Top 9 Best Black and White Books For Newborn Babies

9 min read

Written by Aparna Hari

Aparna Hari

Black and White Books For Newborn

Did you know your baby cannot see colours for the first few months? All those colorful toys, clothes, and decorations around the nursery, will all look just black and white to them. The same is the case when it comes to books too. All those nighttime stories with colorful illustrations will take time to have an impact on your child as they can’t see in color yet. This is why you may want to consider buying black and white books for newborn babies.

Babies can start seeing more than just black, white and grey, around 4 months of age. The first new colour they can perceive is red, because of its high contrast. At this stage, if you show them high-contrast black-and-white images, it will definitely catch their attention and help improve their focus.

In This Article

What Are Black and White Books?

Black and white books as the name suggests, are just that – books in black and white and no other colours. The images are high in contrast, with bold outlines to help the baby make out the shape of the figure, easily.

This does not mean there won’t be any other colors in the book, but mostly the book will be in black and white. The images may even be high in contrast to help the baby see better.

Are Black and White Books Good For Newborn Babies?

baby reading black and white book

A baby can see only up to 6 or 8 inches when they are less than 5 months old. Their vision is still developing. The perception of depth, range of vision and color visibility start increasing slowly. So high-contrast books in black and white placed a little close to their face are sure to get your baby’s attention.

Experts believe the high contrast images help babies focus more and in turn develop their optical nerves. Since there are no bright or loud colors, the stimulation is low. When the stimulation is low, a baby feels safe, calm and ready to learn without fear.

The black and white contrast images with clear bold outlines are the right amount of stimulation for a baby’s mind. It will grab their attention, make them focus and improve cognition. It is just right to stimulate their system.

[Read : When Do Babies Start Seeing Colors?]

When Should You Introduce Black and White Books to Babies?

You can give your baby a black and white book right from day one of birth. A baby’s eyes don’t work together as they should. They cannot see a single image with both eyes. This is why you may notice your baby squinting when they try to focus on an image. When the contrast is high and the lines are bold, it helps them focus better. Slowly both eyes start working together and look at the same spot.

Though they will sleep most of the time and whatever they can see may seem very fuzzy for most of the first month, you can start them young. Black and white books can be more helpful than books with soft pastel shades. They may all look grey to your baby and might even make it difficult to focus on.

Benefits of Black and White Books For Babies

As mentioned earlier, a black and white book can help your baby see better. Let’s break it down to simple points.

  • High-contrast images help grab baby’s attention.
  • Clean, bold and well-defined lines help baby focus.

In addition, exposure to black and white books helps your baby

  • Stimulate the optic nerve
  • Develop cognition
  • Improve concentration
  • Reduce visual stimulation and keeps the baby calm
  • Help them learn about the world around them in a calm and soothing manner

Best Ways to Utilize Black And White Books For Your Baby

If you, as a new parent, are wondering how you can get your tiny infant to get familiar with black and white books, here are a few tips for you.

1. Make Black And White Books A Part of Tummy Time

This is the best way to start introducing these books to your baby. Prop the book in front of your baby during their tummy time. Alternatively, you can hold them too. Let them focus on the images.

2. Turn The Pages Slowly

If your baby is very young, their vision is not fully developed, and they can’t focus well either. For this reason, it is imperative that you let your baby focus on each of the images for some time. Do not turn pages in a hurry. Instead, give them time to focus on each of the images and try and focus on what they are seeing.

3. Position The Book at The Right Distance

If your baby is less than 3 months old, they can only see objects that are placed at a distance of 8 to 10 inches from them. As they grow, they start seeing a little further. This field of vision according to age must be considered when you decide the placement of book in front of your munchkin.

List of Top 9 Best Black and White Books For Newborn Babies

Are you looking for some of the best black and white books to introduce to your baby? Here is a list of the top 9 black and white books for babies.

1. Look, Look By Peter Linenthal

Look, Look Black And White Book

(Image Source)

A sturdy board book with high-contrast images in black and white. The images are simple and big enough for a baby to stare at. The describing words are red in color, making this suitable for your baby even when they just start perceiving colors. Repeatedly reading this to your baby and letting them stare at the images will help in cognitive development, as they will slowly start comprehending what those words mean.

This can be the perfect first board book for a newborn baby – be it your own or to gift.

2. Black White By Tana Hoban

Black White

(Image Source)

A simple book with images in black and white. You can flip the pages like in regular books or pull open the page all the way till it is one long line of images. One side has images on a white background and the other has images on a black background. You can let your little one just sit and stare at it. When they get a few weeks older and start trying to touch and pull things, this book can be very interesting for them.

The images are simple and mostly related to babies. so, as your baby grows, it can relate to the images easily. The soft-edged pages ensure they don’t hurt those tender little fingers.

