A new born baby has a small field of vision, approximately 6-8 inches, which is roughly the distance from their caregivers face as they are feeding them or giving them a cuddle.
While much of the world around a new born baby is blurry, research has now shown that high contrast colours, in particular black and white, resister the most on a babies retina which then stimulates their brain and encourages growth and faster visual development.
When Rupert was a new born baby, I used to place muslins with striking black and white patterns and images over the side of his bedside crib to catch and hold his attention, as well as playing with toys with high contrast black and white patters on them.
Second time around, in addition to using the high contrast toys and muslins, I have discovered The Little Black and White Book Project.
The Little Black and White Book Project is a fabulous, award winning company founded by Mummy Ruth Bradford. Ruth has created a range of beautiful and useful parenting tools which can be used from day one with a new born baby, right up to the toddler years in the form of black and white board books and flash cards. All the books and flash cards have simple and quickly distinguishable images of wildlife on them from across the globe. As much as I love the products I also love that the company gives 25% of the profits from each purchase of the books and the flashcards to wildlife charities.
Ruth kindly sent a couple of products to Darcie and I have been using them with her daily.
When the products arrived they were beautifully boxed and presented, accompanied by a leaflet explaining the products benefits and suggestions of ways in which they could be used.
Playing with the flash cards and board book with Darcie has proven to be a lovely way to bond with her while adding in gentle sensory play into her daily life.
As well as using the flashcards and board book as a way of bonding and communicating with Darcie, I have been finding other ways to play with and make the most of them in different ways, such as holding one up to grab her attention while I file her nails, which any parent will know can be a difficult process with a tiny baby!
Placing a few up high in her cot to keep her attention if I need to run an errand
Also to give her something to focus on during tummy time, and nappy changes
I expect over time we will find new ways to explore and play with them together, and also for Rupert to get involved and learn from them too.
I really love these little books and flash cards and feel they make for a useful and unique new baby gift, so much so that I have just placed an order for a friends new born baby.
You can read more about a new born baby’s visual development and the role that high contrast images play in a babies eyesight in a short post written by Optometrist Emma Davies here.
Love for now