You’ve seen the colorful baby blankets in the store, but do you ever wonder how those colors came to be?
When it comes to picking out baby blanket colors, you want a combination that stands out without agitating the child. Most importantly, you want to keep the color scheme stimulating and enjoyable for the little one without being an eye-sore.
What are the best baby blanket color combinations? The best color combinations for baby blankets varies by preference, but should consist of colors which are both stimulating to babies and soothing. Primary colors, cheery pastels, and combinations with oranges and greens tend to do well.
In this article, we will walk you through the effects of colors on young children and how to develop a color scheme for your baby blanket.
Good Colors For Baby Blankets
You have probably heard about the science of colors and the effects colors can have on a person. While babies are too young to tell different colors apart, we can already see how they respond to certain colors.
Young children and especially newborn babies respond best to primary colors, which is why you can often find baby clothing in blue, orange, or green.
If you are wondering what color yarn to pick for your baby blanket project, it’s a good idea to consider what colors are stimulating to babies and which colors may be soothing.
Below are some popular colors for baby afghans to get you started on finding your own color combination:
Orange – Orange is a bright and warm color that is stimulating without being too agitating for young children. Orange gives a cozy and open vibe that is quite pleasant, (although you will want to stay away from or minimize harsh traffic cone orange).
Depending on the season, you can switch up the shade of orange. For colder seasons, use a warmer, darker orange. During the summer, a yellowish shade of orange will give the blanket a fresh and cool look.
Yellow – Yellow is associated with a youthful and energetic look. You can use yellow to create a happy and fun vibe for your baby blanket. If you are opting for a bright yellow, use it in moderation because it may agitate the baby. However, a pastel or warmer shade of yellow would be a beautiful color for a baby afghan even by itself.
Pink – Pink is one of the most popular colors used in baby blankets. It is soft and delicate, and pastel pink can even have a calming effect on young children.
Green – When we mention soothing colors, one of the first colors that come to mind is green. Green is not only calming; it also cultivates quiet contemplation and a peaceful mind.
Blue – Blue is quite a healing color, promoting a calming and peaceful environment for young children. When making baby afghans, you should opt for a pastel blue color and avoid navy or darker shades of blue.
Purple – Purple is the color of royalty. We recommend using a pastel purple, which can evoke a sense of calmness for the baby. Do avoid using a darker purple since it can evoke sadness.
Gray – Gray should be used only as an accent color. Although gray can have a soothing effect, it is also often associated with sadness and depression. It also is not stimulating enough. You can use gray in combination with other primary colors, but avoid using gray alone in a baby afghan.
Colors to Avoid
Brown – While brown is associated with the earth and nature, you should avoid putting too much brown in baby things because it would be hard to spot stains. Babies are messy, and you don’t want to wonder whether your baby blanket is clean or already soaked in – well, you get the point.
Brown is also often too dark to be stimulating or soothing to babies. However small accents, especially of lighter browns or tans, are perfectly fine.
Black – Black looks good on everyone; it is associated with power and luxury. However, babies don’t respond well to black; it is not stimulating enough for growing minds and can feel harsh to some. Also, this color is too dark for a baby afghan, making stains difficult to spot. So avoid this color.
Red – Red is another strong color, often associated with passion and strong emotions. While this is a primary color that babies can easily identify, this color can agitate babies and even bring out volatile behaviors. If you want to use red in your baby afghan, you should use it only as an accent color to avoid overwhelming the child.
White – White is a beautiful and elegant color, but having white around a baby is not always a good idea. You will be spending more time removing stains from your baby blanket than actually enjoying it.
You should note, however, that white is perfectly fine in a color combination for babies as a color. Thin white stripes or small spots of white combined with other common baby colors (such as soft yellows, blues, pinks, and greens) are very popular. We just don’t recommend an all-white baby blanket.
Classic Baby Blanket Color Combination Ideas
There are dozens of color combinations you can use for a baby blanket and we’ll show you how to pick out your own, using the basics we just went over, in the section below.
But here are some especially common color combinations if you want to go for that classic vibe:
- One pastel and white (especially in stripes)
- Two-pastels in stripes
- 3 toned stripes (usually 2 pastel colors with white accents; one color may be more dominant than the other two)
- 3 colors of squares, patchwork style
- Soft rainbow colors (sometimes in a repeating order, sometimes random)
- Checkerboard (can be white and pastel, or two pastels)
White and yellow are common inclusions as they pair well with a variety of softer colors; yellow seems to act as a sort of neutral. Most combinations of pastel yellow, blue, pink, and even green are also quite common.
