Most of the parenting advice referred to as a “hack” is just miscellaneous tips – for instance, this list includes a list of signals of infant hunger, and a bunch of products you can buy. I personally prefer the hacks that show you how to use items you already have in a different way, and the inventors of the Cogni Case (currently on Kickstarter) came up with a good one. Best of all: you can create your own version at home.
The dilemma this invention set out to solve: babies don’t know how to pose for pictures! They move around, blink, look away, look unfocused, and generally look silly (which admittedly is part of their charm). However, inventor Benji Rogers noticed that his daughter Izzy was quite happy to stare at a Wimmer-Ferguson-style mobile they had hung over her crib, and that when she was engaged in admiring these high-contrast patterns, she looked happy and alert and ever-so-photogenic.
This is because when babies are born, their vision isn’t fully developed just yet, but one thing that they CAN see well is a large contrast between black or white, light or dark. And naturally, what they can see best will be most interesting to them! That’s why you’ll find many toys for newborns with bold stripes and bars of black and white, like this Wimmer Ferguson Sights n’ Sounds Travel Toy, or the toy balls that come with a Mamaroo Baby Bouncer.
The Cogni Case cleverly puts those alluring designs onto art cards that you can affix to the back of your phone, but if you’re dedicated to the art of the hack, you can try what Benji did in the initial invention phase: he customized the back of his phone case with Sharpie. If you prefer your phone exactly the way it is, you can also draw high-contrast patterns on Post-Its and stick them onto your phone case.
Or, if you’re not artsy, just put your computer printer to use and try some of these cool patterns and designs! It’s great for baby’s visual development – and hopefully you’ll get better pics. Try it out and let us know if it works!