The 25 Best High Contrast Books and Toys For Babies
High contrast books for babies or black and white books for babies should be called or referred to as newborn books.
Have you noticed that there are more black and white items in the baby sections of your favorite baby stuff stores? Why is that you may wonder? Where are all the pastels? High contrast books for babies have become more and more popular and for great reason!
What if I told you the best thing you can do to visually stimulate your baby’s vision and brain growth is to use black and white stripes or light and dark contrasting colors for at least the first 3 months.
Honestly, it won’t hurt to include them for 6 months. I used them through toddlerhood. Study after study proves that babies prefer looking at high-contrast colors over everything else.
After you get the lowdown on how to use high-contrast books and items for babies as well as all the benefits they provide, you’ll be Amazoning high-contrast items immediately.
You will want to buy black and white books for your baby to keep around your home so you can soothe your baby wherever you are.
Why? Because you want to be on the cutting edge of stimulating growth in your baby’s brain and vision by using high-contrast books for babies.
Popular Questions and Answers
- When do babies need high-contrast books? As soon as they are born.
- When can baby see high-contrast books? As soon as they are born.
- What is a high-contrast baby book? A book that was intentionally created with colors and pictures that babies see best while their eyes are developing.
- How long do babies like high-contrast books? For at least 3 months, but up to 6 and 9 months. They are worth the purchase.
As I said, they should be called newborn books.
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How to Use High Contrast Books and Items For Babies in the Beginning:
- Step 1: Because of an underdeveloped retina, keep objects and your face around 8-10 inches from the baby’s face, so the baby can focus as best as possible.
- Step 2: Black, white and red are the best to use on EVERYTHING. According to research, pastels are a waste of time, especially in the beginning.
- Step 3: You can and should consider high contrast for your clothes, the baby’s toys, books, the mobile, crib bedding, room decor, blankets, items that you put around the car seat, and footsies. Preferably dark and light stripes.
- Step 4: The movements of people and objects should be repetitious and slow and graceful. If you let a sibling show the infant the book, make sure the experience is calm and soothing.
- Step 5: Use these items during the time you play and give attention to your baby. If they start to fuss, it means they’re tired of it, and you can try again later or tomorrow. Don’t overstimulate the child before nap time.
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What Are the Benefits of High Contrast Books For Babies? What are the Benefits of Black and White Books for Babies?
#1. Brain Development:
Newborns’ brains contain very little myelin. Myelin is the protective covering that surrounds fibers in the brain called axons. Their main function is to protect and insulate the axons and enhance their transmission of electrical impulses.
They are the reason babies process information slower than adults. Most areas of the brain begin adding myelin in the first 2 years of life in the areas that receive the first input from the eyes, ears, nose, skin, and mouth. Source
#2. Eye Development
Bold black-and-white images 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 a 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. Source
Book in photo:
#3. Improved Attention Span:
The repeated sight of appropriate objects will help to increase your baby’s attention span. If your baby can focus on one object, information about that object gets to the cortex. Coincidentally, this will form a pathway for stimulating brain growth. Source
Book in photo:
#4. Enhances Their Tracking Abilities:
Tracking is when your baby moves his eyes to follow an object. Tracking helps your baby to learn where an object is in space and how it differs from its background so that he can reach for it.
He discovers that objects have permanence by seeing that they move, yet remain the same. Since you are using high contrast which the baby prefers, the baby will more likely follow the object for longer periods of time with ease.
To start with, move objects left to right. Near 3 months, you can move objects up and down. Once your baby masters following these movements, the last directions to try are horizontal tracking skills.
#5. Extended Tummy Time:
When parents place high-contrast objects around the baby during tummy time, the child focuses on the objects for longer periods of time and stays content.
In addition, you can open the books to Baby’s favorite pages and stand them up around Baby during tummy time.
Baby’s tummy time increases because he is focused and stimulated.
The fold-out book seen in photo:
#6. A Content Baby
Last but not least, when you are intentional about using black, white, and red items, you will find that your baby is content in their environment. This is because they are soothed by the high-interest contrast that holds their attention.
Get this, research has shown that these color patterns cause babies to relax. Keep high-contrast items in your diaper bag to bring out during long waits and in the car for longer trips.
The Best High Contrast Books For Babies and Some Other Goodies to Go the Extra Mile
We personally used high contrast books for babies and other black and white items with our children, we give them as gifts and have recommended them to expectant friends. The choices below are from all of those involved. We used the items below throughout our children’s first year.
Let it be known that I am an Amazon Affiliate. Click on the item to check it out on Amazon.
This is a soft book. Great for taking along to those first appointments.
This will be the baby’s favorite when he/she first gets home. Believe it or not, these photos are used to get a baby’s brain geared for math!
You won’t believe how babies love animals first thing! Baby will smile and coo with the turn of each page a they meet their new friends.
This black and white book for infants folds out accordion-style and is great for tummy time.
Seeing a face keeps baby content. This book is full of black and white baby animals that will
This playground will be good for baby 0-6+ months. Lay baby on back or tummy. You can remove the toys and take them on the go or hang them on the stroller. The possibilities are endless.
*Baby Sees Colors was voted a National Parents Products Award Winner* This high-contrast book starts to incorporate color.
Importantly, reading nursery rhymes helps to stimulate a baby’s interest in sounds, and to develop listening skills. Singing the nursery rhymes helps to develop early language skills, and strengthens the emotional bond between a parent and their baby.
Related Articles: Best Board Books For Baby’s First Year
I love Manhattan Toys, and this mat is a must. We used it on the seat in the car for Baby to stare at from the car seat. Not to mention, this mat has a hidden mirror for a peek-a-boo effect, along with a teether, squeaker, crinkle paper, and jiggle pull ring and 2 magnets for attaching to magnetic surfaces!
We also had the Art For Baby Board Book, and I like to give Baby’s First Sights Gift Box of Infant Toys as a “My First Time to Visit Baby” gift!
Now this set, you MUST register for. My kids still play with the ball and they’re 4 & 6!
Other Favorite Black and White Books For Babies
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As you can see, there are many benefits to using high-contrast books for babies along with all the other cool items that are now offered to parents.
Add these items to your baby registry. Ultimately, it is up to you to be intentional about using them. Your baby can reap the advantages and thrive and develop by leaps and bounds.
I encourage you to read 10+ Best Board Book Genres For 0-1-Year-Olds to have a full grasp of the books that will make the most impact on your child during the first year. Make the most of your time with your baby by using what works.
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Make it a great day or not, the choice is yours! Remember to have fun, laugh and give God the glory! I love you! SS