Babies Can See More Than Just Black and White

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Good news for cheap parents secretly jealous of Instagram nurseries: A new report from the Guardian gives us a solid reason to steer away from millennial-pink footie pajamas and cream-colored baby pants in favor of the classic Fisher-Price palette. Babies, it turns out, can see colors much more clearly than we thought.

According to the report, babies see better than many of us might assume. While a just-born baby has about 5 percent of an adult’s visual acuity, 6-month-old babies have pretty much the same visual acuity that adults do. “It is a myth that babies see in black and white,” Anna Franklin, head of the University of Sussex’s baby lab, told the Guardian, bringing up studies that show even newborns can see highly saturated reds on gray backgrounds.

How can you increase the chances of your baby seeing the colors around him or her? Choose bold ones: “If you show [a baby] some kind of washed-out green, they won’t be able to see it, even if they can see a really intense green,” said Franklin. Reds and greens are easier for a baby to see, Franklin’s lab has found, while blues and yellows need to be more intense.

But before you buy up a bunch of Christmas decorations, know that the baby lab’s researchers think babies can see five colors total: red, green, blue, purple, and “yellowish brown.” Luckily, as anyone who’s spent time with a baby knows, “yellowish brown” is never hard to come by.

Babies Can See More Than Just Black and White