When my first child was born I was so boring when it came to decorating his nursery. Looking back I wanted everything to be boring in white, beige and grey. Little did I know that three years down the line the whole house would be covered in garish primary colours to the squealing delight of my newborn daughter. The fact is, babies start being stimulated by colour pretty quickly, and although black and white goes down a treat at the beginning, you have to give in to your inner Picasso at some point or other! We asked the fabulous Witty Doodle to elaborate on the importance of colour and development. 

There are so many things to consider when it comes to decorating your nursery. From deciding on an overall theme to picking out the colour palette and finding the perfect cot, you want every detail to be just right when the little one arrives. It can be such a fun project, and it’s often one of the first things expecting parents rush to do straight away. But if you’ve got a baby on the way, you might want to be careful about the design elements you choose, they could have a bigger impact on your child than you think.

New babies are like tiny little sponges, constantly absorbing information as they begin trying to sort out the world around them, and visual stimuli is an essential part of this learning process. So while safety and comfort are obviously high on the list of nursery priorities, you should also consider your baby’s brain when choosing your decorations. After all, this is the space in which your child will spend a great deal of his or her first years on earth, so it’s absolutely crucial that your baby’s room is as mentally stimulating as it is cozy.

One common misconception among new parents is that soft colors, such as pastels and neutral shades, are somehow better for their babies. While these gentle tones might be aesthetically pleasing to adults, they do almost nothing for your child. “Surround a baby with soft pastel colors, and you might as well be blindfolding him,” says renowned pediatrician Dr. William Sears. He suggests that parents should instead seek out contrasting colors and bold black and white patterns. “Research has proven that black and white contrasts register powerfully on a baby’s retina and send the strongest visual signals to a baby’s brain.”

According to Dr. Amanda Gummer, surrounding your newborn with strong visual stimuli will actually improve overall brain function and spur mental development. “Over 80% of information that is processed by the brain is visual,” She says, “and babies who receive visual stimulation from an early age make more neural connections and are better able to learn new things.”

In addition to being a leading child psychologist, Dr. Gummer has been instrumental in the development of a brand of nursery art, including canvases, prints and wall stickers, which promotes better child development through the use of colorful shapes and patterns. But parents shouldn’t necessarily stop there. “Exposing children to contrasting colours in what ever form, (coloured shapes, coloured cards, coloured toys) will increase brain development and stimulate visual development.”

This is not to suggest that you should turn your nursery into a massive swirling psychedelic mess, but exposure to art and the careful inclusion of bright colours and high contrast design elements here and there might very well help develop your child’s attention span and increase his or her ability to focus on, process and memorise new information, which will do wonders for your child from early development on into adulthood.

Witty Doodle is a fun and exciting company founded by a couple mums, that creates unique and visually stimulating wall art & decor for young children. Our products are designed to stimulate a child’s brain and foster the holistic development of babies & toddlers. We work with a child psychologist and childrens’ book illustrator to design artworks that will spark the curious side of a child’s brain and open their eyes to a world full of color and unique shapes. The art looks pretty cute too!! We make nursery canvases, prints and wall stickers in a wide variety of fun themes like fairy tale, adventure safari, & farm themes. All of our products are designed in collaboration with a well-known and widely respected child psychologist, Dr. Amanda Gummer. To check out our selection, visit wittydoodle.co.uk today.

About The Author

Child Development Expert

Amanda Gummer is a child development expert and play and parenting psychologist who has been helping children and families for over 20 years. Widely considered as THE go to expert on play, toys and child development, Amanda combines her theoretical knowledge (developing the Parent-Centred Parenting model of family life and the Fundamental Model of Child development) with a refreshingly pragmatic approach to family life, that resonates both with parents and professionals. Amanda is regularly in the media, and continues to take an active role in research, presenting a paper at the International Toy Research Association's World Congress in Portugal in July 2014. She is often involved in government policy around children's issues, contributing to the Bailey Report and the Childhood Inquiry. Amanda ran the research consultancy FUNdamentals for 10 years before combining that with the Good Toy Guide, the online play advice website that she set up in 2012, and the Good App Guide to create Fundamentally Children.

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