Why Are Black & White Patterns Good For Babies?

Why Are Black & White Patterns Good For Babies?

You might’ve heard that black and white patterns or pictures are a great way to support baby development. Below are our top 5 reasons why black and white is beneficial, plus some references to actual scientific research so you know it’s not just a random person on the internet telling you they are good – enjoy!

  1. Helps newborn babies see better:
    Babies are born with limited visual acuity (the ability to distinguish shapes and details) so high-contrast, black and white patterns are easier for them to see. The more babies can see, the more their brains can make sense of the world…which leads us to the next point;

  2. Stimulates brain development:
    Exposure to black and white patterns can help stimulate babies' brain development by promoting connections between their eyes and brain. By engaging with these patterns, babies can learn to recognise shapes, objects, and patterns. A study published in the journal Infant and Child Development, cites that exposure to high-contrast visual patterns can help promote infants' cognitive development (Frank et al., 2017).

  3. Improves attention and concentration:
    By providing a simple and engaging visual for babies to look at, their attention and concentration skills can develop. When babies look at black and white patterns, they are more likely to focus their attention and concentrate for longer periods – this can help during tummy time by providing a distraction, particularly if your baby is opposed to it!
  4. Has a calming effect:
    Conversely, considering they are most often used for stimulation, black and white patterns can also have a calming effect on babies. By providing them something they can see and make sense of, it can help to reduce stress and promote relaxation. This can be particularly useful during times when babies are feeling overwhelmed or overstimulated; for example during car journeys if you have a car-seat-hating little babe. According to a study published in the journal Frontiers in Psychology, exposure to black and white visual stimuli can have a soothing effect on infants, which may help promote sleep (Brelsford et al., 2020) – I will emphasise the MAY help promote sleep but let’s be honest, we’ll take what we can get.

  5. Aids visual skills:
    By using a black and white pattern your baby can see, key visual skills get more practice. Focusing their eyes on objects, tracking movement - try wiggling the muslin -, and differentiating between shapes all take time to master . All this practice helps speed up development!

We love that such a simple thing, such as a black and white printed muslin, can be so beneficial for baby development. Our sensory muslins are an easy way to introduce black and white to your baby at home (or on the go!) – just wait ’til you see their little face filled with wonder. Shop Now.

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