Last updated on February 25th, 2019
As the arrival of a newborn draws close, nursery preparations shift into high gear. One of the first steps in planning the baby’s room is choosing a color scheme. Endless paint options, along with research on the effect of color in cognitive development, can make the decision more complex than you may have thought. To help simplify the process, we have outlined some of the most popular colors and the benefits of selecting certain shades at specific stages of your baby’s development.
Color and Brain Growth
If you want to make sure your infant enjoys their room as much as you do, it is important to understand how they perceive color. According to the American Optometric Association, babies don’t fully recognize color until they are five months old. In fact, during those first few months, a newborn mainly sees in shades of black, grey and white.
Contrasting colors send the strongest signals to a baby’s brain to help stimulate brain growth and aid in visual development, explains Dr. Sears Wellness Institute. By three months, a baby starts to see color and the addition of brighter, primary colors become important for their development. Between five and eight months, a baby’s color vision is fully developed, making it the perfect time to paint the nursery.
Popular Nursery Colors
In addition to visual stimulation, psychological studies show that color has an effect on mood, behavior, sleep, memory, and even health. This research changes the game when it comes to using traditional pinks and blues. It opens the door to a whole host of colors, which are no longer defined by the gender.
We’ve compiled some of the most popular shades for nurseries based on the tone they create for the room. Most of these colors are from Pottery Barn Kid’s Fall / Winter 2018 paint palettes created in partnership with Sherwin Williams.
Warm, soft colors create a comfortable and intimate environment. Orange is said to embody better social interaction, green symbolizes renewal, pink is calming, purple has long been associated with royalty, and light blue is linked to creativity.
Bold, sophisticated color choices bring a sense of confidence to the baby’s room. Blues suggest reliability and security, gray is practical, brown represents strength, and green is associated with growth.
Color psychology has a significant impact on our moods and our state of mind. It is an all-around fascinating subject that should be taken into consideration when selecting colors for your home. You can learn more about our relationship with color from Dr. Sally Agustin, an applied environmental psychologist, who provided us with very informative insights around the psychology of color.
In addition to painting the nursery, exposing your newborn to high contrast shapes and patterns is also important to their cognitive development. In the first few months, black and white shapes are best, followed by the introduction of primary colors. These can be added to a room with framed prints or paintings, mobiles, books, and toys. You can judge their interest by the length of their gaze on a particular item and slowly add new visual stimuli to help them distinguish all the objects in their environment.