If you’re really stuck for inspiration, you can always look for patterns or invest in a book of patterns and advice.
How to Create a Color Scheme For Your Baby Blanket
We know about some of the popular colors for baby blankets, but how do we build a color scheme that is both aesthetically pleasing and soothing for babies?
The baby afghan at the store seems to have beautiful color schemes that perfectly complement one another, but when you are browsing the yarn section at the craft store, it can be difficult to mix and match the colors to create the most beautiful color scheme for your baby blanket.
While some of us learn about color theory in elementary school, many of us still struggle with putting complementary colors together.
If you don’t know where to start, here are a few steps that you can take to pick out the best color scheme for your baby blankets:
Step 1: Find some inspiration.
Even the best artists are stuck sometimes. Inspiration is the first step to help you create a masterpiece.
If you don’t know what colors to put together for your baby blanket, why not browse around on social media sites like Pinterest to find what others are doing? You can collect some inspiration photos and see what attracts you the most. Oftentimes, you will be quite inspired to get started on your piece.
After finding inspiration, it is also helpful to pick a theme for your baby blanket, for example – bright and summery or earthy and calming. Picking a theme will help you ground your color scheme and tie the whole thing together.
In addition, there are websites out there that can help you pick a color palette. If you are stuck, you can visit coolors.co to create a randomly generated palette with complementary colors. You can use websites like this to find inspirations and pick a palette that fits your liking.
You can also look to the nursery colors or theme! Ask the parent for the colors that will be emphasized in the baby’s bedding or bedroom (if any) and consider using one or more in your blanket.
Step 2: Pick a neutral shade or easy to complement pastel.
If you want to use more than two colors in your baby blanket, it’s best to first pick a more neutral shade and build the color palette from there. A neutral shade should complement every other color in your color palette and tie all the colors together.
While you can’t go wrong with neutral shades like beige or light gray, it is more fun to pick a pastel color for a base and develop the palette with darker versions of the color or 1-2 shades that go well with it.
Step 3: Add other shades to your color palette.
If you have a theme and a neutral shade, it is now quite easy to add other shades to your color palette. If you want your colors to complement one another, pick different shades of the same color.
For example, if you are building a warm-toned palette, you can use pastel pink as a base and add touches of pink, pastel purple, and gentle reds to the blanket.
Similarly, if you use a pastel green as a base, you can add touches of beige and different shades of green and blue to create an earth-toned palette for your baby blanket.
If you want an eye-catching color palette, you can always use one or two colors that are opposite of one another on the RGB color wheel (but not the red-blue-yellow wheel you know from art classes) – for example, yellow and blue.
If you are opting for this version, we recommend using pastel colors instead of bright colors because the pastel colors can easily blend together and complement one another.
Gender-Neutral Baby Blanket Colors
Many parents opt to keep the gender of their baby a secret until the baby is born, which makes it difficult to choose a suitable baby shower present. Many parents don’t want to conform to traditional gender stereotypes, so opting for a gender-neutral option is a great way to break free of the pink and blue divide.
Beyond pink and blue, there are a ton of gender-neutral options for baby blankets. Colors like orange, yellow or green are all recommended for young children, but they are often not strongly associated with one gender or another.
If you want to choose a gender-neutral palette, you can follow the same steps above to create a gender-neutral baby blanket, keeping in mind the gender-neutral options at each step of the way.
For example, for a summer-themed baby blanket, pick beige as your neutral shade and add touches of yellow, orange, and soft red to the blanket. This is a great color palette that would work for both a boy or a girl, and it’s still quite fun and playful.
If you are following a pattern to make your baby blanket, be mindful of the pattern as well if you want to craft a gender-neutral blanket. Lacy garments with shells are more feminine and often used for baby girls, while strong, geometric patterns are often made for baby boys. However, true lace is not recommended for babies, as their little fingers can get stuck in the holes.
Luckily, there are a ton of creative patterns out there that can work for a boy or a girl. When you have a great color palette and a beautiful pattern, crafting a gender-neutral baby blanket is quite easy. You will have a great gender-neutral present for your loved ones!