When Do Babies’ Eyes Change Color?

Eye color in a newborn baby often changes. When this happens, how long the color change process lasts, and why – let’s find out.

Your baby’s eyes may be a beautiful shade of blue now, but will that constantly hold true? Here’s how to tell when your baby will go through changes in eye color.

Heredity determines a child’s appearance, including eye shade. A child can inherit not only the traits of his parents, but also those of his closest relatives. Recent research by scientists suggests that there are at least six genes that influence iris color.

Why and how a baby’s eye color will change is difficult to predict.

The pigmentation process is not yet complete in the eyes of newborn babies. Babies with dark skin are usually born with brown eyes right away. The irises of light-skinned babies are blue or gray-blue at birth, but may gradually change.

when do a babies eyes change colors

In the first year of life, melanin production is accelerated by exposure to sunlight. If your baby is naturally low in pigment, his eyes will turn bright blue. If the pigment content is higher, the iris will take on darker and richer colors:

  • gray;
  • green;
  • olive;
  • amber;
  • brown;
  • black.

The hue also depends on the density of the iris. If its fibers are tightly intertwined, the concentration of melanin is higher. The lowest density provides blue and blue tint. Tightly woven fibers are maximally filled with pigment, giving dark brown and black colors.

When Does Eye Color Change in Babies?

when do a babies eyes change colors

The iris gradually darkens from birth. Nutrition, lifestyle and diseases do not affect the amount of pigment. Small changes can be observed every day. At the age of 9-12 months, the pigmentation process ends in most children. But sometimes the change of eye color is delayed until the age of three.

How Does the Eye Shade Change in Newborn Babies

In about 10% of people, the iris color does not become permanent until adulthood.

Seven out of 1,000 people have complete heterochromia, where the eyes have different colors.

Even rarer, in 1 out of 20,000 newborns, is the disorder albinism, the complete absence of melanin. In albino babies, the iris does not darken with time, remaining pale blue or red because of the translucent blood vessels.

You can tell how long the pigmentation will last until the age of one month by the shade of the hair and skin. White blondes are more likely to remain blue-eyed for life. And if the baby is dark-skinned and dark-haired, it is worth waiting with conclusions until he is three years old.

Prediction of baby eye color

You can try to guess the coloring of the iris before it acquires its color. To do this, you need to do the following:

  • Look at the baby’s eyes from the side to eliminate the reflection of outside light.
  • Notice if there are golden spots around the pupil. Their presence indicates that the iris will eventually become green or hazel.
  • Check daily to see if a new shade is being added. If the eyes get darker every day, they will gradually become amber or brown.

Genetic calculation methods will also help. Two dark-eyed parents have a 78% chance of having a baby with brown eyes. With an equal number of brown-eyed and blue-eyed ancestors, the chances for both shades become equal. If the mother’s eyes are blue and the father’s are green, the child cannot be brown-eyed, and neither can two blue-eyed parents.

All of the above methods are approximate. Genes may be passed on from distant ancestors whose appearance is unknown to the parents.

Changing the color of the eyes does not affect the baby’s vision. Parents should only be worried if the color changes irregularly or if the pupils are cloudy and react painfully to light. In such situations, you should urgently contact your paediatrician or paediatric ophthalmologist.

Warning and Other Concerns

Usually, your baby’s color will change without impacting his vision or other eye issues. But if only one eye changes color (which is really uncommon) or if you see cloudiness in your baby’s eye, get in touch with the pediatrician or pediatric ophthalmologist.

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