Is your newborn going to be the quintessential blue-eyed boy (or girl) you have dreamed of? Or are they going to be a teeny-tiny brown-eyed beauty? Expecting parents often wonder about the eye health of their soon-to-be-born baby and which of their traits their baby will inherit. And often their eye colour is one of the first things parents add to their ‘wishlist’!
Not that any eye colour is bad. Your baby is still going to be the cutest little munchkin in the whole wide world, no matter what they look like! But if you have been wondering whether your newborn’s eye colour will remain as is or change over time, we can shed some light on the matter.
So let us start by explaining what eye colour is!
Simply put, your eye colour is the colour of your iris. Which is that ring that surrounds your jet black pupil. Since the iris has muscles in it, it is actually responsible for determining the amount of light that enters your eyes. Thus, causing your pupils to dilate and contract in the presence of light.
Now, did you know that your baby eye colour can vary from light shades of blue to a very dark brown but it can never be black? That is true for all of us! Only our pupils are always black, but our irises can never be of that colour. While the sclera (the white of an eye) is almost always a shade of white. Unless you are not feeling well.
Your baby is going to be born with this eye colour…
Did you guess blue? That is actually a very common misconception! It actually depends on how much melanin is in your baby’s body. Those with a high amount of melanin, have a darker skin colour and darker eyes. While the latter is true for babies with low levels of melanin. Obviously, the parents’ genes play a huge role in determining that!
That said, if there is one thing you need to know about newborn baby eyes is that they are developing. Melanocytes (the cells that make melanin) are triggered by light. Now since your baby is in the womb for 9 months, which is absence of light, they may be born with eyes that seem blue or grey. However, as their eyes adjust to all the light around them, this colour might change.
Slight secretion of melanin will lead to blue eyes. A little more, and you have got green or hazel. Much more and you get the commonest newborn eye colour which is brown! Brown because the melanocytes are quite active. So if your baby is born with brown eyes, chances are that shade is going to stick around for the rest of their lives.
Not all newborn baby eyes will be blue
Yes, we did tell you that the womb’s dark environment might not activate melanocytes in their full glory but all babies still will not be born with blue eyes. They only might appear grey or blue due to the lack of pigment in them. A colour that will change as their eyes are exposed to more light.
If your baby is light eyed, the colour might start changing at this age…
Baby eye colour change, as you have learned by now, is not uncommon. So if you notice your newborn’s eye colour looks different than what it did at birth, do not be alarmed. Melanocytes can take up to a year to develop and adjust to the light all around them. So expect your baby’s eye colour change to slow down around 6 months of age and to reach its final hue at about 12 months of age.
However, in rare cases, it can take quite a few years for a kid’s eye colour to reach its final shade. And that is okay. Normal. That should resolve your query of ‘when do babies eyes change colour’.
There is a way you can predict your baby’s eye colour
You have definitely wondered about it. Maybe you even whispered a wish to yourself, ‘I hope it is hazel’, or something like that. Well, the good news is you can somewhat predict what your baby’s eye colour will be! The bad news is do not expect your guess to be accurate. Surprises can always happen. And the method we are about to show you is not without its own limitations and caveats so keep that in mind.
Here is how you can make a guestimate about your newborn’s eye colour:
- Are both of you blue-eyed parents? High chances that your baby will inherit that too!
- But if both of you are brown-eyed, you can safely expect your baby to have the same shade.
- Do any one of your parents have blue or a lighter shade of eye colour? There is a solid chance that your baby might inherit their grandparent’s eye colour in that case!
- However, if you and your partner have different coloured eyes, the odds of your baby getting either colour are pretty even. It is 50-50. Could swing either way.
Now do not take this to be the absolute, fool-proof method to predict your baby’s eye colour. It is just a way to correctly guestimate it. Here is an eye colour chart to help you out!
Now that you know the tricks of eye colour prediction, here is a chart that shows you different eye colours so you can add a little visual to your guessing game! While the most common eye colour is brown, brown itself has various shades too! And then you have the rest of the spectrum, which includes blue, green, hazel and grey. Red, amber and violet are not totally unheard of either and people have had these eye colours too!
If your baby has different coloured eyes, they might have…
Heterochromia! Which is really uncommon and characterised by the presence of two different colour eyes. For example, one blue and one green! Or eyes with patches of a different colour such as brown eyes with spots of grey. Exotic as it might look, it arises due to variations in the levels of melanin in one’s body. Which could happen to inherited genes, a genetic mutation or even an illness in rare cases.
If your baby has heterochromia, it is best to get it checked out. Just to rule out possibilities of any diseases or injuries.
If you ask us, it really does not matter what eye colour your baby will have. They will still be just as unique and beautiful! And gazing into their innocent sweet eyes will still be just as overwhelming and emotional. Gazes that bring with them a million possibilities of a future yet to be unlocked! A future lined with school, jobs and a family of their own!
Speaking of the future though, what is not far away is the day when your child will step into their preschool for the first time. Hence, it bodes well that you prepare in advance and already have a preschool in mind you would like your kids to attend. Honestly, EuroKids would be the perfect preschool for your baby. We have an engaging and advanced curriculum in place that will bring out the best in your baby. Visit us to know more.