you until you find a distance that best holds her attention--do it in an upright position since LOs tend to more attentive that way, as opposed to on their backs.

I also remember reading in several other places that a newborn will tend to look at your mouth and/or hairline b/c of the color contrast. I wouldn' worry if I were you.
post #4 of 9
My three week old makes awesome eye contact with me, and he sustains it for prolonged periods of time (as long as I am talking or singing to him). If I show him a toy or object, he is much less interested and will only glance quickly. However, if he discovers an object on his own (a dark colored light fixture hanging on a white ceiling, or something similar that "stands out") he can stare at it forever!! That said...at least one of my children (ds 1, I think) avoided eye contact with me if: I was too close to his face, or I was making sounds too close to his face (kissing, clicking and sometimes even singing). I think keeping in mind they are all different as well as the previous post that says 4 months is typical, should put your mind at ease.
post #5 of 9
I posted on here a while ago about something similar--my ten week old would turn her head away when she first saw me after being apart from me all day (when I went back to work). It seemed as though eye contact with me was overwhelming for her until she warmed up to it. I just think that babies are far more emotionally complex than we give them credit for, and some babies are sensitive and get easily overwhelmed. It could be the eye contact gives a rush of emotion that he has to slow down for a moment or two. Some babies seem to want more and more. Now (at almost 20 weeks) my dd gazes deeply into my eyes, especially upon waking. We joke about it as it seems like she's trying to mezmerise me or something.
post #6 of 9
I used to think my babe just didn't like me very much. When I would catch eye contact with her, she would immediately look away. She wouldn't just look away, she would close her eyes, turn her head away from me, then open them up to look in the other direction.

She's almost 10 weeks old now and is making eye contact more often. She is gazing at me while she nurses. Not every time, but more often than she used to. If she's laying down on the floor or in her bouncy seat, she'll catch eye contact with me and grin. But then continues looking around at everything else around her. It's been gradual, but I'm definitely noticing more eye contact and the fact that she is recognizing me when she catches eye contact with me. She'll smile, squeal, and start kicking her feet like crazy. Guess she does like me a little!
post #7 of 9
It seems like my ds barely opened his eyes for the first few weeks. But he made eye contact early, by the first month or so, and sustains it pretty well. He's almost four months and makes good eye contact with all people, and focuses on others' activities really well. He likes to watch me or DH when we're working in the kitchen. I'm sure this is one of those milestones that is incredibly variable, just like rolling over, walking and crawling. Please don't let it keep you up at night!
post #8 of 9
Here she is about 3hrs old


But please remember that babies *need* to look away. Sometimes things are too stimulating and this is their only way of centering and backing off. It is really important for caregivers to respect a child who refuses to make eye contact, "hides" their face or tries to move back. This is their only autonomy and respecting them is an important part of reinforcing their individuality.
post #9 of 9
My DS was like this until 6 weeks or longer? He is totally fine now. But then he would not make eye contact and even seemed to avoid me!
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