Baby Room Color Psychology: The Best Nursery Colors for Your Baby’s Development

Orange baby's bedroom with crib, in classic style. 3d illustration.

Whether you have a dedicated room or just a small nook for your baby’s nursery, the right colors can help you create a nurturing space for your baby’s development. There is never a right or wrong way to decorate a baby’s room; it is all about the spirit and love you put into the project. In this guide, we will study the best baby room colors and the impact on cognitive development they potentially have.

Studies in color psychology for baby rooms show that the following colors are great for your baby’s nursery:

White

White is one of those great unisex baby room colors. It is typically associated with weddings but it also stands for purity and innocence. However, most decorators and color psychology experts would warn parents not to go overboard with white. After all; colors evoke emotions and trigger cognitive development in young minds. Therefore, do not go all-white with a baby’s room. Add pops of cheer with vibrant hues like red, brown, purple, dark green and so on. White walls are boring and while you do not want to over-stimulate your baby; you certainly also do not want to bore them.

Cute little baby crawling on carpet indoors white nursery

White is always a great color for the crib, the cabinets, the changing table, and other baby’s room furniture pieces. Avoid using white on the walls. Walls tend to collect a lot of grime; so white walls are strictly a no for baby’s rooms.

Blue

Cute teddy bear on blue armchair in baby room

Irrespective of whether you are having a boy or a girl, blue is a fantastic color for a nursery. Ask people what their favorite color is and chances are you will hear Blue as the answer. Much of our world is blue (skies and seas). Blue is also associated with steadfastness and dependability. It is also representative of wisdom and popular baby boy nursery colors’ paint. There is no evidence that babies react to colors based on their genders. So go ahead and use blue for a girl’s room too. For the walls, go for light-blue-gray paint, and add a border pattern of red or gray elephants with yellow crowns using stencils.

A light blue color is an ideal room for a nursery as it induces sleep.

Yellow

yellow Baby bedroom with pictures of animals on wall

There is a belief that goes ‘Babies cry more in yellow rooms’. However, this isn’t true and no baby room color psychology states this for a fact. In fact; yellow is a great unisex baby room color. It is associated with sunshine and warmth. In the book The Color Answer Book: From the World’s Leading Color Expert written by color expert Leatrice Eiseman, yellow is a wonderful color substitute for the sun in countries where there isn’t too much of it. The author states that her two children were raised in yellow nurseries and while they had their cranky-baby moments, none of them were the chronic crybabies. Bright yellow is energizing and can be kind of intense, so opt for a toned-down shade for a baby’s room.

Red

red walls baby nursery room with crib and books

Red is an exciting color and it always gets people’s attention. So do not overuse red in your baby’s nursery; rather use it as an accent color in the mattress, curtains, pillows, and other accessories. Red has both positive and negative attributes. The positive ones are courage, warmth, and strength, as well as fight-flight stimulation. The negative ones are visual impact, aggression, and defiance. So use red wisely and subtly when it comes to nursery paint colors.

Green

Modern interior of child's room with animal pictures

Combinations of green and orange or green and red make some of the best neutral nursery paint colors. They also stimulate the baby’s mind and encourage cognitive development. Green is also one of the best baby room colors when you do not know the child’s sex. The color is synonymous with balance, abundance, wealth, nature, and harmony. Spiritually, it brings energy and love into the heart chakra and connotes love and healing. The color is calming for a baby after a sleepless night or two.

Orange

Baby's bedroom with crib and nightstand

Orange is a great neutral shade for a nursery. It is trendy and symbolizes warmth and comfort. Orange is also ideal for a boy’s or girl’s room. If orange is too bright for you, go for peach. Subtle peach is a great color for a nursery and it adds the same sunshiny, warm and comforting glow to the atmosphere. If you do insist on brighter orange, then instead of adding it to the walls, add it to trims and accessories. Orange is a great nursery color for people living in cold countries where winters are somewhat dreary and the days are short.

Purple

purple color walls for baby room interior design

Cool colors like blue and purple help soothe babies. For fun and cheerful look for the nursery, pair purple with the color on its opposite end of the color wheel: green. Try the contrasting color on the accessories as well.

baby's room in purple color

Once considered too feminine, more toy colors and boy apparel is sporting purple these days. Purple symbolizes spirituality, wisdom, honesty, magic, and mystery. It is a great neutral shade for a boy’s or girl’s room. You can go for toned down violet shade which soothes and tranquilizes babies.

Are there any rules in picking nursery colors?

Pink canopy above cradle in baby's bedroom interior with gold posters and teddy bear in basket

Just as in every other area of color choice, there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to picking colors for a baby’s room. If you are traditional parents and know your baby’s gender before birth, then you can always go for pink for girls and blue for boys. But if you are not conventional and simply want a beautiful atmosphere for your baby to grow up in, then there are many choices for you. Color expert Leatrice Eiseman suggests going in for warm tones balanced by some cool ones. Tender peach, vanilla custard, cloud blue, winsome orchid, pale banana, and reed are some colors she suggests. It is also important to know that nursery colors are not just about the baby; they are also about the parents as well. Remember there are going to be 2 am feedings and other stressful (and joyful times) in the nursery. So select a color combination that also nurtures the parents’ souls!

Conclusion

The above colors are considered some of the best nursery colors for baby development. However, whether a color will bring about a cognitive enhancement or not depends greatly on the little one themselves. Some children start showing a proclivity to certain colors from a young age. Many times, the choice of colors is also influenced by grownups (parents and grandparents), and even cartoon shows the child watches. Some children would love their rooms done in bright and vibrant colors while some prefer sticking to pastel, toned-down nursery colors.