Tips for Setting up a Nursery – Colors that help babies sleep


Getting your nursery ready before your baby arrives is fun and exciting! I remember it like it was yesterday. You get to pick out the crib and the other furniture to go with it. Then there’s the crib bedding, organizers, changing table, stuffed animals, books, and wall hangings. All kinds of things to make it functional yet super cute and cozy.

What main colors are you thinking of using? Are you leaning towards pink for a girl or blue for a boy or maybe something neutral if you’re waiting to find out the sex or need it for more than one child?

Did you know that how you decorate the room, including the colors, could influence how well your baby sleeps?


When do babies start seeing color?

It can takes babies several weeks to see their first color and 3 and 5 months before they see a wide range of colors. Honestly, most babies sleep in the same room as us parents while they are infants, so it’s funny that we fuss so much about the nursery and it’s decor when we’re pregnant. I think the baby’s room is more for us Mom’s (at least in the beginning) than it is for them because it’s just so darn cute to decorate it! That, and it gives us a calm feeling of being ready for the baby to come.

As we decorate it though, we should take into consideration what is best for them and their sleep… because that’s the main thing they’ll be doing in there.




Things to keep in mind when choosing colors

Color can be a powerful tool. It can impact our mood and perception of things. It can stimulate our brains to focus more clearly, give us energy, or cause us to be more relaxed and sleepy. Here’s some more information on each color:

  • Red is very stimulating. It gives us energy, so it’s not an ideal color for a nursery. If you want to incorporate reds, I suggest doing just a hint of it here and there. As your child gets older, I wouldn’t recommend doing a fire engine theme or red super hero theme. It’s not conducive to sleep.
  • Bright purple also tends to be stimulating. It’s best to go with more of a lavender color if you’re looking to do a purple.
  • Yellows can be happy, but don’t use too much as it can give off an overwhelming feeling. It can also promote concentration which is not ideal for sleeping.
  • Blue is very soothing and helps us feel calm. This is one of the best colors to help with sleep, just try not to go too dark. If you use a dark blue, use it sparingly because it could promote sadness  
  • Green is comforting and peaceful, it reminds us of nature so it is also one of the best colors to help with sleep
  • Pink can be calming and exudes femininity, but a bold pink can cause anxiety. A soft girly pink is best
  • Brown is cozy, but if it’s a small room it will make it appear smaller, you’re better off going with a beige.
  • White will make rooms appear bigger and more open


Keep in mind that we all have favorite colors that make us happy and our childhood, culture, or past experiences may play a role in that. You want to make sure you pick a color that you find soothing. In general though, you want to stay away from bright, glossy colors. Go for a more muted pastel tone in whichever color you choose.

I’ve also found that it’s hard to really see how the color will look in a room from a small little color wheel at the store. I recommend narrowing down your choices and then getting small sample containers for each. Paint a piece of poster board and tape it to the wall. Tape it near a window, then move it to a darker corner of the room. Colors will look different depending on where they are so it’s better to find out if you really like it before it’s too late.

If you’re looking for tips on how to paint a room, here’s an informative video from Home Depot:


Looking to paint the crib?

If you’re getting a used crib, you may want to change the color of it to go with the rest of the room’s decor.  I found a great website that will give you step by step instructions on how to paint a crib along with some safety issues to consider. Check it out at Lullaby Paints.


What about other objects in the room? Are they distracting or soothing?

  • Stars on the ceiling, done either through a projector or ones that stick are calming
  • If using a mobile, make sure it’s not too bright or crazy and does not have mirrors as this can be stimulating and engaging. If you have mirrors elsewhere in the room, make sure they are not directly visible from the crib
  • Blackout shades are worth it if the sun rises before you want your child to be up
  • My daughter is really into Bert and Ernie these days from Sesame Street (age 2) and I noticed that when I put a picture of them up on her wall that she wakes up earlier than she used to. She’s excited to see them and talk to them. If you have a separate play room, it might be best to decorate that with their favorite characters leaving the bedroom more neutral. Something to keep in mind for the future.
  • Keep toys out of sight, especially ones they really love. This is for the same reason as above. They will get excited and want to play with them.
  • Decal for the wall. I like the idea because it adds to the room, making it that much more interesting and adorable. We added a huge tree decal with birds and owls for my daughter and placed it behind the glider and crib. Even though it was big, it felt more soothing than distracting.


Nursery_crib_blanket Love the crib bedding you picked out but not sure what to do with the crib blanket?

If you bought a crib set because it goes with the theme for your room, just remember that most of it is unsafe for a newborn.

You’ll only want to just use the sheets and dust ruffle at first. 

It’s not recommended to use a blanket until they are about a year old.

So… what do you do with the blanket?

I decided to buy a quilt rack and hang it on the wall above the diaper table.  I loved that it was still a predominant part of the decor.                          



So, my advice to you is to put some thought into the type of room you’d like for your baby… not just what would look cute, but also what would be soothing to them to help them sleep. Pinterest is also a great visual website to find inspiration. Follow me on Pinterest and check out my nursery pins.
Follow Baby Sleep For Me’s board Nursery Decor on Pinterest.

8 comments on “Tips for Setting up a Nursery – Colors that help babies sleep

  1. Tiffany

    Great blog post. I really like how you break down the colors. I’ve seen people like feng shui experts do this for adults, but never for babies. The concept translates nicely. Being mindful of what the babies room is painted is helpful. I find that often people to “gender specific colors that may cause anxiety for girls (pink). Soft blue seems to work overall for girls and boys. I also like night lights that project calming colors and floating images.

    • Kristy

      Thanks for the comment Tiffany. Yeah, you have to be careful with too much pink. Blue can work for a girl… you could make it into a sky theme with clouds and rainbows. Green is also a great calming color that works for both boys and girls.

  2. Lokw

    Hi Kristy,
    When I first saw your website header I wasn’t sure what it was about, maybe something related to baby health. I don’t know. I read your post of tips for setting up a nursery – colors that help babies sleep, and I get what you mean now. All about how to let your baby sleep well. It is a good and informative post. Thanks a lot.

    • Kristy

      Thanks for checking out my post.

  3. Jessica

    Well i have 4 children and i never thought that decorating their nursery a certain way would help them sleep better (I wish i had known this). I’d say the biggest mistake i have made is having their toys in their bedroom. We don’t have a toy room so all there toys are just put away in their rooms and the first thing they do in the morning is start playing with one of the toys. Also i love what you did with the baby quilt. It was such a good idea.

    • Kristy

      Thanks for taking the time to read my post and comment Jessica. It’s tough finding storage spots for all the toys that a child accumulates. If you put them in the bedroom it’s best to have them hidden from the eye… in bins, dressers, closets, etc. If they can openly see it, it could be very distracting.

      Click here to see a quilt rack I found that is similar to the one I have.

  4. Marie

    What a great post this is! When my 2 were babies, I not only had toys in their room, but crib mirrors as well. This may explain why they were always awake at the crack of dawn and never went back to sleep. I had no idea that the colors would have an affect. Blue is calm and soothing? Good to know. I will pass this along to my son to help with his daughter. Thanks for the post.

    • Kristy

      Thanks for stopping by and passing along the info to your son. I’m glad I was able to help! Toys and mirrors are great when kids are awake, but not great when you want them to close their eyes. Most things are new and exciting to them and they won’t want to sleep if their room looks exciting.

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