Friday, 16 January 2015

It's All Rather Black And White

Now our baby is almost a month old, we are noticing that he is more alert and awake for longer (don't take us as a measure though as the result of being premature and jaundiced meant he was not as alert as many). 
We have been stimulating him by playing with him (developing his sucking reflex, building on his grip, windmilling his legs, reading to him, talking to him etc) and we have noticed that he is increasingly drawn towards contrasts such as silhouettes and shadows. Wondering how to stimulate him further, I did some research and found many wonderful books for newborns. Research suggests that while newborns can see colour, many tones are too similar, so monochrome images are the most stimulating as they provide more contrast.
Making the most of our Amazon Prime free month's trial, I have purchased several books and I thought I would share my (or Charlie's) thoughts on them.
Tana Hoban's Black and White is a good place to start. It is in an accordion format which means you can stand it up next to your little one and let them take in the images.

Although I like it and, more to the point, so does Charlie, I'm not sure how long I can sustain interest in one book which is why my next purchase is my favourite.
Helen Dorman's Baby Shapes is a series of four books which develops from simple to more complex images the further you work through them. Book 3 contains facial expressions and our little one has been particularly fixated with this book. A common belief is that your baby will attempt to mimic facial expressions and I'm pretty sure mine has already started to do this with one of them! The books come with a mobile that, although basic, captures our little one's attention when he's on the changing mat.

My final purchase was the Taf Toys Clip On Pram Book which I was drawn to on reading reviews on Amazon. The double-sided design means it will last when our little one becomes more interested in primary colours and I'm looking forward to popping it in his pram when we next head out (we're waiting for the weather to improve). One review I read said the red colour leaked when their little one started sucking on it in their cot, but this was the only review I saw that was critical so I'm hoping it was a one-of.

So, while us adults are obsessed with colour, don't be afraid of spending some money on a black and white book for the early weeks.

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