Your baby loves to look at target shapes – but those abstract circles to hang over the crib are not what he needs. Look at your own beautiful self. Here you find will find the juicy target shapes that your baby wants to gaze upon.
Nipples, eyes and faces
What could be more important to your newborn than finding your nipples, eyes and face? Absolutely nothing else in the world! Your brilliant little newborn has a visual reflex that organizes his attention to focus on these lovely parts of you. This visual reflex helps her to orient to your breasts for her brand new endeavor of feeding.
Gazing into your eyes, your little guy is ready to fall in love with you. He now has a face to go with that voice he has been hearing for months! He drinks you into his little universe. He has no separation from you here.
Your newborn’s gaze reflex organizes her visual system for sustained focus. Your baby’s eyes are fully equipped with all their neurons and apparatus – but her complex visual system takes eight years to full mature. Gazing into your eyes, your little one begins creating her neural networks of vision.
Of course, you know all this is just the beginning. Gazing at your face and eyes, your baby wakes up his mirror neurons. They have all been there for months – now he gets to use them! Now dad/partner can do those goofy faces and watch your munchkin stick out his tongue, open eyes wide or squinch up. Learning all through play, your baby’s happy face and frowny face are mirroring emotions, the first stage in learning empathy.
Reflexes have this potency and ease. As tiny neural hook-ups and micro-movements, your baby’s gaze reflex has created new brain connections for multiple current and future activities. Breastfeeding, bonding, sustained focus, vision and social intelligence, all helped along via one simple reflex.
So, your baby does not need that target shape hung over her crib. Abstract circles are not her developmental mandate. Her primary mandate is to connect with you in a whole new way, now that she is out in the world. Your baby needs loving faces to shine on her. That’s why she has this reflex, to make you and the grands fall in love, too.
Now go, gaze, and fall into the infinite openness of your baby’s eyes. You will reawaken your own primal gaze reflex. You can taste this shared, primary experience with your dearest little one. So you will refresh your own attention, visual system and attachment with this simple awareness practice.