What Determines the Color of Your Baby's Eyes?

image001Baby eye color is among the most fascinating part of his/her growth. Parents always debate about the eye color their baby will have. Is it going to be a single color or will it be a mix of different colors? Medical science tells us that the looks of the baby are a mixture of the genetic material of both parents; however, the mixing of the two genes can take place in a number of ways. Thus, the mystery surrounding the child’s resemblance to either parent cannot be ascertained until his/her birth.

After birth, you can easily get an idea about your child’s health just by having a good look at him/her. However, you would not know for sure about the color of his/her eyes right way. It might take some time before all of this revealed, particularly if the child’s eyes are of a very light color at the time of their birth.

What Determines My Baby’s Eye Color?

1. Genetic Property

Even though the color of the eyes is a genetic trait, it does not rely solely on genetics as is wrongly believed by people.

  • If you and your partner both have blue eyes then there is a high chance that your baby is going to have blue eyes, but it’s not a dead certainty.
  • Similarly, parents having brown eyes can expect their child to have brown eyes, but nothing is guaranteed.
  • Babies who have a grandparent with blue eyes are most likely to have blue eyes, too.
  • Babies whose parents have brown and blue eyes respectively have 50% chance of getting either blue or brown eyes.
  • Babies born with one blue and one brown eye might be suffering from Waardenburg syndrome which is a rare genetic condition. You should consult a doctor in time.

Here is a chart showing you the likelihood of baby eye color based on the eye colors of you and your partner.

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2. Melanin

Melanin is a pigment that gives color to our hair and our skin. This pigment is generated by cells and plays a very important role in determining baby eye color. Melanin production in the iris is initiated when the bright lights of the hospital hit the newborn’s eyes. The lesser the melanin production, the lighter will be the eye color of the baby; while the more melanin is produced, the darker will be the color of your baby’s eyes. Therefore, a little melanin will turn the eye color of a baby to blue, green, gray or hazel; while too much melanin will result in him/her getting brown or black eyes.

Want to know more about a baby eye color in terms of genetics? Check out the video below:

When Will My Baby’s Eye Color Change?

Eye color changes are most likely to happen when the baby is 6 months old and are going to continue till he/she reaches the age of 9 months. By this time, the iris would have stored melanin in a sufficient quantity and it will be easier for you to ascertain the color of eyes your baby is going to have. However, the changes in eye color do not end at this stage. You might continue to see changes happening to your child’s eye color till he/she become 3 years old. These changes would most probably darken the color of your child’s eye and his/her eye color might change to brown from green or hazel. Thus, do not expect the eye color of your baby to suddenly change from black to either blue or gray. Eye color changes in some children continue to happen even when they step into adulthood.

My Baby’s Eyes Have Two Different Colors—Should I Be Concerned?

1. Heterochromia Iridium and Heterochromia Iridis

Heterochromia iridium is a rare occurrence in which a baby ends up having eyes with two different colors. Heterochromia iridis is another rare occurrence in which the baby has a multicolored iris. The reason for both of these occurrences can be a gene alteration which results in excessive pigmentation in one of the irises. Besides this, these occurrences might happen as a result of taking medications that are used in glaucoma treatment, a trauma or accident suffered at the time of birth or congenital pigmented nevi.

2. Waardenburg Syndrome

Another reason why a baby might have Heterochromia iridium or Heterochromia iridis is Waardenburg syndrome in which a gene mutation occurs, causing changes in the pigmentation levels of the hair, iris and skin. Waardenburg syndrome in some babies is accompanied by sensorineural hearing loss as well.

3. Treatments Depending on Different Cases

  • Along with other symptoms

Heterochromia iridis usually does not require any kind of treatment since it is not harmful for your baby. However, if the Heterochromia is accompanied with other symptoms such as swelling or inflammation, it becomes necessary to treat the inflammation first and worry about the Heterochromia afterwards.

  • Unable to see or have eye impairment

There are cases in which the child is unable to see or has eye impairment because of the Heterochromia. In such circumstances, the use of tinted contact lenses is advised by the opticians. These contact lenses can be used either to darken the complexion of the light-colored eye or to lighten the complexion of the dark-colored eye. If wearing a single contact lens is difficult, two contact lenses having different colors can be worn instead, which brings down the color of both eyes to a single color.

4. Do Not Worry

Even if you chose to not treat Heterochromia iridis, it would not have any effect on your child’s health what so ever. There are many people who have Heterochromia iridis and are still living a healthy and happy life. However, if you or your child feels it disturbing or concerning then you can always start using the tinted contact lenses to hide away this fascinating abnormality.

However, if you are unsure about what to do, it is better to consult the help of a pediatrician.