The science of Etta Loves

Our magic is by design, not chance

From the colours we use, the scales within each pattern and the placement and space between each shape, everything is designed on our consultant Orthoptist Laura’s recommendation to support your baby's visual and cognitive development.

As a result, our patterns will look different to your baby from week to week as their vision develops. This is the magic of Etta Loves and what makes us unique in the world.

Read on to learn more about how a baby’s vision develops in their first year.

At birth a baby’s retina is not fully developed and their vision is blurry

The retina is the back layer of the eye that detects light. An adult retina can distinguish many different shades of light and colour, but a newborn's retina can only detect large contrasts between light and dark, or black and white.

This is because the receptor cells which detect colour are immature and it takes time for these cells to develop and for the brain to make sense of the signals from them. This, along with their blurry vision, means it is much easier for a newborn to see very high contrast things.

Baby sensory products from Etta Loves
Baby sensory products from Etta Loves

Visual stimulation makes a baby’s brain develop

At birth, the nerve cells in a baby’s brain are immature and not well connected. While the baby grows, the brain receives input from all five senses, and this input causes nerve cells to multiply and form a multitude of connections with other nerve cells.

The world provides a great mix of stimulation for a baby to allow their senses to develop. However, using products that have been designed to be visually attractive to a young infant are ideal to stimulate visual interest to help the connections form between the eye and the brain.

Between 0-4 months of age babies are practising co-ordinating their eyes together, which is why you’ll often see them going cross-eyed.
Baby sensory products from Etta Loves

The best visual stimulation for a baby’s eyes

The best way you as a parent can stimulate your baby’s vision is by using things that your baby is attracted to look at. In the first few days and months of life black and white patterns are ideal for babies to look at, as the high contrast will attract their attention most easily and fascinate them.

A great side effect of this is a few moments of calm while your baby tries to process what they see, and you will love watching their fascination as they start to make sense of the world around them.

A babies’ eye colour may change several times within the first 12 months, but by their first birthday the iris should have enough pigment to determine their final eye colour.
Baby sensory products from Etta Loves

Developing colour vision

Babies are born with the receptor cells to detect colour, but these are still immature and it takes time for these cells to develop and for the brain to make sense of the signals from them.

It is generally thought that, provided the colours are strong, by around 2 months babies will be able to tell red and green apart, and by around 4-5 months they will be able to distinguish blue and yellow.

They may not be able to detect more subtle and pastel colours such as peach and soft yellow until much later.