As you decorate the nursery, remember that baby's vision won't be fully developed until about one year of age. A newborn can only see 8 to 12 inches away—everything beyond that is blurry. So if you don't get the room completely decorated before your baby arrives, don't worry about it. Your newborn's primary interest will be to stare at mom or dad.
Black and white get baby's attention
High contrast, black-and-white objects may hold your young infant's attention longest. Attach a black-and-white toy to baby's crib or the handle of the infant carrier or car seat, where baby will have a chance to give it a good stare.
By the third month, your baby will begin looking for things farther away—across the room, for example. Color is still hard to see, and nothing over a foot away is in focus, but baby gravitates to primary shades. To get an idea of what baby is seeing, squint and look around the room. Notice how easy it is to discern anything black, white, or red, and how pastel shades wash out. Stark patterns are easier to see than subtle ones.
Adding color to the nursery
As baby's color vision continues to mature, all the colors of the rainbow will gradually come into view. Consider choosing a theme for the nursery that's vibrant, with interesting patterns. Crib sheets with animals, wallpaper with bright flowers, curtains with fluffy clouds, or a mobile with multicolored butterflies are great.
Dr. Bettye M. Caldwell Ph.D. Professor of Pediatrics in Child Development and Education
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.