The colour of a baby’s eyes is one of the first things you want to know when your child is born to see who he or she looks like, whether it’s the mother’s side of the family or the father’s, right? Well, when a baby is born they usually have bluish-grey eyes but this is not their definitive colour. As a baby develops, their eye colour will change. You will need to be patient as their final colour won’t start to become apparent until your baby is between six months and one year old.
But what factors influence the definitive colour of a baby’s eyes? It all comes down to genetics. Don’t worry, we’ve detailed it all in this post!
The colour of a baby’s eyes: what factors are involved?
You already know that you’ll need to wait a few months to discover your little one’s final eye colour but we’re going to tell you about the key aspects you can consider to get an idea of what that colour might be. Keep your eyes peeled!
Melanin is responsible for your baby’s eye colour
As we mentioned at the beginning of this post, in general, babies are born with the same eye colour: bluish-grey. This depends on the amount of pigment contained in the iris, which provides melanin. A newborn has little colour matter, for which reason they have this temporary colour.
During a baby’s first months of life, melanin has not been fully deposited in the iris. As such, pigmentation progressively increases in babies whose eyes will be dark and it will not vary much in those who will have lighter coloured eyes.
The myth of a baby’s eye colour
You’ve probably heard about this myth. Many parents believe that this temporary, bluish-grey eye colour has another explanation. It involves a baby being fed with breast milk. They think that a baby’s eyes change colour when they stop being breastfed. However, this theory has been proven false as it has no scientific basis to support it.
This false myth has arisen as the time at which a baby is fed breast milk coincides with the months it takes their eye colour to be defined. For this reason, the change will coincide in many cases but there will be other babies who must wait a little longer for their definitive eye colour to become apparent. What do you think?
The colour of a baby’s eyes and genetics
We’ve reached the answer: genetics! Genetics are responsible for your baby having one eye colour or another. And it’s something that’s unpredictable.
Usually, if the father and mother have the same eye colour, their baby will too. Additionally, brown eyes are the most common while the least common is green, whatever the tone. All good up to this point, yes? Well, it’s not always like this in every case.
Have you heard of Mendel’s laws? They are a set of basic rules on genetic inheritance from parents to children. They explain that the colour of a baby’s eyes is determined by genes. But not all genes are the same. Darker colours are dominant genes and lighter colours are recessive genes. Did you know that?
Here’s an example. If the father has brown eyes and the mother has blue eyes, their baby’s eye colour will most likely be brown as the darker colour dominates. The inverse is unlikely although some cases do exist.
Another influential factor is whether or not the parents’ genes are pure. What does this mean? That their parents have the same eye colour as they do. If they don’t, two recessive genes could combine with the result being the baby will have light-coloured eyes. Genetics is rather arbitrary and the rules aren’t completely fixed!
How did your baby’s eye colour change? Let us know!
It’s obvious that genetics are unpredictable, no matter how many calculations we make. For this reason, each case is different and you will need to wait to know for definite. Have you already gone through this? Tell us your story and how your baby’s eye colour changed. We love to hear about your experiences and learn from them!