What goes with every color scheme, is timeless yet on trend, effortlessly gender neutral, and black and white all over? Newborns are colorblind for approximately three months and do best with high contrast images viewed at close range. Their brand new brains are working hard and black and white plays well to their cognitive development and visual abilities.
Although black and white toys, books and objects are an obvious choice for baby's first stimuli, they are surprisingly hard to find. Etsy is always a great resource for custom orders, or you can download black and white images for DIY projects from Jan Andrea and Parents Magazine. Here are a few readymade favorites.
1 Tana Hoban board books, from $6.99. The late filmmaker and photographer whose work was showcased in galleries and museums worldwide turned out over 50 beautiful children's books. Black on White, White On Black and Black & White are gorgeous, wordless books perfectly suited for infant eyes.
2 Wimmer-Ferguson Infant Stimulation Toys, from $15. This line of toys is specially designed to appeal to newborn eyes. The Double-Feature Baby Mirror (pictured), Car Seat Gallery and Mind Shapes are well loved by babies at home and on the road.
3 Flensted Mobiles, from $30. From a crib's eye view, the simple black forms of the Shoal of Fish, Cats and Seahorse mobiles provide endless entertainment when seen against the backdrop of a white ceiling.
4 Wee Gallery Art Cards, $12.95. These art cards helped make tummy time much more bearable for my son back in the day. They look great on a wall or can be used as flash cards for older kids. Pick from the original, garden, jungle, sea, farm, dino, woodlands, pets or black and white collections.
5 Art For Baby, $19.99. This board book features black and white images from 11 well-known artists including Takashi Murakami, Josef Albers, Keith Haring and Damien Hirst. The large format (9.7x9.5") and contemporary content create a "baby's first Art Forum" feel.