At birth a baby can only focus on objects that are about 8-15 inches from him or her. While babies can see color it is hard for them to distinguish between different shades of colors. Pastels might look pretty to us, but won’t to your baby.
Babies often enjoy looking at high contrast objects. This is why you see items that are black, red and white marketed for newborns. I have a few high contrast items that my babies have all enjoyed such as a cloth book, a cloth ball and a stuffed caterpillar.
Before my daughter was born I made a high contrast mobile using pictures from sleepingbaby.net.
I used an embroidery hoop and some ribbons to make the mobile. Here is a more detailed post about how I made the mobile.
I have the mobile lower now than I will once she can grab it. I can adjust the ribbon at that point.
I also made some simple shapes and printed them out. There are 12 four inch squares altogether. I cut them out, laminated them using my laminating machine, then cut the out again. I rounded the corners so there were no sharp edges in case my baby later holds them.
I taped the pictures to a wall so that my baby can see them when she has tummy time. They could also be taped to the sides of baby’s crib (Remove them when baby can roll.) or on the wall where baby’s diapers are changed.
In addition, I made all of the squares smaller and put them on one page. This page could work well in the car on the back of the seat that baby faces. I also taped one to a cabinet for my daughter to look at when she is in her bouncy seat and I am cooking.
I made the squares into a PDF file so that you can download and print your own Black & White Pictures.
I think the main thing to remember about a baby’s visual development is that while these types of high contrast shapes are great for your baby to look at, the most important way to help their visual development is to give them lots of face time. They will learn a lot by looking at your face and seeing your facial expressions.
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