A few black and white baby toys, lots of face-to-face and skin-to-skin time is everything your newborn needs to stimulate their brain development in a gentle but very powerful way.
The first six months of babies life can be quite remarkable as they reach different developmental milestones and try to understand the world around them.
When babies are born, their eyesight isn’t quite developed, and they see things quite blurry.
A newborn’s vision gradually strengthens throughout the first few years of life, particularly the first few months.
Why is promoting visual play important?
A baby’s sense of touch and hearing develop from the womb. However, babies aren’t born knowing how to see; they actually have to practice and learn how to see. When a baby is born, their eyesight is blurred.
Until your baby is around three months, they are only able to see objects close up. You will notice they can hold a fixed gaze, follow moving objects and focus on different things. By six months, infants can generally interact with objects and people around them! They also develop their color vision by this time.
Between 6-12 months, your baby’s eyesight will develop further at a rapid pace. Their vision continues to improve in terms of visual acuteness and depth, and they will identify more colors. It is vital to provide children with proper visual experiences to train and improve their visual perception.
What are high contrast black and white baby toys and why are they beneficial for infants?
As adults, we can distinguish between many different shades and colors. However, a baby’s retina when they are born isn’t developed, so they can only differentiate between bold contrasts, e.g. black and white.
Monochrome contrasting images, textures, and patterns stimulate the optic nerves’ development perfectly without being over-stimulating.
Distance from which your baby is looking at the toys and objects is also very important. They can best see and focus better on objects positioned 8-10 inches away from baby’s face.
When everything is foggy around them, the stark high contrast toys will stand out to capture their curiosity and encourage their cognitive skills. Simple black and white patterns develop children’s eye-tracking skills to understand where objects are around them.
Read more about the Science Behind The Black and White Baby Toys.
How to choose the right toys for a newborn?
Having an abundance of toys is the last thing you need for your baby. This also holds true for toddlers and even bigger kids.
For harmonious baby development a couple of quality, different variety toys will be more than enough.
Of course, black and white baby toys along with black and white baby books are must-haves.
There are many toys available that promote sensory stimulation for children targeting a range of different senses at the same time, e.g. books with different textures, bell sounds, mirrors etc.
In this list, you’ll find some of our favorite high contrast baby toys for their first month.
Offering your newborn such visual prompt and doing that at the right distance (8-10 inches from their face) will give them an opportunity to actually SEE what they can see at their age.
I will also show you how some of these toys can be repurposed beyond newborn and baby stage so that you can make the most of the investment you initially made.
Best Black And White Baby Toys
This is hands down our favorite black and white toy during baby’s first months.
This book can be used in 3 different ways: laid flat on the floor, attached to the crib, attached to the pram.
The first side has 6 high contrast black and white images and a baby-safe mirror – perfect for the early months.
After a few months, you can flip the book to introduce more colors. The reverse side features 6 bright colorful images with textured fabrics, a teether and crinkle elements that babies absolutely adore.
This is the newest baby toy from the same brand, pretty similar to the previous activity book.
It has same beautiful high contrast images and crinkle elements but with few major differences:
- It can stand all on its own
- There’s a single image on each side for less distraction and more focus.
- There’s a bigger mirror on one of the flaps.
This is one of the must have items I wish I had put on my baby registry from the very start.
Essentially it’s a double-face board with a shatterproof mirror on one side and a series of high contrast black and white images on the reverse side. The mirror is wonderful for babies self-discovery. You can use it for tummy time, hang on the wall or even in the car.
Once your little one outgrows black and white images and tummy time in front of the mirror you can set it in the bathroom self-care corner.
I’ve used IKEA TISKEN basket with suction cups as a holder for the mirror where it fits perfectly. Due to suction cups you can place it on child’s level anywhere you want.
Also from Manhattan Toy’s award-winning Wimmer-Ferguson infant collection, this particular toy is another must-have. Basically it’s a clip on pram mobile with high contrast images on 3 reversible discs at the bottom that you can easily change over time.
As you little one grows they’ll even try to reach out to it for grasping. It’s also very easy to clean.
Another great high contrast zebra crinkle toy that babies can’t get enough of. It’s perfect both for visual and tactile stimulation. It’s easy to wash. I also appreciate the fact that it’s realistic looking (high contrast zebra, if you know what I mean).
CHECK ALSO: Our Favorite Sensory Toys For Babies
Great high contrast rattles with animal designs that can be used in many different ways. The four different shaped rattles each have a C-clip , so you will be able to clip them anywhere, such as car seats, prams and on top of cots, play gyms and universal arch. The sound of the rattle isn’t too loud and overpowering for babies, just enough to attract the babies attention.
These high contrast flashcards are awesome not only for visual stimulation but they’re also great toy you and your baby can “play” with together. Your little human will love looking at simple high contract images and hearing your voice chatting at the same time.
Each card features black on white images on one side and white on black images on the flip side. The use of animals, shapes and everyday objects on the cards also helps enhance language development as children grow. It’s perfect size to take with you anywhere and with a handy plastic ring you can easily attach it to the pram.
These cloth books are great both for visual stimulation and grasping. The set consists of 6 themed high contrast books: fruit, animals, insects, shapes, vehicles, and the alphabet book (of course you won’t be using it for academic purposes!).
The crinkle cover page will foster baby’s curiosity. These cloth books are washable and easy to store.
CHECK ALSO: 15 Best Black and White Baby Books
This double-sided play mat is a mix between a playmat and a soft activity book. It features same high contrast images that babies love so much with squeakers, crinkly paper, teether and peek-a-boo flaps which your little one will get a hang of once they get a little older.
Due to the magnets this mat can be folded into a triangle shape so it can sit all on its own. It’s also a great car seat toy that can really be a saver on longer trips.
If you’re looking for a dedicated car seat toys for your baby check also this Travel Activity Car Seat Gallery.
Black and white baby toys list would not be complete without a baby gym.
This gym set is full of high contrast sensory toys for baby first months. It comes with 2 overlapping arches that can be rearranges in different positions to promote tummy time and give a different perspective on the toys. Even though thus gym will be limited to use just until your baby starts to crawl it’s still a great buy, especially if you want a perfect baby size playmat or baby gym for early months. If you’re looking for a bigger play mat that will last you for years Ofie 6.5ft x 4.5 ft non toxic soft play mat is your best bet. It’s double sides with very pleasant black and white pattern on one side and another easy for eyes pattern on the other. I love how the toys are not being “lost” on this mat as opposed to those colorful foam mats you all around.
It can easily fit both you and the baby (which is exactly what I tired mama needs!). You won’t have to worry about head bangs on the floor (mind other toys around!!) when your baby will just learn to sit up as it’s very soft.
I also love that it’s waterproof and really easy to clean (with non-alcohol containing solutions).
Of course, as I said before, more than any toy in the world your baby needs YOU, your contact your affection, your attention.
They won’t know if you don’t but them all those highly-rated, mama-recommended baby toys.
You can easily make your own DIY high contract toys for early development.
- DIY black and white sensory bottles (filled with high contrast materials like black and white button or pebbles.
- A white cardstock with a few hand-drawn black lines and shapes.
- Black & White Munari Montessori Mobile which you can find how to DIY in this video here.
Does your little one have any favorite black and white toys? Let me know in the comments below, I’d love to know!