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Eye-to-eye Confirmation of the Mother-infant Love Bond-Part 2

A Baby's Focus is Set at 35 cm

When we analyze the mother's actions of cuddling the newborn baby, the longer the mother holds the baby, from the time she picks him/her up, the longer the mother will look into the baby's eyes. Of course a few months after the baby's birth, the baby's pretty eyes begin to show various reactions indicating a more complex communication. The natural reaction to this development of the baby's ability to communicate and see, is the mother's reaction of increased animation when interacting with her baby, which is apparent in every interaction that takes place.

The newborn is born with a retina that is the same as any adult's, and has some sort of vision, to the extent where s/he is able to see large objects. Then, at a couple of weeks, the eyes are able to decipher much more, due to a rapid development of the nerves and they are able to identify objects approximately at a distance of 35 centimeters.

Whether most mothers know this or not, they always look into the baby's eyes and when they do, it seems they are unconsciously measuring this distance so the baby is able to "communicate" with the mother. In addition, the distance kept between the mother and baby, when the baby is savoring the milk of the mother's breast, is just the right distance for the baby and mother to look into each other's eyes. It seems the mother is a natural at holding the baby in such a position that is most communicative for the child, as she is able to look into the child's eyes and read his/her reactions.

When the baby tries to look through his developed eyes, s/he tries to focus the most sensitive part of the retina, which is developed between two and four months after birth. Furthermore, the ability to focus on one object develops, and the baby is now able to see objects at quite some distance. At about six months, the baby is able to decipher the outline of an object about one meter away or so.

A neonatologist takes the newborn baby and determines if there is any abnormalities in the development of the baby, and detects any developmental disabilities as early as possible. In particular, the nervous system, which is at the center of allowing the baby to react, is examined very closely.

However, recently, there has been much more attention paid to the child's eyes and it's glance, his/her reaction to the mother's voice calling, and the emotional cues of the baby. They are called as soft neurological signs. Thus, lately, there have been few cases where developmental disabilities and abnormalities are overlooked. The representative method is the Brazelton's Neonatal Behavior Assessment.

Through the eye-to-eye connection, the baby is able to react to following the mother with their eyes, and although under-developed, they are able to show their joy in loving and seeing the mother. The mother, then senses her child's joy in his/her eyes and builds a stronger bond with the baby. Eyesight plays a great role in tying the bond between the mother and child, and making it something rich and wonderful and full of life.

Kobayashi, Noboru (1981). "Me to me de tashikameru haha to ko no ai - 2"(written in Japanese). Tokyo: Child Research Net. Retrieved July 1, 2002, from the World Wide Web:
http://www.crn.or.jp/LIBRARY/KOBY/MIRAI/cbs0093.html
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