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Recently, I've been reading up on other new mommas' blogs and about infant development.  This led to feelings of great guilt on my part, because I discovered (much to my horror) that I wasn't stimulating my baby enough.  Some bloggers already knew that babies like 100% contrast images best, so they had prepared a bunch of black-and-white "stuff" for their newborns to look at.  Keeners. This would, in theory, help build visual acuity and also stimulate learning in their wee ones.

Well, I hadn't done any of that up until yesterday, when the guilt sank in deep and I decided to print off some black-and-white patterns to make into a sign and a bunch of flash cards for Baby Loquacious.  Here she is enjoying the sign as it hangs from her playpen:

Of course, she enjoyed it (for nearly 30 minutes!), and my guilt was sufficiently eased.  However, much as she liked looking at the patterns during her "alert time" post-feeding/changing/burping, it wasn't like she was going crazy with excitement over the new images.  In fact, I would say she was only engaged and enjoying it because she was wanting to play and hang out in her play pen, and she was in a good mood.  The cranky version of her wanted nothing to do with the patterns, as evidenced by the loud wailing that ensued after I showed her three flashcards while cuddling her in my arms earlier this morning.

Then today, I came across this article from the Smith-Kettlewell Eye Research Institute, which pretty much challenges everything that I had read and that has caused me such guilt as a momma.  Turns out, babies see a little more than we give them credit for, and there is no need to go out of our way to surround them with high-contrast patterns.  Huh.  This might explain why Baby Loquacious also loved the light-up star that plays music (detached from her playmat), and spent a good 30 minutes this morning gazing at that and hanging out on her tummy.

So, lesson learned.  Before I invest an hour or two of effort into anything, I should probably do my research and read up on the topic.  Also, babies are smarter than we give them credit for.

Baby Loquacious mesmerized by the sign at first.  You can almost hear the, "Whoaaa...."



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