Baby Eye Color: What determines the change in eye colour?

The transition of baby eye color from birth to toddler

By Rachel
Baby Eye Color: What determines the change in eye colour?

What determines the change in eye colour?

Heard you are expecting a baby and eager to know what your little unicorn will look like? You might also be wondering what the baby’s eye color will be. Well, we have the answers to help you with your inquisitiveness. One of the questions you might be thinking is what will determine your baby’s eye color? Whether it is your blue eyes or your partner’s green ones. Ultimately, there are two factors which determine the color of a baby’s eyes. One is the genetic property and the other one is melanin.

Genes

Eye color is a physical trait and is determined by pairing both the genes of the parents. An individual has two copies of every gene, one inherited from each of the parents. And they are classified as homozygous and heterozygous. The homozygous refers to having two sets of copies that is, matching genes whereas heterozygous refers to having different sets of genes. Furthermore, they divide into two traits dominant and recessive traits. So when it comes to eye color, brown and green are the dominant eye colors whereas blue is considered as a recessive eye color. 

 

Also, the experts suggest that the change in eye color constitutes more than 15 genes depending on many other factors as well. The major genes involved in the eye color are OCA2 and HERC2 where OCA2 determines the green or brown eyes whereas HERC2 determines the blue eye color.

Melanin

Now the genes which are connected with the eye color includes the production, transportation as well as the storage of a pigment known as melanin. This pigment is also the factor which determines the color of our hair and skin. The change in the color of the eye is directly related to the amount of melanin present in the front layers of the iris. So lighter will be the color of the baby's eye, if the production of melanin is less and darker will be the color with more production of melanin. Therefore the ones with brown eyes, have a large amount of melanin present in their iris as compared with the ones with blue eyes. 

 

Surprising, there is no green, blue or gray pigment present in the eye, the only color which is present is brown, and a person’s eye color is determined depending on the amount of that pigment. 

Source: YouTube

Do not worry if you see a change in your baby's eye color from birth to toddler. It might be possible that yesterday it was blue and now it seems brown. Although the change in the baby's eye color is a gradual process, it is not notable for a longer period. The transition period of the change in the baby's eye color begins at the moment when the baby is delivered from the womb. The change of color code in your baby's eye is determined by the factor called melanin and it is triggered by light. The biggest change in the color of the eye takes place by 9 months. If the baby receives more exposure of light, then the production of melanin will be more in the iris, thus, resulting in the change of the eye color. So when a baby is born, his/her eye color is light, as there is no exposure of light supplied to the melanin in the womb, and once the baby is of 6 months, you will start noticing the change in his/her eye color, and gradually and slowly it adapts a different shade of color, depending on the genetic inheritance as well.

The chances of changing of the baby's eye color depend totally on melanin, as if the baby acquires blue eyes genetically, that is, both the parents have blue eyes, then there are fewer chances of the change in the color of the baby's eye.

Newborn eye color chart

Now remember there are many factors associated with the color of the eye, one of them being the genes, which necessarily does not mean the genes of the parents, as a baby can also acquire the genes of his/her grandparents; and another factor is the quantity of melanin present in the babby's iris.

So here is a chart predicting the color of a baby’s eye, depending on the genes on his/her parents.

Source: momjunction.com

Interpreting the above chart, we can see that the dominant eye colors like brown and green when matched in pairs, always gives the dominant eye color, that is, the parents with brown eyes have a baby with brown eyes, and the parents with green eyes, always pass on the green eyes to their babies, and the same as in the case with the recessive color, like the blue one. But when the dominant colors are mixed together, they result in various probabilities of color. For instance, when the brown dominant is mixed with the green dominant, the chances of the baby's eye color becomes 50% brown, 37.5% green and 12.5% blue color.

Why does baby eye color change?

Source: Babycouture.in

Some babies are born with blue eyes and over a period of time, it changes to dark color. This usually happens with the babies who have a fair skin tone. The major reason for the change in the color of the eye is because of melanin. The amount of melanin present in the iris, determine the change of the eye color. So for the babies who are born with fair skin color, the presence of melanin is very little in their eyes.
 

The melanin is controlled by the genetics, therefore the DNA received by the baby through you and your partner will determine if the eye color will be blue, brown, green or any another color. Now the existence of melanin at the time of birth is either less or is not present at all. But if it is less, then there is a chance that with time the iris starts producing more melanin which will result in the change in eye color. The production of melanin is stimulated with light, which is the reason for the change in color over the period of time. And also, it is not the color of the pigment which is the reason for the change in eye color, as there is no blue, green or hazel colored pigment, the only pigment present in the eye is brown.

Therefore when the color of the eye changes, the lighter shades can go dark for instance a baby’s blue color eye can go brown but a darker shade like brown will remain brown only. 

When does the color transition stop?

A baby’s eye color starts to change as soon as the baby is exposed to light. So, if there is a transition in the eye color of a baby then the sole reason for it is the presence and increase in the melanin present in the iris.
 

You can start noticing the change in the eye color when the baby is between 3 to 6 months old and by 9 months the major change would have occurred already and by the age of one year, most babies have got their permanent eye color. Therefore, if your baby is going to go through a change in the color of his/her eyes, then wait till your baby is a year old, you will notice the change and get to know who's eye color the baby has acquired. There are some cases in which it takes a longer period and in rare cases, it might take up till 6 years.

Predict your newborn's birth eye color with the baby eye color calculator

Usually, a child inherits the eye color from his/her parents, but there are some chances that the babies acquire the eye color from other family member’s genes like their maternal and paternal grandparents.
 

Now in this advanced technology, you can predict the color of your newborn baby’s eye, all you have to do is insert the color of the eyes of both the parents and bang! You get your baby’s eye color. But remember, the factors like eye color depends on multiple genes, so be ready for a surprise if your baby has green eyes regardless of both the parents having blue eyes.
 

So if you are keen to know the color of your baby's eye, below are 3 types of baby eye color calculators for some eye color predictions!

Baby Eye Color Calculator by Baby Med

Baby Eye Color by Huggies

Baby Eye Color Predictor Calculator by icliniq

Summary

Now that you know about the various factors involved in determining the eye color of a baby, so do not just consider your genes, but also google through the history of your family line and do not forget the most important factor, that is, the melanin.
 

Hope your unicorns have the best of both of your eyes.

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