Baby's Day Out: First Museum Visit


I can just imagine your thoughts upon reading the title: "Huh? A baby at an art museum?"

YES YA'LL. We took Ava to her first museum this past weekend, and to your surprise, she loved it. I already knew she would. 

Besides it being like 10º and us not getting out much during the week – okay, not at all except when we have to – it's been hard to find stimulating activities we can do outside of our home with our 3-month old Ava Luna. (Pause. Can you believe she's already 3 months old?!) Then a lightbulb went off in my new mama brain: HIGH CONTRAST ART!

Baby's Day Out Sensory Activities for Infants New York City

If you've been following my family and I for a while, you know that we're quite the artsy farts, so taking Ava Luna to an art museum was kind of no brainer. I want to give her the same cultural experiences I had growing up in NYC. Besides that, she LOVES high contrast images and patterns, and they are actually good for her!

When she was born, I started doing a ton of research on baby development and what activities would be stimulating to her. I learned that infant vision capabilities include color vision for high contrast colors, especially black, white, and red. Furthermore, they are most appealing to newborns because the parts of their retina that perceive color aren't mature enough to perceive the values of all the colors of the spectrum.

High contrast shapes and patterns provide the baby with something simple and engaging to focus on, and in this focus – or intense concentration – they can allow their minds to rest. High contrast shapes may appear odd or even a little boring to adults, but they are designed to hold babies' attention and the results from them is breathtaking.

Researchers have repeatedly shown that newborns prefer to look at black and white geometric shapes, rather than bright colors or pastels. –

An almost failed attempt at a family selfie, but you can see all of our faces so I guess not such a failure after all.

An almost failed attempt at a family selfie, but you can see all of our faces so I guess not such a failure after all.

Since I learned that, I've been feeding her all types of high contrast art and videos paired with very rhythmic music. (The videos are great for stimulating their eyesight and relaxing them so YOU can do other things. It's literally the only way I had time to shower and feed myself the first two months of Ava's life.)

So where could we go for a sweet Saturday outing, with high contrast art for Ava, and mama and papa could have an equally as stimulating experience? The Museum of Modern Art of course. We went on their busiest day, but I suggest checking them out on Friday nights when admission is free for all visitors from 4:00 to 8:00 PM. Babies are always $free.99.

Locked in. I could almost hear her little brain's juices bubbling.

Locked in. I could almost hear her little brain's juices bubbling.

Tip: I find it's best to strap the baby to your chest during outings like these. We bumped into so many parents trying to enjoy themselves at the museum, but they looked miserable trying to get through crowds while lugging their stroller around. We use the super comfy Baby K'tan Original Carrier.

Ava LOVED the museum. Didn't fuss once. Was stimulated, then relaxed enough that she fell asleep in her carrier. She eventually woke up, we fed her in the patron's seating area, and I changed her in the women's restroom. 

A sweet, stimulating Saturday for all of us, and a memory we'll remember forever. 

Comment below and let me know if you plan to take your little one out for an artsy (and hopefully not fartsy) date, or if you have any recommendations for other places to take our baby girl. XO – Mel