How to Choose Paint Colors for Your Baby’s Room

Preparing a nursery for your upcoming bundle of joy is one of the major milestones you reach along the way to welcoming a new baby into the family, and is one of the most exciting tasks for many parents-to-be. Choosing the perfect furniture and bedding that reflects your style while still ensuring that you’re adhering to the stringent safety guidelines put in place to protect babies means there are lots of things you’ll have to take into consideration during the planning process. One of the first things on many parents’ to-do list, however, is to paint the nursery walls the perfect shade that creates a sanctuary for their little one.

Gender and Color Theory

Traditionally, pinks and purples are used to denote a feminine space, while bright primary hues are favored for more masculine ones. If you’re not planning to find out your new baby’s gender before birth or simply want to create a more gender-neutral palette to avoid those traditional gender roles, then grays and muted yellows are a great choice. Part of the color-choosing process will depend upon your attitudes about such things and the way that you want to parent your child.

Longevity

Unless you don’t mind periodic repainting, you’ll want to consider the longevity of a color scheme before you start decorating. Powder pink walls with fluffy bunny borders might be adorable and charming for a newborn’s room, but may not be so well received when she’s starting kindergarten. While you won’t be able to predict your child’s unique and personal preferences before she arrives, you can think about how well certain decorating schemes will carry over as your child gets older. Completely repainting a room isn’t cheap and can be quite disruptive, so you may want to make an attempt to choose something that will age along with your child, at least for a while.

Choosing the Best Shade for the Space

The same paint sample that looks perfect under the fluorescent lights of a home improvement store may be awful when it’s applied to the walls in your child’s room. The best way to determine how both natural and interior lighting will affect your chosen colors is to apply them directly to the wall in a rather sizable swatch. Small sample jars are inexpensive and contain enough paint for you to apply a swatch to each wall so that you can look at the way the light affects the color under varying conditions. The last thing you want to do is invest the time and money in painting the nursery with an untested color, only to be forced to repaint or to live with a shade that you absolutely hate when it’s actually applied.

Coordinating and Pulling a Scheme Together

If you already have a color you’re in love with, you’ll probably choose bedding and window treatments with it in mind. Parents that spring for the bedding first, however, will need to look at the different shades it contains in order to choose one that compliments it well. Decide which route is more suited to your personal decorating style and build around it. You may find that the perfect wall color only reveals itself after you’ve chosen the perfect bedding, and that it contains a color you weren’t even considering before.

Health and Safety

The shade of paint that you choose may depend upon the availability in low- and no-VOC paint lines. Volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, are part of what gives paint its distinctive smell. Benzene, toluene, naphthalene, methyl chloroform and formaldehyde are among the chemicals that traditional paints can contain, all of which have been shown to have adverse affects on human lungs. When you set out to choose the perfect shade for the room that will serve as a safe, soothing retreat for your child, you’ll want to make sure that the paint you use won’t make him sick.

In the end, choosing a paint color for your new baby’s nursery is a personal decision that will depend upon your parenting philosophies and personal beliefs as much as your style and individual tastes. Taking your time and making sure that you’re perfectly happy with the decisions you make is the best way to ensure that you’re not forced to completely redo the nursery down the road or live with something that you don’t like until your child is old enough to begin expressing her own tastes and preferences.

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Comments

  1. Great ideas in choosing color for a baby’s room. My personal favorite when decorating a baby’s room is wide stripes. A bit more involved, but there is something about stripes that adds a bit whimsy. Elizabeth Traub

  2. I agree with stripes, they look so fantastic in a nursery! I also love white or very light, fresh colors for walls. They allow you to layer in much bolder, darker tones in the same color family but not overwhelm your space, which is perfect for your newborn! Another great compliment to painting the nursery is adding one wall of wallpaper behind the crib. It can add life and pattern to the space. Great article!