The Science Behind Why Babie’s Eyes Change Color

You have certainly heard that your baby’s eyes could change color at some time. Here are the reasons when and why this happens, and what genes have to do with that.

You could ask your doctor questions like when will your baby start to crawl, sit up or walk, but you may also ask him about the change of your baby’s eye color. Eyes could never change or they can become either like a mother or father’s eyes. We wonder why this happens and when. Here are some facts that you need to know.

After babies are born, they have very little melanin in their eyes, so that is why they usually have light-colored eyes. This especially refers to fair-skinned babies. Pigment melanin is also responsible for skin and hair color. Douglas Fredrick, M.D., a pediatric ophthalmologist at Stanford Children’s Health in Palo Alto, California said:” The amount of melanin in the iris, the colored part of the eye, determines what color a person’s eyes will be.” The amount of melanin that a person’s body will have, is determined by genetics. Will a baby have green, brown or blue eyes is the job for the DNA that she receives from her mother and father. In some cases, when a baby is still in her mother’s womb, eyes may not produce much melanin, maybe even any. That is the reason why a baby could be born with blue eyes, but right after the birth, the production of melanin is stimulated with light, and that can result in baby’s eyes becoming darker or change over time”. Dr. Fredric also said:” There is no blue, gray, green, or hazel pigment in the eye. It’s important to understand that it’s not the color of the pigment that causes the change.” Actually, brown is the only pigment that our eyes have. The amount of that pigment dictates if the person will have light or dark, blue or black eyes.

There are a dozen eye color calculators and charts all over the internet. They can be true but don’t take them so seriously because these predictions are not set in stone. Dr. Fredrick said:” Nobody, the doctor included, can predict what color the eyes will be once the baby gets older.”  Things that also don’t matter are how much you expose your child to light and what your baby eats or does. Genetics is the only thing that has an influence on changing the color of our eyes, and nothing more. The only way your baby’s eyes won’t change color is if he or she is already born with brown eyes, which means that she got the enough dose of melanin that was assigned by their genetic code.

For the question about when eye colors change, Dr. Moorjani says that usually the biggest transformation that you will see is going to be between six to nine months of life. This change is happening little by little, so you may not even notice, but eventually, after a couple of weeks or months, you will see that your baby has a different eye color than before. Dr. Fredrick says that up until age six, children’s eye color could still change, although this is very rare. In most cases, when the first year passes, babies will have their permanent eye color.

About the author

Peter Lewis

Hey readers, hows it going? My name is Petar, married and father of two. California native, but currently residing in Seattle. I graduated from UCLA with a degree in Journalism, and started off writing for my local newspaper. I hope I can share some of the wisdom I gathered over the years from raising my two lovely daughters. I hope you all enjoy the writing!