Let me get a look at those baby blues, says every human ever when face to face with a newborn. Baby eye color is intense, beautiful, and oddly dynamic. What is it that triggers eye color change and when does it happen? Today we look at young eye color genetics and get to the bottom of those baby blues.
Melanin can generally be attributed to, for the lightness in babies’ eye color. The more melanin a baby has, the darker their features will be: skin, hair and eyes. Of course, this isn’t always the case where fair-skinned babies have blue eyes and tan-skinned babies have brown eyes, but it certainly is more common.
Surprisingly, the only pigment in the eye is brown. It’s the amount of the melanin in the eye that determines which shade of brown (or other color) that babies’ eyes will become. Additionally, if a baby is born with one color eyes, the world’s natural light can affect the pigmentation and amount of melanin in a manner that manipulates eye colors.
It’s hard to not predict where on the eye color chart our babies’ eyes will fall. We can generate a prediction through our eyes and both sets of grandparents’ eyes, but there is no way to predict an accurate result. There’s also needing to account for eye color change, which usually happens in the first six to nine months of a child’s life. The change in this time period can be quick and dramatic, many parents noting their child simply woke up with a new eye color. We can’t manipulate how our children’s eyes will change. External factors (like light) can stimulate some change, but the change is based on response to genetic code, something we play no part in controlling. By the end of their first year, a baby’s eyes usually have their permanent color, but can continue changing slightly until around age six.
Many people report changing eye color well into their twenties, but the color alteration is largely based in perception. That is, eye color can appear different based on clothes worn, skin color (tanned), hair color, lighting of setting. Keep an eye out for color change during those earliest months and remember, a child’s eyes will change as they will. There’s no willing them to change. Our Eye Care Clinic in Atlanta is just one of our clinics across four states.