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Developmental Benefits of Black and White for Babies

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When it’s time to decorate the nursery parents have lots of cool options. Today kid’s rooms are full of colors and fun themes. Parents often add some personal items and classic elements to create the perfect space for their new addition. But, if you’re looking for something that can also benefit your baby, you may want to consider a black-and-white theme. Here's why:

Why Babies Prefer Black-and-White


High contrasting colors - or those that are on opposite ends of the color spectrum - have been found to offer numerous benefits for baby’s development. In fact, researchers have consistently found that newborns actually prefer looking at black-and-white geometric shapes over bright colors, pastels, and non-geometric shapes (i.e. animal shapes). Why is this exactly?

The rods and cones in a newborns eyes have not yet fully developed. This means they are not able to detect the intensity of pinks, blues, greens, yellows, and other colors the same way that adults do. On the other hand, simple black-and-white shapes have a high contrast, which they are easily able to decipher, despite their immature retina structures.

Experts also believe that newborns prefer the simple, black-and-white shapes because their brains can become overstimulated. High contrast colors are relaxing and give their brains an opportunity to rest and focus intensely on their surroundings. Further, they tend to focus on the borders, where the two colors meet. This suggests it is more than just the colors they enjoy; instead, it is the contrast that truly fascinates them.

Examining the Benefits


As your baby grows, they will start to focus on new, more exciting things, but when they are first born, it is simple and contrasting colors that aid their brain development most. Being surrounded by these colors and shapes encompasses them in a sort of safe, soothing, stress-free environment, but keeps their brains alert. In fact, they are still learning and developing, even when they seem to be resting with their eyes open. They are learning to concentrate and their brains and optic nerves are being stimulated.

The Bottom Line


Rather than go for the jungle theme, character theme, or gender specific colors, you could choose black and white for your baby’s nursery. This gives you the base to be able to go either way if baby #2 is the opposite sex. You can also choose accessories, toys and books, with high contrast black-and-white stripes, circles, or geometric shapes. Your baby’s eyes and brain will one day thank you.

Sweet Kyla is a premium designer and creator of baby bedding, based in the charming town of Guelph, Ontario. Over almost 40 years, our brand has grown from a small idea to a vibrant business. Today, Sweet Kyla offers the best locally-made baby bedding in Canada.

Image: thecorner / 123RF Stock Photo

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