Colorful nurseries may help babies' development - - Columbia, South Carolina

Colorful nurseries may help babies' development

(National-NBC) March 21, 2007 - When it comes to the nursery, most parents go for calming pastels, like blue, pink, yellow. Now, new research suggests brighter colors could help your baby's development.

They may not be your traditional nursery colors, but brighter hues are fascinating to five-month-old Micah. Micah is soaking in all the colors in her nursery, and at the same time, helping her eyes develop.

Researcher Bridget Martel says, "Eye development happens in the first few months of life."

And while Micah's eyes are developing, so is her brain. During this first year of her life, Micah's brain will double in size. By age three, her little brain will be twice as active as an adult's brain.

Babies like Micah should be exposed to a variety of colors. The bigger the contrast, the better.

But if you've already decided to go pastel in your baby's room, don't panic. Any contrasting colors can help baby's development. Martel explains, "If you decide to go with the pastels, just try and do a variety of pastels, or try to bring something into the room that will offer some contrast for the child. You can do that with a mobile. Any opportunity you have to provide an environment - whether it be through toys or whether it be through painting, or whether it be through blankets or whatever you're going to do. To incorporate contrast is a huge development thing for babies."

Even something as simple as a toy can help baby's eye development. Martel suggests, "Bring the toys into focus, and let the baby follow it back and forth and up and down."

But the most important thing parents can do to stimulate baby's development is to spend quality time with baby - because time like this will do more for baby in the long run than any combination of colors.

Some studies have found that bright colors like red, orange and yellow encourage creativity and excitement, while colors like pale yellow, beige and off-white create a calm learning environment.

But Bridget says, those are just studies - and the most important thing to remember when decorating your baby's room is to choose a color you like and can live with as your baby grows.                                          

Posted 11:04pm by Chantelle Janelle

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