It’s the most exciting news! You are expecting a baby and are at the start of a brand new adventure in your life. Among all the things you’ve been preparing for, you will probably have thought about creating a room for your baby that’s fun and will be mentally stimulating during their early development. But you aren’t quite sure what the best nursery room colours are.
The science of colour psychology is well established, and it starts at an early age. From the moment they are born, your baby’s mind will be curious to the world around them. Everything will be fresh in their eyes and they are starting with a blank canvas. You may have heard that colour can help with their mental stimulation, but you’re not quite sure what they can and can’t see at different ages so that you can tackle painting your baby room walls with confidence.
To help you along the way, we’ve broken down your baby’s visual journey into five key stages. You can thank us when they are grown up and on their way to university!
The first few weeks: the ‘fuzzy’ stage
In the very early ‘fuzzy’ stage of development, your baby will have limited focus. Don’t worry - they will be able to see far enough to make out your face when you hold them. A distance of about 20 to 30 centimetres is just enough to establish that vital bond of trust they will need to make with you as their primary carer. Their ability to determine colour will be limited at this point, and you don’t want to overstimulate their minds with anything too bold Keep in mind that reds and oranges in large quantities can disturb a young child – and that will be a problem come nap time!
At this stage, your baby will respond to high-contrast paint colours, such as a simple palette of black and white. Pair deep black Night Jewels with soft white Natural Taupe for a room that won’t agitate them. You can add a touch of excitement by painting monochrome stripes on a small section of the wall next to their cot for an easy-on-the-eye nursery. Introduce brighter hues or pops of colour with a mobile above their cot when they are a little older and a bit more used to movement.
One to two months: learning to focus
By the time they reach one to two months old, your baby will be learning to focus. They will be able to track objects and people as they move around the room in their line of vision. It’s an extraordinary time in their lives as the world comes to life, and the nursery room colours you choose are important. Help them on this journey and introduce toys of contrasting colours from opposite sides of the colour wheel. Play around with vibrant shades of red and vivacious greens, or bold banana yellows co-ordinated with deep blues that they can make out easily.
Two to five months: the dawn of colour
From about two months old, your baby will start to make out different colours with much more clarity. This exciting part of their visual journey will begin with the primary colours of red, yellow and blue – a great starting point for your baby room paint colour ideas. As their vision gets more sophisticated, they will gradually be able to tell the difference between colours like red and orange. And it’s at this stage that it’s good to expose them to as many different shades on the spectrum as possible to stimulate their mental progression.
Have fun with complementary nursery room colours painted in large bright blocks next to each other from opposite sides of the colour wheel. The technique is a brilliant way to pair a rich, spice-coloured Delhi Bazaar with a deep Atlantic Surf from Dulux and make your new nursery burst into life with energy. The technique can also be used in more subtle ways if you co-ordinate muted shades of the same colour in patterns that will introduce your baby to all the magnificent hues available.
Five to eight months: things are getting clearer
At five months old, your baby’s vision will have become so well-developed that they can now distinguish between subtle pastel tones, so it’s time to add some new subdued notes to your nursery walls. You don’t need to cover an entire wall to make an amazing impact, and you won’t want to repaint the room every few months, so stick to painted accessories instead. Paint the legs of a side table or wooden chair a soft blue Atlantic Surf or restrained grey Brooklyn Nights to see your nursery take on a trendy designer-style look in no time. You can also introduce toys that will help your little one focus on all the different shades.
Eight months and older: and they’re nearly there!
By the time a baby reaches eight months old, their colour vision will be almost as good as an adult’s. They will be able to recognise the full range of colours and objects across a room. Add lots of interesting textures and patterns that they can focus on, such as this easy-to-paint tree bookcase – a genius way to introduce Mother Nature into their lifen. Let their imagination run wild as they explore their new world – and that includes the ceiling above their heads!
Paint the ceiling
Your baby will spend a lot of time looking at the ceiling in the early months, so you’ll want to create something interesting to look at. These are the weeks and months before they will start to walk, and the space above their head is of vital importance. By now, your baby with be fascinated by high-contrast patterns, so contrast the nursery wall colours of your baby’s room by using stencils to turn the ceiling into an interesting sky full of shapes. Alternatively, use bright Ruby Fountain to make bold stripes of red that will transform their nursery into a circus tent!