0 - 12 Weeks

Your baby learns from high-contrast images

Baby looking up at Black and White cards by Lovevery

Decades of research show that time spent looking at high-contrast images can contribute to the development of a baby’s visual perception, their brain’s ability to receive, interpret, and respond to visual stimuli. Until about the 5th month, babies use their eyes as the primary source for information about the world and how it works.

Once your baby’s pupils are working and their two eyes start to coordinate, they’ll be compelled to look at high-contrast images, especially from birth to 14 weeks old.

Here’s how to get the most out of high contrast

  • Start with simple images about 12 inches (about the length from your hand to your elbow) away from your baby’s face. Hold the images steady and try not to switch images until your baby looks away and loses interest. You may notice your baby stares at the images for many seconds, even minutes at a time.
  • When they lose interest in one, change to a new image, and eventually switch to the more complex images as their eyes grow stronger.
  • You can help promote visual tracking by slowly moving an image back-and-forth horizontally in front of their face to help them practice following a moving object with their eyes: this skill is important later for reading, writing, and hand-eye coordination.
  • Offer high-contrast images in the car, during tummy time, and during alert ‘play’ times for the first 14 weeks.

Learn more about the research

Chen, J. S. (2021). Beyond black and white: heibaika, neuroparenting, and lay neuroscience. BioSocieties, 16(1), 70-87.

Fantz, R. L. (1963). Pattern vision in newborn infants. Science, 140, 296–297.Hainline, L., & Lemerise, E. (1982). Infants’ scanning of geometric forms varying in size. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 33(2), 235-256.

Download printable high-contrast images or see our Black & White Card Sets from The Looker Play Kit.

Baby sitting in their car seat looking at Black and White Contrast Cards by Lovevery


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Posted in: 0 - 12 Weeks, The Play Gym, The Play Kits, Visual Development, Child Development

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