Does not track

My son is seven weeks old and he does not track an object with his eyes. In fact, he will hardly even look at an object held in front of him, even if the distance is only about six inches. He has a play mat and he will spend a lot of time banging the toys to make them swing around. He seems to enjoy the sensation of touching them and the noise that they make, but he almost never actually looks at the toys dangling over his head. He just keeps his head turned to side, staring into the middle distance. Also, it seems as if he whacks at the toys just by feeling for them.

He will make some eye contact with my husband and me during feedings when he is snuggled very close to us, but it's extremely difficult to catch his eye at other times. Should I be worried? What should I be doing to help?

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Baby can see

Firstly, do not worry. Your son can obviously see or he would not be making eye contact, even if only briefly. When baby was born he could only see in fuzzy black and white. They first begin to focus on faces close up as your son is doing. Things, including faces, which are further away, are out of focus at this stage. It is usually only from 8 to 12 weeks that he begins to be able to focus on bright objects. At first they need to move their whole heads in order to follow a moving object, but later they will learn to just move their eyes. By four months old they are beginning to reach out for the things he sees, so your son, at 7 weeks, is right on track. There really is not a lot parents can do to help this process except all the things you are already doing.

If you find that there are still difficulties with tracking later be assured it is possible to test the eye sight of babies even at an early age.

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