Why are babies attracted to black and white images?

Ladybug page in Mesmerised

Young babies are captivated by black and white images.

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.

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.