Reading out loud to your child is one of the best things you can do in preparation for school and to help him or her develop a love of learning and strong language skills. If your baby is 6 months old or younger, you can boost the benefits of reading out loud to Bub by choosing black and white baby books as young babies and newborns respond best to high-contrast black and white images.
Why should you choose black and white baby books for your newborn?
Newborns and babies up to 6 months of age prefer to look at high-contrast patterns and geometric shapes and black and white images make the best high-contrast pictures (Frantz, Ordy and Udelf, 1962; Chaze and Ludington-Hoe, 1984; Bower and Lunde, 1977; Salapatek and Kessen, 1966).
By regularly showing your baby black and white images you’ll kickstart Bub’s visual development (Lewis and Maurer, 2009) and ability to learn (Ludington-Hoe et al., 1985). Since reading promotes a love of learning (Butler, 2003) just imagine the compounded benefits of reading black and white baby books to your newborn.
There’re plenty of other benefits too. For instance, the effects of early visual stimulation are still apparent two or more years on (Lewis and Maurer, 2009) so what better way is there to help your baby’s vision than by getting in early and reading black and white baby books when Bub is a newborn? Doing so may even increase your baby’s IQ (Hart and Risley, 1995).
Top black and white baby books
Now you know how beneficial it is to read black and white baby books to your newborn, why don’t you check out these great titles:
- Where’s My Teddy? by K. M. Wade – This is an adorable personalised black and white baby book. It’ll give your newborn all the benefits of high-contrast images and reading out loud plus it’s a great identity builder. If you’re expecting or looking for a baby shower gift, you can buy a book voucher if Bub’s name is still a mystery.
- Baby’s Very First Black and White Tray by Stella Baggott – This is a set of four high-contrast baby books with simple stories.
- Faces from Ladybird – This high-contrast black and white baby book contains a mirror in the back of the book so that Bub can be entertained by his or her own reflection.
Or let us know your favourites in the comments.
- Adams, R.J., Maurer, D. and Davis, M. (1986) “Newborns’ discrimination of chromatic from achromatic stimuli,” J Exp Child Psychol, 41, pp. 267-81. Available at: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0022096586900408
- Bower, T.G.R. and Lunde, D.T. (1977) A primer of infant development. San Francisco: W.H.Freeman & Co. Find it here: http://www.worldcat.org/title/primer-of-infant-development/oclc/2373078
- Chaze, B.A. and Ludington-Hoe, S.M. (1984) “Sensory Stimulation in the NICU,” AJN, American Journal of Nursing, 84(1), pp. 68–71. Available at: https://www.jstor.org/stable/3463253?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents
- Frantz, R.L., Ordy, J.M. and Udelf, M.S. (1962) “Maturation of pattern vision in infants during the first six months,” Journal of Comparative and Physiological Psychology, 55(6), pp. 907–917 Available at:https://www.researchgate.net/publication/232532789_Maturation_of_pattern_vision_in_infants_during_the_first_6_months
- Lewis, T.L. and Maurer, D. (2009) “Effects of early pattern deprivation on visual development,” Optometry and Vision Science, 86(6), pp. 640–646. Available at: http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.597.3989&rep=rep1&type=pdf
- Ludington-Hoe, S., Golant, S.K., Hoe-Ludington, S. and Ludinton-Hoe, S. (1985) How to have a smarter baby. New York: Rawson Associates.
- Salapatek, P. and Kessen, W. (1966) “Visual scanning of triangles by the human newborn,” Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 3(2), pp. 155–167. Available at: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/17247311_Visual_scanning_of_triangles_by_human_newborn
- Why babies Love Black and white (2012) Available at: http://www.edinburgh.gov.uk/download/downloads/id/932/blackandwhite–informationfor0-3.pdf (Accessed: 9 March 2017).