Edinburgh Council on Black and White Baby Books for Newborn

Synopsis: Black and white image stimulate visual, mental, physical and social development simultaneously.

Advice: Search for anything in black and white or high contrast colours you might have at home from china to your dresses, ties, socks, older black and white photography books or even a black lamp on the white background will do. Your baby will thrives from this visual stimulation 

Extracts: “Studies show that infants not only prefer to look at these images, but that such images like black and white graphics can:

  • help increase concentration skills
  • stimulate brain cell connections (using both left and right side of brain)
  • increase attention span
  • enhance curiosity

Leading to:

  • Increased sense of self
  • Increased confidence
  • Creativity and self-expression”

Of Human Bonding and Mother’s Voice

Science journal by an American Association for the Advancement of Science.
Anthony DeCasper and William P. Fifer, Department of Psychology, University of North Carolina

Synopsis: Newborn baby responds to sound as early as in the third trimester of life and by birth reaches sophisticated levels. 

Advice: Talk, sing and read to your newborn baby. Baby loves hearing and reassured by your voice. Read anything you enjoy and your baby will sense that in your voice and your composure.

Extracts: “Mother-infant bonding would best be served by (and may even require) the ability of a newborn to discriminate its mother’s voice from that of other females.”

“Infants learned how to produce the mother’s voice”.

“The neonate’s preference for the maternal voice suggests that the period shortly after birth may be important for initiating infant bonding to the mother. ”

“… newborn infant younger than 3 days of age can not only discriminate its mother’s voice but also will work to produce her voice in preference to the voice of another female. ”

Babies are Born to Dance and Love to Hear Music More than Speech

Marcel Zentnera and Tuomas Eerolab
Department of Psychology, University of York, York YO10 5DD, United Kingdom; and b
Finnish Centre of Excellence in Interdisciplinary Music Research,
University of Jyväskylä, Jyväskylä 40014, Finland

Synopsis: In the experiment 120 babies and infants ages between 5 and 24 months responded to beats in the music more than to the spoken word. Babies have a natural ability to move to the rhythm of the music, be it a classical piece or a drum session.

Advice: All inborn abilities require nurturing. Similar to the ability to learn the language from an early age, which decreases with age, appreciation of the music rhythm and scores will pave the way for your baby to appreciate and potentially learn to play a musical instrument or even compose beautiful musical compositions. Put on your favourite music as frequently as you can, mixed with music from around the world. You never know which type of music will spark the musical bug in your baby.

Extracts: “…humans possess a brain mechanism for coordinating movement to music and other metrically regular sounds, one that is present from infancy.”

“…the transfer of auditory beats to locomotion tempo is the evolutionary
ancient and early-developing vestibular system. These or related mechanisms, rather than requiring lengthy and effortful training processes to develop, may operate from an early age in almost automatic ways.”

” the degree of rhythmic coordination with music is positively related to displays of
positive affect (in infants).”

“… human infants spontaneously display rhythmic motion of their bodies to music, rhythmical patterns with a regular beat, and isochronous drumbeats. In contrast, infants do
not do so in response to … speech.”

” the systematic manipulation of the stimulus (i.e. musical pieces) material allowed us to discern that it is the beat, rather than other features of the music, that drives rhythmic
engagement to music in infants.”

“… the stimulus with most acceleratory passages elicited most acceleratory movements.
These findings point to a precocious ability to mirror auditory rhythms motorically. It is important to note that all rhythmic behaviors did occur in a completely spontaneous, unsolicited way.”

“…we found no evidence for movement-to-musicsynchronization (in infants). Synchronization, which is characterized by perfectly overlapping music and body-movement phases, requires a degree of motor control that may not be achieved until preschool age.”

“…the current stimuli were relatively complex, and our findings suggest that stimuli with high beat clarity are more likely to trigger movement that is aligned with musical time.”