High Contrast Baby Books & Flash Cards
Bold black-and-white images in a high contrast baby book stimulate the development of the optic nerves. Focusing on such visual stimuli trains newborns’ vision, teaching the eye muscles and brain to coordinate and function properly. Consequently, research has proven that black and white contrasts register powerfully on baby’s retina and send the strongest visual signals to a baby’s brain. Stronger signals mean more brain growth and faster visual development.
If you provide continuous visual input into the baby’s eyes, the retina strengthens, the optic nerve grows, and the visual part of a baby’s brain thrives and develops significantly
More About High Contrast Baby Books & Flash Cards
Black and white baby books
Baby sensory books are typically black and white baby books, why?
Have you ever noticed how babies are drawn to books with black and white pictures? These books capture the attention of babies, whereas older children often love brightly coloured books.
Before a baby is born they can tell the difference between light and dark. At birth, a baby’s eyesight is still developing, their eyes haven’t yet learned how to work together, this will come over the next few months. Although babies are able see, the world is still quite blurry.
Babies can see best at around 6-8 inches, which is roughly the distance where babies are held for feeding. When you cuddle a baby and look closely at them, they can begin to focus on your face and get to know it. Some scientists have suggested that this limited vision, and ability to see around feeding distance, is a biological trait that evolved to help babies feel safe and secure with their parent, whilst limiting the sensory input of the wider world.
A baby's colour perception is also limited at birth. Although there is varying evidence about which colours baby can see, there is wide agreement that babies first see white, black, and shades of grey. There is evidence to suggest that red is another one of the first colours a baby will be able to see, and the contrast with black and white makes it easier for babies to detect.
As young eyes are developing and learning to focus on the world around them, black and white books with simple lines and bold patterns are easier for babies to see. The bold images stand out against a typically blurry world. A black and white book gives a baby a chance to see clearly and experience part of the wider world.
Babies are never too young to enjoy a book! Choose one with bold, uncluttered images, and simple shapes and patterns. This will help your baby learn to focus. Take the time to tell babies about the pictures. If they’re simple shapes or patterns, describe them. You can even take your baby’s hand and gently trace circles, squares, wavy lines – anything! This will help your baby learn more about what they’re seeing, but most importantly, they will love hearing your voice.
If you'd like to try a black and white book with your baby, here are some black and white books for babies to look out for.
Your baby's eye development and why black and white sensory books are recommended.
Even in the womb babies can tell the difference between light and dark. And at birth, they see shapes by following the lines where light and dark meet. Yet, they are several weeks old before they can see their first primary color – red.
In their first weeks and months, babies learn to use their eyes – actually their eyes “learn” how to see. While each eye has the physical structure it needs to begin to see normally, the two eyes haven’t learned to work together yet – and this “binocular vision” develops quickly throughout the first few weeks and months of life.
Can I Stimulate My Baby's Eye Development?
In this critical first year, your baby’s brain and eyes begin to coordinate images and remember what they’ve seen. As a parent, you can participate in your newborn’s eye development and health as a normal part of your time with your baby. Proper stimulation can increase curiosity, attention span, memory, and nervous system development. So be sure to give your baby plenty of interesting things to see, like black and white baby books.
The First Three Months of Eye Development
Newborns can only focus about 8 to 12 inches from their face, and they see only black, white and gray. As early as the first week, your baby begins to respond to movement and begins to focus on your face. Soon your baby will smile when you come close. This is an important sign that your baby sees and recognizes you – a joyful moment for any parent.
Over the next 8 to 12 weeks, you will notice your baby following moving objects and recognizing things, especially toys and mobiles with bold, geometric patterns and black and white baby books. As their color vision begins to develop, babies will see red first – they will see the full spectrum of colors by the time they reach five months of age.
When Do Babies Begin To See Clearly?
Depth perception and eye-hand coordination begin to develop when infants reach approximately five months. From four to six months, your baby begins to reach out and touch an object – something that previously only happened by chance.
You've probably heard the term 20/20 vision which is typically thought of as “normal” visual acuity. By six months of age your child’s visual acuity is around 20/100. Your child won’t reach adult levels of visual acuity until they are age 4 or 5. You’ll see how eyesight becomes a crucial element in your baby’s ability to coordinate full-body movements such as standing and walking.
When Does a Baby's Hand Eye Coordination Develop?
From 8 to 12 months, the connection between eyes, movement, and memory is strong as your baby approaches his or her first birthday. In the past year you’ve probably noticed tremendous improvements in your baby’s attempts to roll a ball, pick up small toys and objects, and feed themselves foods like cereal or sliced fruit.
Activities that encourage hand-eye coordination, like playing with stacking boxes and rings, blocks or snap-together toys, will help strengthen your baby’s ability to see an object, touch it, and remember things about it.
Your Baby’s Eye Health
The best way to help keep your baby's eyes healthy is through regular professional eye examinations. So have your baby's eyes examined – by your pediatrician or a licensed eye doctor – shortly after birth.
Are There Really Eye Benefits From Nursing?
According to a study published in the January 2007 issue of American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, “babies who are breast-fed have significantly better vision as young children than babies fed from formula.” Because scientists have previously hypothesized that the chemical known as docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) – found in higher concentrations in breast milk than in formula – enhances the vision of developing children, the researchers randomly added DHA to the formulas of some of the non-breast-fed children.