THE SCIENCE BEHIND OUR NEW SENSORY ANIMATION
We have always been driven to find out as much as possible about baby vision, as by understanding what babies see month by month and how they learn to see we are able to provide optimised visual experiences for them. And when we look to develop something new we always watch parent behaviour to see how we can make something you use or do better for you and your baby.
So when we realised quite how many people were turning to YouTube to find things to show their baby, to capture their attention and calm them to grab a moments time with an older sibling or get some jobs done, we noticed that many of the videos were in fact over stimulating, so we decided to use the collective knowledge here at Etta Loves to produce the most scientifically sensory and supportive infant animation, all for free.
Through working with our Orthoptist and our scientific research partners at The Sussex Baby Lab we have created an optimum animation for your baby (and we have a feeling that you're going to be rather fond of it too!)
The key differences in our animation are that every element has been carefully considered and linked to what we know about infant vision and preference. So for example we know that babies prefer natural movements to mechanical one, we know that they learn from their environment so everything in the animation is found in real life. We know that as humans we are wired to find nature very calming, so we rooted this animation in natural scenes and objects, to ensure that the grown up watching it would also find it calming, not over stimulating.
We used the latest research to determine the speed of all the movement in the animation to ensure that babies were able to track them, and we have carefully chosen the colour pallet based on the most visible colours across a babies first year. The sound effects match the animation too, to further enhance the experience of learning through looking and making those connections to the real world, and the music overlay provides the perfect audio backdrop to take a deep breath and take in the enormity of parenthood and what a great job you're doing.
It goes without saying that screen time should never replace face to face interaction with your baby, but the reality is that many parents and carers do need a moments distraction for their little one from time to time, and if they don’t have one of our physical products to hand to help, we wanted a perfectly optimised visual experience to be available online too. And we intentionally only made our animation last 12 minutes, as not only do most infants under 1 year old not have a long attention span, but we don't want to encourage long periods of screen time.
And we wouldn't be doing the absolutely best we can if we didn't test our animation on babies at The Baby Lab so we invited babies between 5-8 months to come and take a look whilst our colleagues there eye tracked them. In the words of Professor Anna Franklin who oversaw the experiment “When we recorded the eye-movements of babies looking at the animation we could see that Etta Loves have got it just right for babies’ visual ability and that babies fully scan the animation, track the motion and new events, and even learn to predict things that are happening.” Well, you don't get that with a dancing pineapple..
You can watch the animation here or below and we'd love to know what you think.