The inside of our Squijit shades are detailed with beautifully bold patterns and shapes but why is this? Well, it turns out that little ones just love high contrast design AND it’s crucial for infant visual stimulation.
In fact high contrast patterns not only help develop a baby’s brain faster but they also allow them to develop the ability to focus and engage for longer periods of time. And, although it seems slightly contradictory, whilst intensely concentrating their minds are actually able to rest as well!
Vision is the most complex sensory system in the human body and yet it is the least mature one at birth. In fact the eye isn’t even fully developed until the age of 7 years!
Whilst adults can distinguish between many different shades of light and colour, a new born baby can only detect large contrasts between light and dark, or black and white. Nice soft baby pastels may look pretty to you but they do nothing visually for your baby and apparently register as one big blur!
So what’s so terrific about contrast? Well, research has proven that contrasting colours and patterns register powerfully on a baby’s retina and send the strongest visual signals to the brain. Stronger signals mean more brain growth and faster visual development. In fact, research in the US has shown that babies who viewed flash cards incorporating black and white patterns increased the amount of time they spent looking at their environment from an average of 4 to 5 minutes to up to 45 minutes!
The number one shape for babies is circles. It appears that it is much easier for a baby’s eye to track along the contrasting edge of a circle than to navigate around the corners of a square or rectangle. Perhaps this may explain the appeal of a mother’s dark nipple on a lighter breast, the first circle that most new-borns will gaze upon as they feed after birth.
This fascination with starkly contrasting colours isn’t just a feature of a new-born, it actually continues until babies are six to nine months old! This is why we have provided infant orientated designs on the inside of all our shades creating a stimulating yet relaxing focus for babies when out and about.
Don’t stop there though! Get contrasting wherever you are! Black and white picture books, toys, bedding, even on you with a stripy t-shirt! All this contrast will light up your baby’s eyes!