Skip to Content

How Color Affects Your Baby

How much color should I put in the nursery? Will it be too bright? Will there be enough stimulation? These are some of the most common questions we hear from our clients wondering how color affects your baby.

Watercolor Rainbow Nursery
Watercolor Rainbow Nursery by Kate Lemmon

While there is still much scientific debate about how color affects infants, there is endless evidence showing how color affects adults—marketing execs have poured millions into this research. It’s no coincidence that most fast food restaurants are red and yellow—these colors can make you feel more hungry.

Why not take advantage of all this research and use it to choose your nursery colors? While your baby may not perceive colors correctly for a while, they will when they get older and as those marketing execs have proven—color does affect us.

Rainbow Colorful Nursery
In the Nursery with Carrie Colbert

Here’s a quick rundown of some color theory and how it can help your choose the right paint color for your child’s nursery.

Red Passion, Excitement, Emotional Red is bold and attracts a lot of attention. It can work in a nursery as an accent but should be avoided wall to wall.

Red is the “hottest” color and may invoke volatile personality traits to stand out.

Mary Poppins Nursery by ELLETIDMary Poppins Nursery 

Orange Warm, Comforting, Cozy – Orange is a very comfortable color. It promotes a welcoming feeling and inspires interpersonal conversation. Orange is friendly and puts reservations at ease.

Use a darker orange for a super-cozy atmosphere or bright orange for a punch of modern!

Fitzgerald’s Woodsy Nursery by Athena RaypoldFitzgerald’s Woodsy Nursery 

Yellow Lively, Energetic, Cheerful Yellow is sunny and bright but use with caution. Too much or too bright yellow can agitate a baby.

Subtle yellow (think legal pads) promotes concentration and emotive thoughts.

Yellow and Gray Baby Boy Nursery by Victoria Elizabeth DesignYellow and Gray Baby Boy Nursery by Victoria Elizabeth Design

Shop Paint

    Green Calming, Refreshing, Nurturing – Green is the best color to use in a learning environment. It promotes calmness of thinking and concentration. It is also very serene, calming and natural.

    Green is one of the best colors in decorating because it is so abundant in nature—you can’t go wrong!

    Girl’s Nursery by Wit & Delight

    Blue Healing, Subtle – Blue is calming, but be careful with the shade. Gray-blues can lean towards sadness. Blue increases productivity, but should not be used around food. If you have a child who refuses to eat, avoid blue plates!

    In the nursery, use warm or bright blues and avoid overusing navy or dark shades. Blue is also cooling, which is good for a baby who gets warm easily.

    Classy Coastal Nursery by Emily AlexanderClassy Coastal Nursery by Emily Alexander

    Purple Dignified, Mysterious, Luxurious Purple has long been associated with royalty, and that still holds today. Jewel tone purple is as regal as it gets.

    Pastel purples, like lavenders and lilacs, are more calming and serene but still have that luxurious feel. Purple is rare in nature therefore it is the most “unnatural” color.

    Purple Buffalo Check Nursery by Style Your SensesPurple Buffalo Check Nursery by Style Your Senses

    White Clean, Pure, Innocent – White is angelic and sweet but can also promote secretiveness. Stay away from all white—use splashes of color to evoke emotion and openness. And beware—white is definitely prone to stains!

    All White Nursery by Little Crown InteriorsAll White Nursery by Little Crown Interiors

    Shop New Arrivals

      Pink Romantic, Loving, Feminine – It’s no coincidence that little girls love pink. It is the universal color of all things girly.

      Pink is very calming as well, particularly with children who are prone to throwing fits or tantrums. Feel free to go nuts with pink in a girl’s nursery—the only ill effect may be a bit of a princess attitude!

      A Nursery for a Tiny Dancer by Meganhochhauser

      Gray Introspective, Intuitive, Emotional -Gray inspires you to contemplate—the same way you may feel a bit down on a cloudy day (which is why raincoats are yellow). Be careful with gray. It’s advantages are that it promotes thought and emotion, but that includes sadness and loneliness.

      Many famous poets and writers have been known to retreat to overcast locations to write, like Seattle. If you want to use gray, use a warm tone and mix in some brighter colors.

      Board and Batten in the NurseryBrittney Horton Nursery

      Brown Earthy, Grounded – Brown is the color of our earth, which makes it a great choice for a nursery. However, brown is also the color of, er, other things, so use with caution.

      Boho Spring Baby Girl’s Room by Anh Dao

      Go with a dark chocolate brown or a very light beige/tan. Avoid any of the middle shades as they can tend to look, well, poopy.

      Neutral Nursery by

      Black Authoritative, Powerful – Black is another color to use in moderation. It is strong and dark. Make sure to use in a room with big windows and lots of natural lighting.

      Black should be used as an accent color—black walls are a nightmare to repaint!

      Monochrome Modern Nursery by 

      There is an endless amount of information on color out there. If you’re planning your baby room colors, take a few minutes and do a little research. After all, your baby will be in this room until you decide to repaint.

      See more: Gray Nurseries, Blue Nurseries, Pink Nurseries

      Cathy Sleeping

      Friday 22nd of April 2022

      We had exactly the same. Funny!

      We went all red on the nursery. It was finished before we did any research on the subject. After reading how red may bring out a volatile personality trait, understandably we were worried. Too late to do anything we proceeded with red. After one year our son is calm, patient and so very happy. Everyone who spends anytime with him comments on how content and quiet he is. He’s an absolute joy!


      Wednesday 6th of April 2022

      Is it okay to have a pink nursery for a baby boy?

      21 Red Nursery Ideas - Your House Needs This

      Tuesday 4th of January 2022

      […] an infant to sleep around. Instead, use the advice in this article, using red in small doses as an accent color only. Stimulation is wonderful and essential; you just don’t want to have too much of it in a sleeping […]

      Hộ sinh và Cuộc sống - Thiết kế một vườn ươm hoàn hảo cho những người mới đến gia đình bạn - Vietmoms

      Sunday 19th of December 2021

      […] trong khi mặt bên của căn phòng chứa đồ chơi và đồ dùng học tập có thể tận dụng các màu nắng, tươi sáng để khuyến khích […]

      Why A Specialist DIY Store Is The First Place

      Wednesday 14th of July 2021

      […] place, which can help you to choose what direction you want to go in. Also, seeing the different color options and style possibilities all in one place can be a really helpful part of the planning […]