Newborn babies have very limited vision for the first 6 months of their lives as their retinas slowly develop. Unlike the adult eye, a developing retina will generally not see subtle shades of colour but can only detect large contrasts between light and dark, and because of this you will find that a newborn with be highly attracted to black and white patterns. Anything with high contrast or sharp bold outlines will not only keep a newborn baby’s attention for far longer than the carefully chosen pastel colours that look so beautiful in your nursery, but also stimulate the retina and help with visual development.
There are a range of products on the market to help stimulate your babies vision, including black and white books, light and dark contrasting toys, and learning flash cards. You can also surround your baby’s play area with black and white patterns.
"Research has proven that black and white contrasts register powerfully on baby's retina and send the strongest visual signals to baby's brain. Stronger signals mean more brain growth and faster visual development. Surround a baby with soft pastel colours and you might as well be blindfolding him. Surround your baby with black and white or light and dark pictures, and watch your baby's eyes light up."
– Visual Stimulation for Newborns, Dr Sears Wellness Institute
Some of our most popular prints are favourites with mums of newborns for this very reason. Our Activity Mat in the black and white Crocodile Marble Print is perfect for 0-6 month olds. The Activity Mat can be used inside or outside, it has a thick memory foam inner so you can put your baby down comfortably anywhere, and the washable, removable cover in strong black and white contrasting shapes will keep your baby entertained for longer while helping to build their strength of vision.
The great thing about these Activity Mats is that if after 6 months of decorating your house in the visually stimulating black and white, you can’t wait to add a splash of colour, just remove the outer cover and swap it over for one of our more colourful prints – like the floral Modern Native print, or our new Blue Mountains print!
Our Crocodile Marble print is available in all of our products, including the food Smocks, the Splat Mat and Change Mat, Couch Cover and the Pram Liner.