3. I Kissed The Baby! By Mary Murphy

I Kissed The Baby Black And White Book

(Image Source)

This book by Mary Murphy has high-contrast images and bold outlines, with some text. It is not a story, but it revolves around various activities related to a baby like feeding the baby, singing to the baby and more. The book is in a question-and-answer format, which can help develop communication and language skills in your baby as they grow up. The book ends with kissing the baby and your baby is sure to love it every single time!

4. Baby Dream By Sunny Scribens

Baby Dream black and white book

(Image Source)

The book uses real images of families with babies rather than animated images or images with just outlines. Every page has the same sentence at the end, talking about the time to rest. This makes it a perfect bedtime book that can lull your baby to sleep. The other sentences are rhyming and describe various activities one does before going to bed.

It will be easy for your baby to not only understand the words but to learn the sounds and comprehend the meaning too. This book can be perfect for your tiny baby to just stare at, you can read it to them as they grow up.

[Read : Reading to Your Baby]

5. Baby Montessori Set by Chiara Piroddi

Baby Montessori Set

(Image Source)

This is a set of 4 books beautifully illustrated by Agnese Baruzzi. These books comprise just 3 colors – black, white and red – and can be just the right set of books to help introduce a few animals, things around the garden and more to your baby.

The author follows the Montessori approach to introduce various images and names to the baby in their first year. It offers visual stimuli which are not too bright, and just right to help develop the baby’s vision.

6. Baby Animals, Black and White By Phyllis Tildes

Baby Animals -Black & White book

(Image Source)

Children love animals and with baby animals, everyone finds them cuter. This book has bright illustrations of baby animals in contrasting black and white colors, which is perfect for a very young baby’s eyes. The cute animal faces are bound to grab your baby’s attention and make them giggle with delight.

The black and white images can help improve your baby’s focus and this can be the perfect way to introduce your child to the names of these baby animals, as they grow up. Babies will find it easier to learn when they are familiar with the book from a young age.

7. Hello, Animals! By Smriti Prasadam

Hello, Animals black and white book

(Image Source)

A hardbound book with rounded edges – perfectly safe for tiny tender hands to turn and explore. The contrasting black and white images of animals in their natural habitat can be a great way to teach your little one about animals. The colored foil on the pages makes the book more captivating for babies as they love anything shiny. You can use this book right from day 1 until your child grows up into a toddler or even learns to read.

8. Baby Loves Sports By Duopress Labs

Baby Loves Sports black and white book

(Image Source)

The book cover describes this as a high-contrast action book and that is exactly what this book is all about. It has high-contrast images in black and white with clear bold outlines, of people playing various sports. This can be a great addition to your baby’s book collection. A newborn baby might be too young to play a sport but never too young to learn about it or just stare at pictures of people playing it.

9. Hello You From Happy Baby By Amelia Hepworth

Hello You From Happy Baby black and white book

(Image Source)

This black and white board book can introduce your baby to various members of the family and animals too. The pages contain a bright burst of color that can grab your baby’s attention as they start perceiving colors at a later stage.

The book can be a good investment if you are keen on inculcating a reading habit in your baby. The book not only teaches your baby the names of animals but also some familiar actions family members do, like smiling, waving, etc. This is a great way to teach your child the words for the actions they see regularly.

While black and white books can be very useful for a newborn up to 3 or even 4 months of age, it does not mean these books will become useless after. Your baby will still enjoy the high-contrast images and stories even if they can see colors. Sometimes, when the visual stimuli are too much for your baby, like when you go out to a party or a highly lit area, you can give these books to reduce that stimulation. These books will still help grab your baby’s attention and calm them down.


1. How Long Do Newborns Like Black and White?

It varies from child to child. Babies may start gravitating towards colourful books once they can perceive colors, but they will still like the high-contrast familiar images that can calm them down. Generally, your baby will start showing interest in colorful books after the age of 6 months.

2. Can Black and White Books Help Calm Down a Baby?

Yes, they can. The simple colors reduce the visual stimulation and can calm the baby. When their brain is overstimulated, your baby can get cranky, find it difficult to sleep properly or even show a drastic change in behavior. You need tools to help calm them down.

3. Are Bold and Large Black and White Patterns Good For Newborn Babies?

Strong black and white images encourage a baby to focus on the image. Combined with patterns and textures, such books or images can offer a multi-sensorial experience for a baby, which is very good for their development.

Aparna Hari,MBA in Marketing,P.G. Diploma in Human Resource Management from IGNOU Bachelor of Sciences (Home Science) from Nagarjuna University

Her experience in impactful writing combined with her background in Home Sciences makes Aparna the perfect candidate for content writing in the pregnancy and parenting niche.Read more.

Responses (0)

Please check a captcha

Want curated content sharply tailored for your exact stage of parenting?

Discover great local businesses around you for your kids.

Get regular updates, great recommendations and other right stuff at the right time.


Our site uses cookies to make your experience on this site even better. We hope you think that is sweet.