Written by Sindhuja Prabhu
Babies are born with very little sight. They can’t see beyond 12 inches during their first week and the range of vision slowly increases with time as the baby grows. Your baby can’t see colors until they are around 6 months old. Until then, they see everything in black and white. This is why black and white toys for newborns can be highly beneficial
Toys are for entertaining a baby. What is the point of giving them colorful toys with bright lights when all they can see is black and white? So, do you invest in black-and-white toys and switch to colorful toys later? Think it’s a waste of money? Think again, because investing in black-and-white toys can be very beneficial for a newborn baby.
In This Article
Black and white toys are just what the name suggests, toys with high-contrast colors of black and white. These toys are perfect for infants who can hardly differentiate colors but need some sort of visual stimuli to keep their visual and cognitive development going. You can buy a range of black and white toys including rattles, baby books, cloth books, crib toys, cot toys, pram toys, and sensory toys.
Mothers can even wear high contrast black and white shirts or feeding tops when feeding their baby. This is the easiest way to provide the visual stimuli that babies under 4 months of age need.
Black and white are highly contrasting colors. Though babies can see colors, they can’t perceive them until they are 4 or 5 months old. They see everything in black and white until this age. Black and white toys will have a higher contrast than other color toys. Highly contrasting objects tend to grasp a baby’s attention and retain their focus longer. This will help work their eye muscles and stimulate their vision, thus aiding faster development.
You can introduce black and white toys to your baby as soon as they are born. Once your munchkin comes home from the hospital after birth, you can start buying and introducing black and white toys to your infant. These toys can be useful atlease until your baby is 4 months old. After 4 months, babies start differentiating other colors such as red.
Black and white toys, though lacking color, can be very beneficial in the development of a baby. They play a vital role in the development of a baby’s vision.
Here are a few ways in which black and white toys can benefit your newborn.
Babies can’t perceive colors until they are 4 or 5 months old. Their eyes don’t work in coordination either. Focusing hard and longer on black and white toys will stimulate the baby’s optic nerves. It will help work the eye muscles and make them stronger. This is important for stimulating and improving a baby’s vision.
[Read : Baby’ Vision Development]
High-contrast colors such as black and white can draw the baby’s attention and hold it for some time. Babies can’t focus on anything for more than a few seconds. Such contrast images will help them slowly improve their focus. An increase in focus is very essential not only for better vision but also when they grow up and need to observe their environment for learning.
Though young babies can’t perceive colors, they can still interact with black-and-white toys. They will still explore the shapes, and textures and understand them in their own way. When the toys are black and white in color, the high contrast will hold the baby’s attention and encourage them to explore or play with the toy longer. This aids in brain and sensorial development in babies.
Not every parent might want to invest in a whole lot of black-and-white toys that the baby might not use after a few months. If you choose wisely, it can be a smart investment that you can use for more time and help your baby get a lot more out of it. Here are a few suggestions you can consider if you want maximum benefit from a little investment.
Flash cards are one of the best investments a parent can make for their baby’s development. You can buy animals, fruits, vegetables, or even shapes flashcards, black and white in color. You can find animal flashcards where the outline has high contrast and helps the baby see the shape. Similarly, you can find such high-contrast cards for many topics.
When your baby is older and can see color, you can use these cards to teach them the names of the things in the cards. School-going children can learn the spellings from these cards, you can use these cards to play sorting or a memory game too. You can get creative in the way you use such cards and prolong their usage beyond the initial few months.
You can buy your baby an activity play mat that is predominantly black and white in color. The images in a high-contrast color will help your baby focus more and improve vision while they are playing and developing their gross and fine motor skills.
You can use these mats for many months even after your baby can see all colors. Babies love to play and when they start moving, they are bound to fall and hurt themselves. Such mats can help protect your baby and serve as a dedicated play space for many more months to come.
For example – If you invest in an activity mat that has roads on it, your baby can use it to play with their toy vehicles or building blocks in the future.
Books with black and white images can help in developing a baby’s vision. Babies love books and when you read them black-and-white books, they will focus more on the images and develop more concentration and better vision. You can use these books for casual reading or even bedtime reading.
Invest in hard-bound black and white books that your baby can explore without worrying about paper cuts or ripping the pages.
Babies love rattles, not to just shake but to mouth as well. Rattles free of colors and chemicals are always a safer option for a baby. When you give them rattles that are just black and white in color, they will observe it and follow the colors even while shaking it. This will help improve their ability to track objects.
You can use rattles for quite a few months. You can use them to encourage your baby to roll over, move or even carry it with you when you step out. You can even place them a little further away and encourage your baby to look further.
Black and white images and toys offer a high contrast which helps develop a baby’s vision. Using them effectively in your baby’s day-to-day life will help improve their vision. When you invest in the right kind of black and white toys, you can get more out of them than just vision development. You can improvise and use them in different ways or just let your baby explore them and come up with new ways to play with them.
Around the 5th month, babies can start perceiving red as it is a bright and high-contrast color. Slowly, they start perceiving other colors as well. You will notice this when they show a preference for certain colors over others.
The high contrast of black with white will draw a baby’s focus and keep their concentration. The more they try to focus on one image, their eyes will start working together. Coordinated vision is a basic necessity in vision development and such high-contrast images will help extend their range of vision too.
You can roll black and white balls or rattles to help your baby start tracking the object. These are less stimulating and safer than toys with bright flashing lights
Sindhuja, a mother of two, is an obsessive mom with a keen interest in psychology, especially child psychology. Her quest for knowledge and way with words led her to become a passionate content writer. She transformed her love for writing into a full-fledged career which incidentally also turned up being the perfect stress buster for the last 5 years.Read more.