Why are babies attracted to black and white images?

Mesmerised Board Book

High-contrasting, black and white images with sharp outlines are much easier for baby to see in the first few months of life while eyesight is still developing. At birth a baby’s retina is not fully developed; a newborn retina can only detect EXTREME contrasts between light and dark, or black and white. With everything appearing a little out-of-focus it’s no surprise that your baby will be completely absorbed when a book of black and white images is put in front of them.

“Anything with very obvious contrast – such as black and white edges and lines – is an optimal stimulant for the visual system. This type of stimulation basically gets the system up and running” – Professor Usha Goswami, director of the Centre for Neuroscience in Education at Cambridge University.

A baby’s eyesight will continue to develop over the first 6 months – use of our specially designed black and white, and high-contrast books, will help to nurture that development by helping to stimulate development of the optic nerve, while also providing much-needed entertainment and stimulation for your baby.

What makes our black and white books better than other high-contrast books on the market? Our images have been designed specifically for newborn vision. We include no unnescessary detail; the graphics are optimised for developing eyes that can’t see fine lines or small detail. Baby will be completely mesmerised by the bold patterns and shapes. We are yet to come across a baby that hasn’t loved staring at our books!

newborn baby eyesight
A newborn’s eyes will look almost completely black and will have limited vision

See our  ‘Baby Vision Guide‘ for a month-by-month guide to infant visual development.

High-contrast books are top of the list of recommended books for babies on the Raising Children website.