Color Psychology in the Nursery

By Dawn Papandrea

Shared by Meagan
As I began the fun project of designing my baby's nursery, one of the first major decisions I had to make was color scheme. While most experts agree that babies can only distinguish shades and not specific colors during the early months, according to some psychological and design schools of thought, the hues you choose can affect baby's mood. Here’s what went through my head as I chose my color scheme.

How do colors make you feel? I had to think about it this way: I wouldn't paint my own bedroom neon green or bright orange, right? When it comes to babies, pastels seem to be the way to go (which is convenient for all of you pink and blue traditionalists out there!), since they are muted and not too vibrant. The same goes for pastel green or lavender, or neutral shades like beige.

Say no to yellow. While I was searching for colors, I came across a recent study that made the claim that painting your baby's nursery the color yellow could result in lots of crying. also came up with a cool infographic detailing this.

Choose sleepiness over stimulation. If you want to encourage Zzz’s, what you want to avoid, according to Jackie Jordan, Director of Color Marketing at Sherwin-Williams, are bright, warm colors like red and orange, since those inspire playfulness and alertness -- not so good at 3 a.m.! (But, as I learned, great for a playroom area.)

Be picky with patterns. Beyond the choice of color, I also had to think about color patterns. The more contrast there is -- black and white stripes being the most extreme example -- the more visually stimulating it will be to a baby. Again, this is perfect for baby's playthings, which is why you'll find a lot of polka-dotted and striped blocks and rattles for infants. But for bedding and nursery wall decor? Not so much.

Learn more about color schemes,design a room and check out baby gear on Room to Bloom.

Dawn Papandrea is a freelance writer specializing in parenting, women's lifestyle, and personal finance. Her work has appeared in Family Circle, Parents,, and more. She lives in Staten Island, NY with her husband, two fast-growing boys, and a living room full of toys.

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Our parenting advice is given as suggestions only. We recommend you also consult your healthcare provider, and urge you to contact them immediately if your question is urgent or about a medical condition.