There’s a new little one in your life and you’re so amazed by your baby’s eye color. You might be wondering whether this is the eye color your baby will have in the future. And, if not, when will they get their permanent eye color?
Will your baby have blue or gray eyes? What about the chances of green or hazel eyes?
Let’s have a look at all there is to know about when babies’ eyes change color, the color, and when you’ll know your baby’s permanent eye color.
Why are most babies born with blue eyes?
Most babies are born with blue eyes. Although we know what this affirmation means, the truth is that most babies are actually born with grey eyes. Of all adult eye colors, blue is the closest to the eye color most babies are born with, therefore we tend to say that most babies are born with blue eyes even though most babies’ eyes are grey.
The reason babies are born with a non-permanent eye color is that a group of special cells called melanocytes, which produce melanin, are not yet fully developed. The amount of melanin in the iris will determine your baby’s eye color.
For the first few days, weeks or months, babies’ eyes change color from the initial grey to their permanent eye color.
You can read more about melanin and different eye colors in Genetics of Human Iris Color and Patterns.
When can you tell a baby’s real eye color?
Usually, the eye color starts to be more permanent at around 9 months of age. However, this is based on averages; some eye color changes can happen up to 6 years of age.
If your baby has bright blue eyes at the time of her first birthday it’s quite likely she will have blue or green eyes as an adult.
If a baby has dark brown eyes at 8 months of age, it’s most likely they’ll remain dark.
Will my baby’s eyes stay grey?
It’s very unlikely that a baby develops the same eye color as the one she has during her first few months.
Even if she’s going to end up having grey eyes, a change in color will be noted once the melanocytes start to modify that eye color.
Gray eyes are the rarest eye color to be found in adults. Less than 1% of adults have dark or light gray eyes.
Look at some statistics about eye color and the incidence in different areas of the world.
What color will grey baby eyes turn?
This is very difficult to tell, as eye color is 100% determined by genetics.
In the statistics shown in the link above, brown eyes are the most common, followed by blue eyes, then hazel eyes, and then by green eyes. There is less than 1% chance of having a color different from these.
If the baby has two brown-eyed parents, it’s most likely that the baby’s grey eyes will change color to become brown eyes.
Is there a possibility of that little one developing green or hazel eyes? Yes, there is; however, it’s much more likely that the baby will develop brown eyes.
How can I tell if my baby’s eyes will stay blue?
There’s not much you can do to find an answer to this question apart from waiting and seeing.
A blue-eyed baby with two blue-eyed parents will more likely keep her blue eyes than a blue-eyed baby with two brown-eyed parents.
If your baby is close to 1 year of age and has blue eyes, they might change from light to dark blue as more melanin is created but the main eye color will very likely remain as the child grows and she will be a blue-eyed child.
As eye color has a lot to do with melanin; skin color tends to accompany eye color.
Dark eye colors are more common in people with darker skin; blue eyes, green eyes and hazel eyes are more commonly seen in people with lighter skin tones.
Can baby have blue eyes if parents don’t?
Yes, a baby can have blue eyes if her parents don’t. Without giving you a master class in genetics, I’ll try to explain some of the basics of eye color.
When discussing eye color, there are several factors that each one of us take from our father and several from our mother.
Dominance is also important in genetics. Some colors are dominant (the most common ones) and others are recessive. For a recessive color to appear this must happen without the presence of a dominant color.
Imagine that both parents have brown eyes (dominant, the color that more easily manifests) but they’ve had ancestors with blue eyes. Each of our ancestors places a ‘chip’ in the eye color roulette. Then two of these chips are randomly selected for a new baby’s eye color. One comes from the mother’s line and another from the father’s. If both chips are blue, the baby will have blue eyes. If both are brown the baby will have brown eyes but if one is brown and the other a different color, many other possibilities of colors open up. However, many of those who have one brown chip and one chip of a different color will end up having brown eyes as brown is usually dominant.
If for example one chip is blue and the other light brown, there are many possibilities that the baby’s eye color is some sort of green.
The world of genetics and eye color is fascinating. It’s not easy to explain, though. If this is something that interests you, however, there has been a lot of research and studies done on the evolution of human eye color origins, changes and mutations.
If you decide to explore that route you’ll find my explanation of the ancestors’ chips quite rudimentary; however, you’ll also be able to understand that it isn’t an easy task to explain such a complex concept.
Read more in Genotype-Phenotype Association And Human Eye Color.
What is the rarest eye color?
Grey, green and hazel eyes are the rarest eye color in the ‘common eye colors palette’. Just 5% of the world’s population will have eyes of one of these colors
However, there are other eye colors that are even rarer than grey, green and hazel.
Violet or red eyes are the rarest natural eye color.
These eye colors are hardly ever mentioned.
Red and violet are the colors on the opposite ends of the visible spectrum for humans. We fail to see infrared or ultraviolet lights with our naked eye.
Red or violet eyes happen when people have no melanin in their bodies. The condition is called albinism and less than 1% of people have this condition; therefore, this is the rarest eye color.
There is another very peculiar characteristic where there is a different iris color for each eye. This is called heterochromia iridium and it means a person has one eye that is a different color from the other.
I met a girl in school who had one green eye and one purple. She wasn’t albino but she sure had one of the most amazing pair of eyes I’ve ever set mine on.
You can read more about your Newborns eyes in BellyBelly’s articles ;
Newborn swollen eye