Your baby’s eyes may be a beautiful shade of blue or brown now, but will that always be the case? Here’s how to tell when (and if!) your baby will go through a change in eye color.
Get your fill gazing at those baby blues now, Mom, because there’s a chance they could become brown (or go green). But if and even when she’ll change eye color is anyone’s guess. African-American, Hispanic and Asian babies are almost always born with dark eyes that stay dark, though the shade may change slightly during the first year. But Caucasian babies are usually born with dark blue or even slate-gray eyes that may change several times before the first birthday. Which means you’ll have plenty of time to place your bets in the baby eye color pool.
What’s responsible for this magical transformation in your little one’s eye color? The answer depends on the amount of melanin in the iris (the colored part of the eye) — which, in turn, is determined by the genes your baby has inherited from each parent — as well as other factors.
WHAT ROLE DOES MELANIN PLAY IN BABY’S EYE COLOR?
Melanin, produced by cells, is the pigment that’s responsible for giving you the color of your skin and hair (or at least the hair color you had as a kid). Just as sunlight turns the skin a darker shade, it does the same thing to eye color by way of the iris. When your child enters the world (and is exposed to bright lights of the birthing room), that light kick-starts melanin production in the iris, which can lead to eye color changes. Just a smidgen of melanin and your baby will have blue eyes; add some more and you get green, gray or hazel; even more and a newborn’s eyes will be brown or even black.
WHEN DOES EYE COLOR CHANGE?
The most dramatic eye color changes will probably occur when your child is between the ages of 6 months old and 9 months old. By that point, the iris has stashed enough pigment so you’ll be able to better predict what the final hue will be. But even so, your baby’s eye color may still hold some surprises — you may continue to notice subtle eye color changes (green eyes slowly turning hazel, say, or hazel ones deepening into brown) until she’s 3 years old. Just don’t expect baby browns to revert back to blue — dark eyes tend to stay dark for most babies. And in about 10 percent of the population, eye color can continue to change even into adulthood.
Source: WHAT TO EXPECT
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