The Science of Zebra

It has been well established that sight is the least developed sense at birth1. For the first few months of life newborns perceive the world as a collection of blurry, colorless, grayscale images (see example below). When given the choice, young babies prefer to look at black and white (high contrast) shapes or patterns over subdued (low contrast) options2,3. These images have the ability to stimulate the retina and encourage the visual pathways in the brain to develop4. Although these simple black and white images may seem trivial to parents, their effect on our babies’ attention is remarkable, often increasing attention tenfold. This strong preference for high contrast, black and white images can last up to 6-7 months of age5,6.

This is where Zebra Apparel comes in: a high contrast clothing company for parents and kids.  As scientists (PhD and OD) but also as parents, we immediately recognized the effects of high contrast images on our own newborn daughter. We decided to extend these concepts from flashcards to fashion. We have carefully designed our clothing to capture the attention of your baby, giving you more opportunities to develop a deep and meaningful bond with them. All of our designs include a hint of red because as your child ages, red is the first color they begin to perceive7. Zebra apparel has been curated into three engaging collections: Stripes, Geometric and whimsical Doodles. Wearing a Zebra shirt is a simple and meaningful way to contribute to your child’s visual and cognitive development. Give it a try, joint the #zebraapparel family.




1 - Fantz, R. "Maturation of Pattern Vision in Young Infants." Journal of Comparative and Physiological Psychology, Vol. 55 (1962), p. 907.
2 - Bower, T.G.R., "A Primer of Infant Development. San Francisco: W.H. Freeman and Co., 1977, p. 9.
3 - Salapatek, P.H., Kessen, W., "Visual Scanning of Triangles by the Human Newborn.", Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, Vol. 3 (1966), pp. 155-67
4 - Dr. Ludington-Hoe, S., "How to Have a Smarter Baby", Bantam Books, 1985, p. 74.
5 – Rapt in black and white. Viv Groskop. The Guardian. September, 2008.
6 – Dr. Ludington-Hoe, S., “How to Have a Smarter Baby”, Bantam Books, 1985, p. 74
7 - Dr. Craig, Ron, Edinboro University of Pennsylvania, "Infant Physical Development", 2006