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black & white baby books and toys

Black & White Baby Books and Toys: Why are They So Good For Newborns?

Black and white baby books and toys seem to fascinate babies. They may look simple and a little dull to adults, but babies seem to be irresistibly drawn to them.

So why is black & white good for babies?

Babies can tell the difference between light and dark when they're still in utero. When they're born, they can see black, white and grey, and their focus distance is only around 20 to 30 cms. They can see shapes by looking at the lines where light and dark meet.

You can help support your baby's visual development by cuddling up close to baby and putting your face near hers. Your baby will learn to focus on your face, and will start tracking you with her eyes and turning her head to follow you.

Try making faces to help your baby focus her vision. Stick out your tongue, smile, or wrinkle your nose. All of these actions help baby to start reading your face, and focusing her vision.

Black & White Images for Babies

Because of this limited vision, the high contrast of black and white images are easier for a baby to see. The boldness of the images stands out where everything else is blurry.

Although there is some disagreement as to when babies start to see colour, it doesn't appear to be until around 3 to 6 months.

Studies show that infants not only prefer to look at black and white images, but that looking at these types of graphics:

  • helps to increase baby's concentration skills
  • stimulates baby's brain cell connects on both the left and right sides of the brain
  • helps to increase baby's attention span

Black & White Baby Books

Why are black & white books good for babies? It's never too early to start baby off with a book, and a black and white book is a great excuse to cuddle up and read together. Early reading with baby can help to promote early literacy skills, too. Here are some of our favourite black and white baby books.

Books for Newborns - Mesmerised

If you're looking for baby books in black & white, this is the classic. The Mesmerised book for babies is one of the best black and white baby books, and there's no wonder it's a bestseller!


The Mesmerised Baby Face Book has more black and white books images for baby, this time with some added pops of bright colours like yellow and red, with the black and white.

More lovely black and white books with this beautiful book about animals. Again, bright pops of colour in the high contrast images help baby to learn to focus.

There are so many lovely black and white newborn toys, and this lovely soft book from Manhattan Toy Wimmer Ferguson is no exception. The lovely black and white baby pictures will appeal to little ones from newborn to toddler, with the baby safe mirror and crinkly sounds.

This baby focus book folds up into a soft book, can be secured to a change table, and folds out in to a pat mat.

Even more choices of black and white books for newborns with the Ladybird First Focus range.

Babies love faces, and these bright and cheerful characters will be no exception. There's even a baby safe mirror at the end for baby to see their own face.

Now here's a great idea: black and white books with nursery rhymes! This sweet book combines black and white images for newborns with traditional nursery rhymes like Twinkle Twinkle, Old Macdonald and Pat a Cake. You can even get bilingual versions of this and start baby off with French, Spanish, German or Chinese.

Black & White Cards for Baby

Your baby may like black and white flashcards, too. Cuddle up with baby and show her the flashcards and talk about what's on them. Baby will love to hear the sound of your voice, and will begin to focus on the images.

Wee Gallery Art Cards for Baby - Black & White Collection

The advantage of cards over books in black and white is that you can use the cards to make a mobile, or even put them up around the change table to keep baby occupied while you're doing the nappy change.

You could even create a gallery on the nursery wall for baby to look at.

There are so many options when you're looking for baby images in black and white.

Wee Gallery's Art Cards range come beautifully boxed, and the high contrast prints will keep any baby entertained.

Click here to see the latest prices: Hello Charlie AU


From the makers of Mesmerised books come these black and white cards for infants. Hang them above the changing table to keep baby entertained while you're doing the nappy change, or use them as flashcards to show baby.

Click here to see the latest prices: Hello Charlie AU

Here's a cute idea: black and white images for infants with a hole that parents can put fingers through! Wiggle your fingers about to really capture baby's attention.

This set of flash cards is a such a sweet idea to introduce black and white for babies, and even toddlers will continue to enjoy using this one themselves.

Click here to see the latest prices: Amazon AU | Amazon US & UK

Black & White Baby Toys

There are also lots of great black and white toys for baby. Hang something black and white above the change table to distract baby, or clip a toy to the car seat or pram. You'll help entertain baby and develop her visual skills on the go!

There are some lovely black & white toys for babies, and this is one of the cutest. I love the cheery little bird with the bright red and yellow highlights. It straps easily on to the pram or carseat, too.

Click here to see the latest prices: Hello Charlie AU | Amazon US & UK

Here's another good choice of black and white toys for newborn babies. It's got a bead rattle, a squeaker, a hidden mirror and tactile ribbons for baby to play with.

The velcro strap attaches to the car seat or pram to keep baby entertained on the go.

Click here to see the latest prices: Amazon AU | Amazon US & UK

Here's some great black and white toys for newborns - soft blocks with a splash of red. Not just for newborns, either, as the tags are great for teething babies, too!

Click here to see the latest prices: Amazon AU | Amazon US & UK

More great toys with black & white images! We love the Wee Gallery Bear Rattle with the wooden ring. Perfect for babies learning to grasp, as well as wanting something safe to chew.

Combining black and white baby toys with teething toys - genius!

Click here to see the latest prices: Hello Charlie AU | Amazon US & UK

Manhattan Toy Wimmer Ferguson are the original creators of toys in black and white for babies development. This lovely toy is a double sided play mat with a hidden baby safe mirror, squeaker, teether, crinkly sounds and a peek-a-boo toy.

It's also ideal if you're looking for black and white car seat toys, as the ribbons easily attach to the back of the vehicle seat.

Click here to see the latest prices: Amazon AU | Amazon US & UK

This gorgeous cuddle blanket from Wee Gallery is made from the softest organic cotton with high contrast black and white for infants.

Perfect for snuggling up in the cot.


To see more great black & white products for baby, check out Mesmerised Books for Newborns or Wee Gallery.

Main image credit: Pixabay


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