Visual play is important for newborns as it helps stimulate their brain growth and visual development. Providing high contrast toys with black and white patterns and shapes can help send stronger signals to the baby’s brain, leading to faster visual development.
It’s important to keep in mind that a baby’s eyesight is not fully developed, so newborn toys and activities that have simple and bold patterns with high contrast are most effective.
Additionally, face-to-face time with other toys, parents and caregivers is also important as it helps babies learn to focus and track objects, which is an essential skill for their visual development.
What are High Contrast Toys and Why Do They Matter?
Your Little One and Their Developing Eyesight
As a new parent, you might be wondering why some toys are marketed as “high contrast” and whether they are really necessary. The truth is that these toys are incredibly important for your child or baby’s visual development, especially in the early months of their life.
When babies are born, their retina is not yet fully developed, which means that they can only see clearly around 10-12 inches for that first month. Additionally, their retina can only detect large contrasts between black and white.
As a result, if you have a beautiful pastel nursery, it may do nothing visually for your baby as they may only see them as one shade all merged together.
The Importance of High Contrast Images and Toys.
Research has shown that black and white contrasting shapes and patterns register the strongest on a baby’s retina and send stronger signals to their brain. Stronger signals mean more brain growth and faster visual development.
Therefore, it is important to include visual stimulation in your baby’s environment.
By providing continuous visual stimulation through simple black and white/light and dark pictures and bold, contrasting shapes and patterns, your baby’s retina and brain will thrive, resulting in faster visual development. High contrast toys are an effective way to achieve this goal.
From around age 10-12 weeks old, your baby may be able to distinguish the color red, making it a great time to introduce black, white and red toys and resources. It is advisable to resist toys that are colorful and pretty at this stage as they won’t offer anything visually for your baby.
From around 5 months old, your baby’s crib will be able to distinguish a full spectrum of color, making it an ideal time to introduce those toys and resources that are bright and colorful.
In conclusion, high contrast toys are a great toy vital tool for your baby’s visual development. By providing educational toy for your baby with continuous visual stimulation through simple black and white/light and dark pictures and bold, contrasting shapes and patterns, you can support their retina and brain development, helping them to see and learn about the world around them.
What to Consider When Buying Toys for Newborns?
When it comes to shopping for baby toys, there are a few things to keep in mind. Firstly, it’s important to remember that your baby doesn’t necessarily need toys to be entertained or stimulated. Simply talking to them, singing to them, or making eye contact can be just as effective.
That being said, if you do decide to purchase toys for your baby, there are a few things to consider.
The best toys will that feature bright colors, different fabrics, patterns, and noise. This could include toys with blankets with rustling fabric, buttons that play soft music or sounds, or simple rattles. It’s also important to be aware of safety standards and to choose age-appropriate toys.
Another important consideration is the use of high contrast images. Research has shown that these types of images are easier for babies to interpret and can help to improve their attention span, memory, and nervous system development.
So, when shopping for toys or books, it makes sense to look for those that feature high contrast patterns and black and white images.
Remember that toys don’t have to be expensive. A library book or a cute, simple picture can provide just as much enjoyment and stimulation for your baby as a more elaborate toy.
Ultimately, the most important thing is to spend time interacting with your baby, whether through play or other activities. This is the best way to support their development and help them to grow and thrive.
Our Top 3 High Contrast Black and White Toys for Babies
Whether you’re creating a baby registry or trying to find the best educational toy to gift to a newborn, we’ve researched to find the best high contrast and sensory toys that babies love.
Final Thoughts: Why High Contrast Hanging Toys are Important.
Whilst plush toys and the best musical toy available tend to top baby gift registries, black and white baby toys are the best option when you are buying for a newborn.
Hanging toys will further enhance tummy time too- don’t forget to check out our post about the best tummy time play mats.
It can be hard to resist cute looking rainbow toys, but due to limitations in the eyesight and development of new babies, your little one will gain a great deal more from black and white baby toys at this early stage.